Of all the photographic forms I enjoy the most, the portrait stands above the rest. I’m not the first to observe that they uniquely capture a moment in time (to me, the essence of photography) and a great portrait will tell you something about the sitter. But perhaps the simplest joy I receive out of the exercise is that I know that my work will … Continue reading The Colleague Portrait Project
If you follow me on Twitter, you will soon discover that my timeline will get extra cheese-centric over the summer. I’ll be in the United Kingdom interviewing craft producers who are devoted to making unique and flavorful cheeses using single-source raw milk. Their work may seem “niche” to those who have not taken time to consider it, but every decision in the cheese-making process is … Continue reading Pursuing the Raw Story
There was a time from my childhood when it seemed like the winter Olympics were everything. There’s no getting that back. Continue reading The Agony of Disinterest
No other time of the year carries more significance for me in terms of food memory than the Christmas holiday. At home my mother would make date-nut bread (which came from her in-laws) or the kolacky of her mother’s, my Hungarian grandmother. But the one dish she did not make, the sole province of my grandmother, was her Hungarian-style strudel. It would come to us … Continue reading Food & Memory: Making My Grandmother’s Hungarian Strudel
A powerful scene in Pat Barker’s World War I novel Regeneration depicts a conversation between literary giants Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon as they convalesce at the psychiatric hospital at Craiglockhart, Scotland. Owen relates a poignant revelation he discovered in the trenches about life and loss: Sometimes, in the trenches, you get the sense of something, ancient. One trench we held, it had skulls in … Continue reading Life in the Trenches
…it’s the more prosaic things that define us. At our core, we are a communal culture… Continue reading This doesn’t come naturally to us
This year brought challenges and rewards. A look back at a busy 2019. I’m always amazed at other scholars who keep their websites up-to-date. Perhaps they manage their time better or work harder. This year, and in particular its second half, has felt like I’ve been on a carousel waving to the people in my life, waiting for a moment to stop and rest. With … Continue reading Some years are just more memorable than others.
This summer I will be working on an oral history collection for the Southern Foodways Alliance that documents the lives and work of longtime restaurant servers. Although I have recorded many interviews, this is the first time that I’ve been able to contribute to SFA’s growing library of oral histories, collections that stretch back more than a decade and are made available to the public on … Continue reading SFA Longterm Servers Project: Everything you wanted to know and more.
I’ve had a lot of fun talking to readers at events since the launch of Creole Italian last August, and I’m looking forward to meeting more of you this spring. Here is some information about upcoming dates of book talks and presentations around the topic of Sicilians and Food Culture in New Orleans. February 14, 2019: (Thursday) “Touring the Spaghetti District: Turn of the Century New … Continue reading Spring 2019 Appearances: Creole Italian
One weekend in the summer of 2013, my wife and I decided to get out of the house and head to Middendorf’s, the famous catfish restaurant at Manchac. This is always a magical landmark for us, both culturally and geographically – the place where Coastal Louisiana meets the Deep South and the point where Lake Maurepas flows into Lake Pontchartrain. It is also the site … Continue reading Bridge at Manchac