Pears with a Virginia Past

Pear - uncooked
Pear - Taste of Va book (2)A Taste of Virginia
, published by the James River Garden Club in Richmond, presents traditional fare fit for serving in grand homes around the Old Dominion. The recipes in this book veer far from the humble roots of my Virginia family but it’s instructive about food history to peep behind those porticoes to see what ladies and gentlemen used to eat. Continue reading

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A is for Grandma’s Apple Cake

Apple recipeI’m not sure what variety of apples my grandmother, Hanna, used in the Fresh Apple Cake recipe she clipped from the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper in the 1930s, but I wanted to try it this week because apples – especially when dipped in honey – are traditional for the Jewish New Year. Continue reading

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Chocolate Chip Biscuits for Your Next Bake Sale

Bubble biscuits - baked

Source: Town of Whitman, MA

Source: Town of Whitman, MA

Blame the invention of the chocolate chip on a Massachusetts baker’s boredom. In the 1930s, Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Inn decided to chop up a chocolate bar and add it to her standard butterscotch cookie recipe. The resulting Toll House cookies became a local sensation (the Boston Globe gives more details) and eventually the official Massachusetts cookie. Continue reading

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Vinegar, Sugar, Cream Cheese: Unexpected Companions

Creche dip close-upWhen I saw a recipe for Green Pepper Dip in a cookbook from the 1980s, I expected a swirl of sour cream, chopped veggies and salt, perhaps artfully served in a hollowed-out pepper half. Instead, I found directions to beat two eggs and equal measures of vinegar, butter, and sugar, then heat and mix with cream cheese. Continue reading

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In My September Kitchen

Sep - Purple BasilSep - tomatoesInspired by Celia at figandlimecordial I am giving all of you a look inside my kitchen near Boston, Massachusetts. For the first scenes, I cheat a little by starting outside in a sunny spot in our back yard. Continue reading

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A Swedish “Hot Dish” from a Church Basement

Swedish horseShelves of lingonberry jam and Wasa crackers at the markets near my summer job reflect the large Swedish community that settled in Jamestown, New York starting in the 1840s. Continue reading

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Guest Post: Cincinnati Chili Cheese Dip

Cincinnati Chili Cheese Dip

Hello historic recipe enthusiasts! I’m Nicole, and I’ve had the pleasure of working for Clara this summer in the Chautauqua Writers’ Center. Last week, the two of us attended Brian Castner‘s workshop on “The Modern Author’s Blog,” and I’m thrilled to share a recipe that’s near and dear to my heart: Cincinnati Chili Cheese Dip! As a graduate student, I’m all about inexpensive, tasty, and easy-to-make food, and this dip makes for a great appetizer and conversation starter.
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