Should We Feel Sorry for Twinkies?

Twinkies. I’ve had a few. I’ve had more pink Snowballs and Suzy-Q’s than Twinkies. I was mildly horrified and fascinated to watch Anthony Bourdain eat embalmed fructose syrup used to make Twinkie filling out of the pipes of Zubal Books, … Continue reading

Caraway.

Caraway. It’s lyrical. It’s herbal, savory, and astringent. My French friends confuse it for a cumin seed.  It evokes strong feelings of admiration or disgust, depending on whose palate is assessing it. And it’s one of my favorite flavorings. When … Continue reading

Cleveland’s West Side Market

My brother Mr. F is Cleveland’s Man about Town. During my May visit, he toured me around a number of sites and neighborhoods, including Shaker Square, downtown, Detroit Seaway, and Cleveland’s West Side Market. I knew zip about Cleveland, beyond … Continue reading

Java Up: The Coffee House: A Cultural History

Grab your mug, get some joe, and crack open The Coffee House: A Cultural History by Markman Ellis (Wenfield and Nicolson, 2004). I was aware of the role the coffee house played in discourse and the exchange of news. In … Continue reading

A Dinner in Winter, 1756

As Winter settles around our shoulders, I like to consider what was considered seasonal fare in the eighteenth century. I’m a big fan of eighteenth century table maps (see my post on Winterthur’s Robert Jocelyn dinner journal here and visit the … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: A Speedy Trip to Ottawa

Work took me kicking and screaming to Ottawa this week. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Canada. It was just a chock a block week and I managed to miss being in-country for a presidential election again. … Continue reading

A Visit to the Drugstore, 1786

Halloween’s passed us by, but here’s a tale of horror from the late eighteenth century: a visit to the drugstore. This advertisement appeared in The Maryland Journal on August 11, 1786. Particularly note the “Calomel, and all other well-prepared Mercuries” … Continue reading

Photo: Memories of Summer

Marylanders recognize this scene. The wet smear of spice-reddened shattered carapace across moist newspaper says it all: it must be the end of a crab feast. This was the end of a half-bushel of medium blue crabs back in August. … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: The Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Beer. Mmmm. Recently, my friend Ms McC and I travelled to Maryland for a eighteenth century event at Fort Frederick State Park (see my posts on nearby Hagerstown and the CCC Museum at Fort Fred). Being like-minded in our love … Continue reading

Farewell Tomatoes

Last weekend, I pushed it. I bought two tomatoes at the local farmer’s market on 67th street. New York state tomatoes are okay (they aren’t tidewater Maryland tomatoes, alas), and I thought I’d have just one more shot at a … Continue reading