Looking at the world from my small rural acres in the Blue Ridge.

food history

“Summer 1795: A James Hemings Dinner”

“Summer 1795: A James Hemings Dinner”

On Saturday, June 22, 2019 I will be celebrating the early summer 224 years ago when Chef James Hemings cooked at Monticello. Archaeologists have recently uncovered the original hearth and stew stoves on which Hemings taught his brother Peter the art of French cookery. Together […]

Celebrate Black History Month with Dinner at Indigo House

Celebrate Black History Month with Dinner at Indigo House

Celebrate Black History Month this year with a Southern Sunday Supper on a Saturday Night. On Saturday, February 24th, 2018 this dinner for eight will feature iconic African-American and Southern dishes. After a 1st course of “Pot Likker” soup accompanied by Hot Cornbread with Homemade […]

Monticello Hearth Cooking at the Heritage Harvest Festival 2016

Monticello Hearth Cooking at the Heritage Harvest Festival 2016

This coming Friday (Sept 9th) culinary historian Michael Twitty will join me at the Monticello kitchen hearth for a celebration of enslaved cooks Edith Fossett and Frances Hern; their skills and their lives. We will prepare a menu of recipes from Mary Randolph’s 1824 The […]

Taking care of ourselves and each other: Learning and doing in the Piedmont

Taking care of ourselves and each other: Learning and doing in the Piedmont

To top off settling in a new place shortly after I got here I decided to go to college for an endless number of years sometimes living far from home to do the history thing I have been doing as a scholar for almost three […]

Where are we today?

Where are we today?

Today rather than judge ourselves by some illusory benchmark of historical rural American self ‘sufficiency’ we might do better for each of us to make the effort to be more self-reliant. By self-reliant I mean making the goal to do as much as possible for […]