Canadian songwriter Tamara Lindeman’s songs each offer a vivid yet fleeting mise en scène. Her specific, detailed visuals are not opaque, but rather offer a portal for the exploration of enigmatic emotional relationships: parabolas and possibilities and perspectives. They show, don’t tell.
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Growing up, soft pretzels were one of the few junk foods my brother and I were allowed to eat. On the rare occasion that we went to the mall, my mom would treat us both to a soft, hot, overly-salted pretzel, pulled with tongs from spinning warming racks by some ambivalent high school teen at the Hot Sam Pretzels stand.
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In spring when we're craving the taste of fresh fruit, but still waiting for early strawberries and rhubarb to ripen, I like to opt for desserts made with jam. They offer a great opportunity to use up the stock of last summer's preserves, work well with frozen berries and, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on some spring fruit, you can use it in a quick jam.
Read on in Edible DC
"Most comprehensive reference work on the idea of the sweet ever published, with entries on all aspects of sweetness, including chemical, technical, social, cultural, and linguistic" (via Oxford University Press)
Entries on Cotton Candy, Nutella, and Oreos by Emily Hilliard
This Saturday, seven new D.C. bands with names like King Donut and the Road Sodas, IRL Stine and Jerkhole will take the stage at St. Stephen’s Church. For all the bands on the lineup, it’ll be their first gig, and probably also their last.
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On Saturday evening, I found myself in a white-out blizzard, driving up steep and curvy West Virginia back roads. Normally, I would have admitted defeat and turned back. But I kept going, propelled up the mountain by thoughts of the unique Mardi Gras foods and festivities that awaited me in an improbable-seeming Swiss village at top.
Read on via NPR The Salt
While I love the ritual of sitting down to a pie with a group of friends and family, hand pies are a more personalized treat and offer the ability to take and eat on the go. This is the reason pasties—a variety of hand pies— became popular among Cornish miners, as they could take the pastries to work and enjoy a complete meal without the need for utensils.
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Here at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, we have a meta-foodways tradition. Whenever a staff member travels to an interesting place—whether foreign or to their hometown, it is customary to bring back a traditional food item to share with the office. News of a shared treat generally comes by way of an inter-office email: “The Original Derby Pie brought back from my home state of Kentucky, now in the kitchen while supplies last,” it might read, or “Back from Jakarta, I offer Bangkit Jaghe (a spicy ginger cookie) from Macassar in South Sulawesi.”
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Ten years have passed since my first visit to Canterbury Shaker Village, but walking again past the apple trees and old wooden buildings, I’m struck by the same feeling. In this small settlement nestled among New Hampshire’s green, rolling hills, a serenity seeps into my bones and muscles, compelling me to walk slowly, deliberately, with reverence. The Shakers believed they were creating and living in a heaven on earth, and that belief feels tangible here, a surviving legacy. But the sentiment also implies a tension—between permanence and transience, between mortal and eternal existence—that is itself ephemeral, difficult to grasp.
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When the Modern Farmer article “Painting the Farm Red: The Chicken-Slaughtering Pinup Girls of Marion Acres” appeared in my inbox, I took once glance, deemed it inconsequential, and deleted it. Then it started popping up all over my Facebook feed, and the images of twenty– and thirty-something women in bandanas and red lipstick leering at chickens stuffed into slaughtering cones was too difficult to ignore, so I clicked. When my friend Lora asked me for my feminist analysis, I balked, “I have no real feminist analysis. I just think this is profoundly dumb.”
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My primary framework for understanding Australia: Music from the New England Tablelands of New South Wales, 1850–1900, a collection of modern interpretations of “bush music” dating back to the latter half of the 19th century, largely comes from my own experience playing American old-time music.
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Along the back roads of Loudon County, en route to Georges Mill Farm in Lovettsville, Virginia, there are signs that you’re still within striking distance of a major metropolitan area, as newer homes and development extend their reach among the rolling farms with old barns and white farmhouses.
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Helvetia, West Virginia, is not a town you can just happen upon. About 30 miles south of Buckhannon and 40 miles southwest of Elkins (you know where those are, right?), the journey to Helvetia is a long and winding mountainous route up County Route 46. Even when you get there, it would be easy to blow right through town, were it not for the Swiss Alpine–style buildings peppered along the roadside.
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The history of doughnuts is intrinsically linked to the celebration of Mardi Gras. "Fat Tuesday" — the Christian day of revelry and indulgence before the austere season of Lent — features dough deep-fried in fat as its main staple.
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D.C. is a unique city that has always navigated having both a national and local identity. Because of all the government and national organizations that are based here, it is also a highly transient city, and one that is swiftly evolving. The D.C. of 5 years ago looks drastically different than it does today. What’s consistently been at the root of the local D.C. culture though, from punk to riot girls to go-go, is a steadfast commitment to the homegrown and independently owned, and that value is only growing stronger.
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Goin’ on a road trip across out East? Pick up a few cheap regional snacks on your way. If you’re headed west though, you better pack your own—it’s wild out there.
Read on in The Runcible Spoon
When I was growing up, my uncle Richard farmed mint. In the late summer, he and his crew would mow the mint fields like hay and collect the leaves in enclosed wagons, then drive them down to the still, where they would seal them and pump them full of steam. The steam caused the oil in the leaves to turn to vapor, which re-liquefied when pushed through a condenser.
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For 65 years, the St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church has been holding The Armenian Fall Food Festival in the basement of their church in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. There in the serving line, women parish members dish out steaming lamb kebab, fresh tepsi boreg—phyllo dough stuffed with feta and mozzarella, and heaping ladles of hummus and eech—a vegetarian bulgur salad. In the next room, where patrons of all ages and backgrounds eat together at round tables, sits a long “bake table” filled with Armenian pasties including baklava, kataifi—shredded phyllo dough with sweet cheese or walnuts and simple syrup and haskanoush—a walnut roll topped with simple syrup.