Archive for the ‘Foodie Friday’ Category

#FoodieFriday: Women and the Hunger Problem

August 23rd, 2013

by Elissa Blattman, Project Assistant

Food insecurity “is the household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food” – Feeding America

Globally, there are approximately 870 million people who do not get enough food to lead a healthy life.  Most of those that go hungry live in developing nations.  International organizations, such as the UN’s World Food Programme and The Hunger Project, work to end hunger on a global scale.  A main part of their work focuses on empowering women because not only are women hit the hardest by hunger, they are also the ones who most often are responsible for providing food for their families and communities.

Around 60 percent of the people living with hunger worldwide are women.  Females, especially adult women, often are the last in their families to get food.  Women also usually have less access to the resources needed to produce their own food or only have access to lower quality resources to make producing their own food a less daunting task.  It is said that providing women farmers with adequate resources could help feed up to an additional 150 million people.  The more educated and empowered a woman is, the less likely she and her family are to be hungry.  When women earn more money, the health of their children improves.

Read the rest of this entry »

#FoodieFriday: Top 6 Cookbooks That Have Impacted American Kitchens

August 16th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

1. The Art of Cookery

Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery (1747) was one of the most important culinary publications in England and the American colonies during the late 18th century. It was the standard cookbook for homes across the English-speaking world.

2. Boston Cooking–School Cook Book

Fannie Farmer’s 1896 classic Boston Cooking–School Cook Book introduced standardized measurements. If it hadn’t been for her we might still be using “a pinch here” and a “handful” there.

3. Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Our beloved Julia Child doesn’t really need introduction, does she? Her famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is credited with bringing French cuisine to the American public and their kitchens! Read the rest of this entry »

#FoodieFriday: CNN Names Top 5 Trailblazing Women Who Reinvented Their Brand

August 9th, 2013

Today’s #FoodieFriday comes from a recent CNN article that highlights the top five women owners of food companies who have totally revamped the way they market their food products. Check them out below:

Leading Women connects you to extraordinary women of our time. Each month, we meet two women at the top of their field, exploring their careers, lives and ideas.

(CNN) — How do you reinvigorate a heritage brand? It’s a question that has long marred CEOs, business strategists and some of the world’s most astute marketeers.

This month CNN’s “Leading Women” sits down with Denise Morrison, the CEO and President of Campbell Soup Company to discuss how she took the firm forward by reinventing the iconic brand. In addition to Morrison, CNN also charts the evolution of four female-led food and drink brands.

Denise Morrison — CEO and President, Campbell Soup Company

Denise Morrison is one of 21 women currently running Fortune 500 companies.
Courtesy Campbell Soup Company

Denise Morrison joined the 144-year-old soup company a decade ago. Since being named CEO in 2011, she’s made it her mission to revamp the brand and ensure it appeals to a Millennial generation.

While at the helm, Morrison orchestrated one of the largest acquisitions in the company’s history when it bought Bolthouse Farms for $1.55 billion in July 2012. The move allowed the company to expand its offering into healthy beverages as well as the highly profitable $12 billion arena of package fresh products.

While innovation is at the heart of Campbell Soup’s strategy, Morrison says the company will also continue to focus on what they are known for. Over the last 12 months Campbell’s has added a further 32 soups to their range on offer including Moroccan-style chicken with chickpeas and spicy chorizo flavors to satiate a generation of more adventurous food lovers.

Consumers can also expect 200 new products to hit shelves over the next year. Read the rest of this entry »

#FoodieFriday: 5 Kitchen Appliances and Food Creations that Transformed Women’s Live in the 20th Century

August 2nd, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

1. The Refrigerator

Refrigerators started popping up in some middle-class households as early as the early 20s.  The conventional methods that women used to store food (ice boxes, root cellars) gradually became a thing of the past. In 1923, the cheapest refrigerator on the market cost about $450!

2. The Electric Stove

Electric stoves were still uncommon during the 1920s, even though they had originated around the turn of the 20th century. Fewer than one in 10 US homes were wired for electricity at this time. As America began to “plug in” more and more especially during the 1930s due to decreased cost of electric power, the electric stove gained popularity.

3. The TV Dinner

The modern frozen dinner entered the American home in 1953, when Swanson and Sons figured out a way to address the irksome conundrum of leftover turkey after Thanksgiving. TV Dinners did more than just feed families, their convenience and quick cook time gave women (who usually did all or most of the cooking) more time of their own to pursue jobs and other interests, while still providing a hot meal for their families.

4. Electric Appliances

Electric appliances like cake mixers, waffle irons and toasters began to “pop up” during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The appliances helped to modernize American kitchen’s and make women’s easier!

5. Canned Foods

In the 1920s, many middle class housewives who did their own grocery shopping and cooking relied on new easy-to-prepare dishes and used newly available packaged and commercially processed foods like Wonder Bread, Wheaties, and canned pork & beans.

#FoodieFriday: Five Pioneering Female Chefs whose Names You Should Know

July 26th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

1. Cristeta Comerford

Cristeta Comerford became the first female White House Executive Chef in 2005 and also the first executive chef of Asian descent.

2. Julia Child

Julia Child was a well-known American chef, author, and television personality. Her famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is credited with

bringing French cuisine to the American public and their kitchens.

3. Lidia Bastianich

Lidia Bastianich is a widely-recognized American chef, author and Emmy Award Winning TV show host. Her specialty is Italian and Italian-American cuisine and she has regularly contributed to public television cooking shows since 1988.

4.  “B.” Smith (Barbara Smith)

B. Smith is a well-known American restauranteur, author and TV show host. She owns three eponymously named  restaurants in Washington, DC’s Union Station, NYC and Long Island. Smith’s specialty is southern-style cuisine.

5. Alice Waters

Alice Louise Waters is a well-known American chef, author, restaurateur, and activist. She is the owner of Chez Paisse, in Berkley, California. The restaurant is known for its locally-grown and organic ingredients. Waters opened the restaurant in 1971 and its has consistently ranked among the world’s best restaurants.

#FoodieFriday: Edna Lewis’ Traditional Southern Cuisine

July 19th, 2013

By: Sydnee Winston, Project Coordinator

African-American chef Edna Lewis spent her lifetime celebrating southern cooking, and she published cookbooks that revived the art of refined Southern cooking while simultaneously offering America a window into African American farm life in the early 20th century.  Ms. Lewis was born  in April of 1916 in a Freetown, Virginia. She spent most of her childhood growing up on her family’s farm that had been granted to her grandfather, a freed slave. There, the family would gather and prepare food using improvised methods including measuring baking powder on coins.

Her cookbook The Taste of Country Cooking is considered a classic study of southern cooking and helped dispel the popular image of southern cooking as unsophisticated. In an interview in 1989 with the New York Times Miss Lewis commented that “As a child in Virginia, I thought all food tasted delicious. After growing up, I didn’t think food tasted the same, so it has been my lifelong effort to try and recapture those good flavors of the past.”

During the 1940s, Miss Lewis left Virginia to relocate to New York. It was there that she became friends with John Nicholson, an antiques dealer, who opened up a restaurant on the East side of Manhattan. Miss Lewis’ cooking delighted the pallets of people who came to eat at Cafe Nicholson and the restaurant quickly became popular among bohemians and artists. Her cheese souffles and roast chicken were especially popular.  She worked at the restaurant until the late 1950s.

In the mid-1970s, she began writing her acclaimed cookbook and in the mid-90s she founded the Society for the Revival and Preservation of Southern Food.

Check out this wonderful documentary about Miss Lewis’ mission to preserve  and pass on the rich tradition of southern cooking to future generations.

#FoodieFriday: First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts “Kid’s State Dinner”

July 12th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

First Lady Michelle Obama is no stranger to our #FoodieFriday series. She made an appearance in our White House edition a few weeks ago for her vegetable garden on the  white house lawn, with its more than 55 varieties of vegetables and fruits. This week she’s back again after hosting the second annual “Kids State Dinner” at the White House on Tuesday, July 9th.  54 kids from across the country made their way to Washington for a very special state dinner. The lucky kids, aged 8-12, who got to participate in the dinner were winners of a nationwide contest that had more than 1300 entries. The contest was a part of Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative to promote healthy eating and exercise as a lifestyle in our nation’s youth.

The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge invited families to create an original lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable and delicious, and follows the nutritional guidelines of MyPlate. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges from the organizations that teamed up with Mrs. Obama on this initiative; Epicurious, the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture. Read the rest of this entry »

#FoodieFriday: Henrietta Nesbitt & The White House Kitchen Nightmares

June 28th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

One would not suspect the White House kitchen as being the residence of cockroaches and other creepy crawlers that like to set up shop wherever there’s food.

Mrs. Nesbitt (L) and Eleanor Roosvelt in 1941. Library of Congress

But that’s exactly what Henrietta Nesbitt discovered in 1933 when she took a tour of the White House kitchen. Mrs. Nesbitt, Eleanor Roosevelt’s housekeeper, wrote about her first inspection of the kitchen in her book, White House Diary.

“I can’t work up any charm for cockroaches. No matter how you scrub it, old wood isn’t clean,” she wrote. “This was the ‘first kitchen in America,’ and it wasn’t even sanitary. Mrs. Roosevelt and I poked around, opening doors and expecting hinges to fall off and things to fly out. It was the sort of place. Dark-looking cupboards, a huge old-fashioned gas range, sinks with time-worm wooden drains, one rusty wooden dumb waiter. The refrigerator was wood inside and bad-smelling. Even the electric wiring was old and dangerous. I was afraid to switch things on.”

Read the rest of this entry »

#FoodieFriday: Mary Todd Lincoln’s “Courting Cake”

June 21st, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

Mary Todd Lincoln, America’s 17th First Lady and wife of President Abraham Lincoln, has made some headlines in the arts & entertainment world in the last year. She was portrayed by Sally Field in the critically acclaimed 2012 film, Lincoln and was the focus of a play at Arena Stage theater in Washington, DC called Mary T. and Lizzie K, earlier this year. The play explored the real life friendship between Mary and her seamstress Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who lived in the White House.

One very interesting detail about Mary’s life that went unexplored in these two dramatizations was her penchant for confection and baked treats. Mary was a great baker and while she and Abraham were courting, she famously baked her white almond cake, the “courting cake” for him. He loved it so much so that he declared it one of his favorite desserts. Read the rest of this entry »

#FoodieFriday: Extreme Dining in the Gilded Age

June 14th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

Photo: The Dining Room of a Gilded Age Mansion (Marble House). Library of Congress

The “Gilded Age,” a term coined by American author and satirist Mark Twain, was in many ways an era of stark extremes in our nation’s history.  Ninety percent of the nation’s families earned less than $1,200 per year by the height of the period in 1890,  while an elite 10% earned above it . The most affluent of American society enjoyed the luxury of newly invented conveniences like electric lights, sewing machines and phonographs, while most Americans lived in abject poverty–crowded into squalid and crime-ridden tenements or living in rural areas. Read the rest of this entry »