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Food Sites for May 2020

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Dr Sanscravat arrogating his idol; at the Twain home in Hartford, CT

We’re about to enter the last part of our third-quarter century of existence. As Mark Twain said (when he turned 70):

It is the time of life when you arrive at a new and awful dignity; when you may throw aside the decent reserves which have oppressed you for a generation and stand unafraid and unabashed upon your seven-terraced summit and look down and teach—unrebuked. You can tell the world how you got there. It is what they all do. You shall never get tired of telling by what delicate arts and deep moralities you climbed up to that great place. You will explain the process and dwell on the particulars with senile rapture.

In response to the current plague that’s going around—and, if we’re lucky enough to survive it, the onslaught of senility—we’ve decided that we should get off our duffs and publish more of the books that clutter our hard drive. Consequently, we recently self-published, as a Kindle Book, Ephemera: a short collection of short stories. There is some—admittedly weird—culinary content (but if you’re expecting usable recipes and/or serious food history, all we can say is: “Good bloody luck finding them”).

Ephemera is the first title released by our new enterprise: Penwipe Publishing. We expect that its backlist will grow longer, sometime in the near future. As part of the process, we’ve recently reformatted our previously self-published titles in order to make them (we hope) “more user-friendly.” BTW, “Penwipe” is the short, modern incarnation of the company’s full name: “Inkblot, Penwipe, Bluepencil & Erasercrumbs, SLC.” The abbreviation, as you no doubt expect, stands for “Severely Limited Corporation.”

You can, if you wish, follow us on Facebook (where, among other things, we post a LOT of photographs), and Twitter. Still more of our online scribbles can be found at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner. There’s even an Amazon author’s page, mostly about our food writing.

When we think about age, we need to remember that it is not just about wine and cheese. A few thoughts from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

I have enjoyed great health at a great age because every day since I can remember, I have consumed a bottle of wine—except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles. Bishop of Seville
Older women are like aging strudels—the crust may not be so lovely, but the filling has come at last into its own. Robert Farrar Capon
There is no cure ’gainst age but it. Alexander Pope, on coffee
Old people shouldn’t eat health food. They need all the preservatives they can get. Robert Orben
I’m at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I’ve just had a mirror put over my kitchen table. Rodney Dangerfield
May, 2020

PS: If you encounter broken links, changed URLs—or know of wonderful sites we’ve missed—please drop us a line. It helps to keep this resource as useful as possible for all of us. To those who have pointed out corrections or tasty sites (this month we’re tipping our hat to Rachel Laudan), thanks, and keep them coming!

PPS: If you wish to change the e-mail address at which you receive these newsletters, or otherwise modify the way you receive our postings or—if you’ve received this newsletter by mistake, and/or don’t wish to receive future issues—you have our sincere apology and can have your e-mail address deleted from the list immediately. We’re happy (and continuously amazed) that so few people have decided to leave the list but, should you choose to be one of them, let us know and we’ll see that your in-box is never afflicted by these updates again. You’ll find links at the bottom of this page to fix everything to your liking.

— the new sites —

(Alder Yarrow’s commonsense argument at his blog, Vinography)

(Maria Cecilia Metran’s detailed timeline)

(The Botanist in the Kitchen’s discourse on nuts, with a heavy emphasis on pecans)

(Brian Cowan examines the origins of early modern food culture)

(Rachel Laudan’s 2001 Gastronomica article)

(archaeological evidence reported by Terry G. Powis, et. al., in PLOS ONE)

(chapter by Peter Scholliers and Paul Erdkamp, in Handbook of Eating and Drinking)

(Charles Hayford’s 2011 article about the early history of Chinese food in the US, in Education About Asia)

— inspirational (or otherwise useful) sites for writers/bloggers —

— more blogs —

— podcasts —

— gallows humor —

(some are punnier than others)

(“Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” E. B. White)

— that’s all for now —

Except, of course, for the usual legalistic mumbo-jumbo and commercial flim-flam:

As an Amazon Associate, this newsletter earns from qualifying purchases made through it. These include my own books (listed below), and occasional books mentioned in the entries above. If you order any books via those links, the price you pay is not increased by my commission. 

Occasionally, URLs we provide may link to commercial sites (that is, they’ll cost you money to take full advantage of them). We do not receive any compensation for listing them here, and provide them without any form of recommendation—other than the fact that they looked interesting to us.

Your privacy is important to us. We will not give, sell or share your e-mail address with anyone, for any purpose—ever. Nonetheless, we will expose you to the following irredeemably brazen plugs for our books:

The Resource Guide for Food Writers
(newsletters like this merely update the contents of the book; what doesn’t appear here is already in the book)

The Herbalist in the Kitchen

The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food And Drink Industries

Human Cuisine

Herbs: A Global History

Sausage: A Global History

Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Foods

Sauces Reconsidered: Après Escoffier

Terms of Vegery

How to Serve Man:
On Cannibalism, Sex, Sacrifice, & the Nature of Eating

How to Write a Great Book

The Digressions of Dr Sanscravat: Gastronomical Ramblings & Other Diversions

Ephemera: a short collection of short stories

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.


The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #235 is protected by copyright, and is provided at no cost, for your personal use only. It may not be copied or retransmitted unless this notice remains affixed. Any other form of republication—unless with the author’s prior written permission—is strictly prohibited.

Copyright ©2020 by Gary Allen.


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