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

food history

Self–reliance versus Self-sufficiency: An ongoing series of meditations

Self–reliance versus Self-sufficiency: An ongoing series of meditations

None of us are self-sufficient. We all need somebody! Despite the often nostalgic retro-interpretations (our national idealization of Little House on the Prairie comes to mind!) Americans weren’t self-sufficient in the Colonial past, the Revolutionary Era nor the long 19th century. Few people or families, […]

Split Pea Soup – Winter’s Comfort Food

Split Pea Soup – Winter’s Comfort Food

My Split Pea Soup was inspired by Andersen’s Restaurant, Solvang, California, c. 1952 When I was a little girl in the early 1950s it took almost 18 hours to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco on Highway 101. My mother and stepfather made this […]

A Winter Chocolate Making Session

A Winter Chocolate Making Session

We had a lot of fun! Amid the wafting aroma of exotic spices and turkey mole roasting in the oven my four students worked at the grinding of the cocoa nibs till we made a fabulous paste.  At each stage we tasted; first to savor […]

Homemade winter mincemeat from historic recipes; bear, venison, and pigs feet

Homemade winter mincemeat from historic recipes; bear, venison, and pigs feet

There was a wonderful madness in my kitchen as eight friends and family joined me this last Sunday to make mincemeat from historic recipes.  Both the bear and the venison were contributed by the Great Hunter (Jackson Landers) for which we offer our deepest appreciation.  […]

Taking care of ourselves and each other: Self-reliance, sustainibility, and Andrew Zolli

Taking care of ourselves and each other: Self-reliance, sustainibility, and Andrew Zolli

  Around about Thanksgiving is pretty much when I close up the summer and early fall making/doing/storing food bustle. I’m getting ready to hunker down; you’d think I was a squirrel. South Dakota winters have a way of sticking in memory even all these 29 […]