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Food Sites for November 2020

Monday, October 12, 2020

Assorted pumpkins, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Remember George Henry Boughton’s famous painting of pilgrims, walking solemnly to church? It was done in 1867, only four years after Lincoln created Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It will soon be dragged out of hiding, as it is every November. It always makes me think of how grimly drab and gray the season is, and how many months more of such weather we can expect to endure.

Then I remember that much of that time will be spent cooking for—and maybe even eating with—friends. I imagine the warm kitchen, filled with savory aromas, and I start ransacking my cookbook collection.

Penwipe Publishing remains on staycation, but the pandemic is good for something: it provides plenty of time for writing. This month, our blog posted another short story; “A Girl to Do the Cleaning” is more for our still-growing collection of fables. It has only a tenuous connection to our food writing, but still...

Look below for a few more podcasts—and a little humor—to distract you from the media’s never-ending chatter about trying to survive in the plague year.

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.

In honor of November, a few large squashes from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. Jim Davis, Garfield

What calls back the past like the rich pumpkin pie? John Greenleaf Whittier

My favorite word is “pumpkin.” You can’t take it seriously. But you can’t ignore it, either. It takes ahold of your head and that’s it. You are a pumpkin. Or you are not. I am. Harrison Salisbury

November, 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 Dianne Jacob), 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 —

2,000-Year-Old History of Vending Machines, The

(Chason Gordon’s article at Food52, about mechanically-enhanced instant gratification)

Cooking Pom

(Karen Vaneker’s paper on the traditional taro-based dish of Surinam)

Food for Healing: Convalescent Cookery in the Early Modern Era

(Ken Albala’s 2011 essay about soft bland food meant for invalids, in Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences)

Food on Table, The: History, Culture, Art and Popular Expression in Roman Cooking

(an overview by Rose Gaudiano)

Jewish Food Legacies from Spain

(Annette B. Fromm’s 2105 paper)

Medieval Arabic Cookbooks: Reviving the Taste of History

(Marcia Lynx Qualey’s Al Jazeera account of ancient books in modern English translation, with details of Arabic food, culture, and etiquette)


(YouTube video, from CIMMYT—the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center—explaining the production and use of nixtamalized corn)

Race to Redesign Sugar, The

(Nicola Twilley’s New Yorker article about the science behind making sugar sweeter—so formulations won’t need as much)

Travel Back in Time with Mcgill University’s Cookbook Collection that Spans 350 Years

(Gail Dever’s blog post about an internet archive of 264 cookbooks that were written between 1615 and 1966)

Ultimate Guide to Ingredient Substitutions and Equivalents, The

(Kristin Stangl provides links to lots of substitution strategies at The Spruce Eats)

Who Invented Hummus?

(Diana Spechler deals with a contentious subject for the BBC)

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

50+ Pitching Guides for NYT, Natgeo, Wired, Wapo, Bustle and More

Adapting and Adopting: The Migrating Recipe

Cheese can Protect You from 'All Forms of Death', According to Scientists from the University of Łódź

Colorado Couple’s 20-Year Search for Extinct Fruit Finally Pays Off

Did Early Humans Invent Hot Pot in Geothermal Pools?

Fat Chance

Genetic Fix to Put the Taste Back in Tomatoes, A

Republishing Content: How to Update Old Blog Posts for SEO

Tasty Only in Afterthought: 6 Words That Didn’t Always Describe Food

— podcasts, etcetera —

All the Eater Shows You Love, in All the Places You Love to Watch Them

Aunty Sylvie’s Sponge: Foodmaking, Cookbooks and Nostalgia

Babish Culinary Universe

Genius Recipe TapesThe 

Homemade Podcast Episode 17: Dorie Greenspan on Baking, Butter, and Elbows-On-the-Table Food 

Your Fave Food52 Shows Are Now Streaming on a TV Near You

— a little humor —

How to Make a Bodega Sandwich

Off-Kilter History of British Cuisine, The

— 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

Prophet Amidst Losses


Future Tense: Remembrance of Things Not Yet Past

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.


The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #241 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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