Saturday, July 30
Friday, July 29
Thursday, July 28
The beginnings of drinking tea (albeit hot tea) go back over 5,000 years. But the refreshing drink we like to sip on warm summer day is much younger than that.
Serving tea cold gets it roots from green tea punches served in the early nineteenth century. Fast-forward through Mrs. Marion Cabell Tyree's recipe in Housekeeping in Old Virginia, published in 1879, which not only iced the tea but added sugar. Pause at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, where iced tea was widely popularized, as people did not want to sip hot drinks in the heat of summer. The rest, shall we say, is history.
American Classic Tea is the only tea grown and produced 100% in the U.S. It grows on the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina. They currently produce both black and green teas in over 320 varieties on the 127 acre grounds. Charleston Tea Plantation also provides the tea for Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, distilled right down the road.
My throat is dry. Let's get a drink. This week, the folks at Serious Eats serve up a recipe for Sun Tea. This takes some premeditation; you'll need to steep the tea 3-5 hours in full sunlight.
Or, if you're in a hurry, McAlister's is offering free tea to all visitors TODAY ONLY.
Wednesday, July 27
Last summer, SFA intern Jung Min "Kevin" Kim conducted oral history interviews with Chinese grocers in the Mississippi and Arkansas deltas. Hyphen Magazine recently featured the project in an article by Nina Kahori Fallenbaum entitled "Mississippi Bok Choy: Telling the Stories of Chinese American Grocers in the South". From the article:
Chinese people have been coming to the area since 1869, when Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas cotton planters met during Reconstruction to figure out who would work their fields in a post-enslavement era. Their solution? Recruit workers from southern China and San Francisco’s Chinatown. Most of those farm-laboring Chinese left the Delta after their contracts expired, but a few stayed on, opening small grocery stores that served Black clientele who wanted an alternative to commissaries run by former plantation owners.
To view the Chinese Grocers project in its entirety, please visit our online archive.
Go here to learn more about our internship program.
Tuesday, July 26
Monday, July 25
Begun in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration, America Eats was envisioned as a catalogue of American food habits. Long before the term foodways came into use, the America Eats project dispersed documentarians throughout our nation. They were charged with capturing how Americans defined themselves in the kitchen and at the table.
America Eats was disbanded before it could be completed. In the intervening 70-odd years, a number of academics and writers have utilized America Eats manuscripts, including Mark Kurlanksky, who compiled the book, The Food of a Younger Land.
Earlier this month, that Depression-era work, and other governmental work dealing with the American diet, got a new airing by way of a restaurant, America Eats Tavern, opened by Jose Andres in DC, and an exhibit, "What's Cooking Uncle Sam" now on display at the National Archives, also in DC.
Friday, July 22
2. Mother's Best, Clabber Girl, lard, and buttermilk -- turns out the real trick to baking great biscuits isn't in the ingredients, it's in the practiced hand of the maker. Go make yourself some biscuits. That's right, this weekend. It's not like your kitchen can get any hotter.
3. You're probably already traveling somewhere this summer. Detour through Memphis and visit Gus' Fried Chicken. You'll be glad you did.
4. Third generation Melba Toast makers are reviving their grandmother's business. That's right, you cornbread and biscuit snobs, melba toast just like mamaw used to make!
5. Garden yields are starting to move from delightful to drudgery. Steven Satterfield offers some refreshing solutions for too many squash, okra, and tomatoes (Let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's no such thing as too many tomatoes).
6. Meet a Meat and Three with Emily Wallace.
Thursday, July 21
High-end moonshine. It sounds funny if you say it out loud.
Moonshine has typically been known for it's, um, low-endness. Moonshine, while it is technically any illegally produced spirit, is most often associated with corn whiskey. "White whiskey" is clear, not getting the coloring of its proper cousin that spends time aging in barrels. Though it existed prior to 1920, it became a favorite back-room, under-the-table spirit by way of Prohibition. Moonshine was the easiest and cheapest homemade spirit, because of the lack of aging.
Well, moonshine has come to town. You can now legally purchase white whiskey from the likes of Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam, and High West. I just don't know if I can take moonshine with a fancy label (and price tag) seriously. Its danger is part of its appeal. Jason Wilson, of The Washington Post, says "it appears that moonshine is the new absinthe: a formerly illicit spirit that’s now the darling of the cocktail cognoscenti." Wait, now people are making cocktails with moonshine?
If you've never tasted moonshine, please note several things. First, moonshine has a very high proof. Be careful with this stuff! Also, because it doesn't have the forgiving aging process to tone it down, the taste can be startling. Ahem, not that I've tasted it. And, the one thing that hasn't changed is you still cannot legally make this stuff at home.
So, law-abiding citizens, now is your chance to try moonshine! At long last! Let's make a cocktail to celebrate: how about the Silver Queen Daisy.
Wednesday, July 20
Meet Cynthia Sharpe, pictured above, who, along with Dwain Swing, operates OakMoon Farm & Creamery in Bakersville, NC. Their story is part of North Carolina Farmer Voices, a project of RAFI-USA and its Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund. From the website:
This program assists farmers and community groups in developing new sources of agricultural income through the provision of cost-share grants.
[At NC Farmer Voices] you’ll find a collection of stories—in photographs, sound, and multimedia—about projects that are leading models for agriculture in North Carolina. These farmers are innovators, entrepreneurs, and small business owners on the frontier of agricultural innovation. We believe the wisdom of farmers is one of the most powerful tools we have to bring economic growth to North Carolina.
The SFA is doing some digging in North Carolina, as well. We're currently collecting fieldwork to document the Carrboro Farmers Market. Look for those interviews to appear online in the early fall.
Tuesday, July 19
Friday, July 15
Thursday, July 14
Dublin Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. (located in Dublin, Texas) has been producing the drink since 1891. They are the oldest Dr. Pepper bottler in the world. When most bottlers changed their sweetener to high fructose corn syrup in the 1970s, Dublin Dr. Pepper continued with the original formula, using Imperial Pure Cane Sugar. In recent years, this has made the small, family-owned bottler more popular than ever.
Dublin adds its own name to the bottle, Dublin Dr. Pepper, to differentiate their cane sugar version from the others. On June 28, Dr. Pepper Snapple Co. (DPS), the parent company, filed a lawsuit against Dublin Dr. Pepper citing "license agreement violations." DPS seeks to end the use of the term "Dublin Dr. Pepper" and also charges Dublin is selling their drinks beyond the six-county territory designated in the licensed agreement. DPS says, "we owe it to our other bottlers to stop these unauthorized charges."
Watch a video from the Wall Street Journal on the issue.
Read a response from Dublin Dr. Pepper.
And then decide, are you a [Dublin] Pepper?
Wednesday, July 13
exploring Black culture through migration history and food heritage
2:00 p.m., Saturday 6 August, 2011
The DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 East 56th Place, Chicago
Featuring renowned historian Timuel Black, author of Bridges of Memory: Chicago’s First Wave of Great Migration, and Audrey Petty, author of “Late-Night Chitlins With Momma”, which was selected for inclusion in Best Food Writing 2006 and Cornbread Nation 4.
Tuesday, July 12
Monday, July 11
From his home in Apalachicola, Florida, Dr. Gorrie created the first ice-machine, which he debuted at a soiree on July 14, 1850. (Talk about a party trick.) Gorrie would patent the machine the following year.
Friday, July 8
Thursday, July 7
We need some relief! Now's the time to make some lemonade out of this lemon. No, seriously.
Are your enterprising kids (or neighbor's kids) taking this opportunity to make a little money with a lemonade stand? If you're like me, the closest you got to a lemonade stand was on your Apple II. Here's a summer project for you: help them make real lemonade. Not talking powdered-mix-and-stir. The real stuff: lemons, sugar, water.
This week on Eatocracy, learn the basic recipe for lemonade. Simple syrup isn't just for cocktails--who knew? Once you've mastered that, kick it up a notch with the Smoked Lemonade. Smoke lemon halves. And add brown liquor. (Now you can make some serious cash at that stand!)
Wednesday, July 6
Today, July 6, is National Fried Chicken Day. In honor of this high holiday, we offer you a taste of Hot Chicken, our short film that documents the hot (fried) chicken craze in Nashville, Tennessee. It's a big week for fried chicken in Nashville: the fifth annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival just happened on Monday, July 4.
We think a fine way to celebrate National Fried Chicken Day is to heat up a cast iron skillet at home, crack open your SFA Community Cookbook and make Austin Leslie's Fried Chicken with New Orleans Confetti. Don't forget to make a few extra pieces to store in the fridge for lunch tomorrow, the Day After National Fried Chicken Day.
Tuesday, July 5
SFA board member Makalé Faber-Cullen has organized a Skillet Brigade for SFA members and friends in the NYC area. The invitation is above, and the details are below. Interested but have questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, July 23rd from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
KCC Marina, opposite building T-3, 2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY
Our hosts are Captains Tony DiLernia and Anthony Vento of the Maritime Technology Program at Kingsborough Community College (KCC). Captain Vento will lead our team of sweepers on a clean up of Sheepshead Bay. The GreenBoat runs on used cooking oil and is part of a zero-waste food service project at CUNY Kingsborough.
BRING LUNCH + BRING WATER! We're lunching on the Bay.
R.S.V.P. to email@example.com.
Monday, July 4
Every fall, Eduardo Zayas-Bazán -- a native of Cuba who was a veteran of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and who taught Spanish at East Tennessee State University for over 30 years -- hosts a Cuban-style pig roast in Tennessee for family and friends.
“Among my fondest memories are the pig roasts we had in Cuba on special occasions,” said Zayas-Bazán, who marinates his pigs in grapefruit juice mixed with garlic and oregano, and cooks them in a contraption that he says “looks like a shoe box with a grill inside.”
With the annual pig roast as context, the film tells the story of Zayas-Bazán’s life, both in Cuba and the U.S. Mountain Mojo is a half-hour documentary produced by ETSU’s Office of University Relations and Center for Appalachian Studies and Services. For information on film screenings, contact Fred: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, July 1
Happy July and Happy July 4th Weekend! For our friends in the South, July means summer's last hurrah (although summer's heat won't wave good-bye until October.) Food-wise, right now we've got it all: blueberries, blackberries, peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, and okra. Before you head to your garden, the pool, the beach, or your kitchen, take a minute, bask in the quiet and the AC, and enjoy this week's six-pack.
1. Sure, lobster, shrimp, and crab are a suppertime splurge for most of us. Yes, they're succulent and tasty. But, love of crustaceans shouldn't lead to a life of crime.
2. John Kessler had an adventure with a "ginger microwave cake." The cake expired in 2009. Kessler ate it anyway. He's like that.
3. Al-Maida Chinese Restaurant and the Dai family call Tripoli home. Despite the civil war raging around them, they still deliver. You're right, this one has nothing to do with the South. We just like it!
4. It's been a little over a year since the Gulf Oil Disaster began. And, not quite a year since the Deepwater Horizon was finally capped. Brett Anderson introduces us to the Collins family, lifelong oystermen, who are fighting to keep their family business alive.
5. Kathleen Purvis and Andrea Weigl have teamed up to bravely name the Top 25 Tar Heel Eats. Fight amongst yourselves!
6. Uvalda mayor, Paul Bridges, is an unlikely hero in Georgia's battle over immigrant rights but a welcome hero in the battle for basic human kindness and decency.