Friday, December 23, 2016

Jane's Gingerbread Men

A cookie we've been enjoying eating for centuries!

Happy holidays, everyone! Unlike past Christmases, I didn't have a lot of time this year to do a ton of new holidays recipes, which on the one hand, isn't such a bad thing. Over the last three years, I've managed to feature a recipe from almost every character's time period and culinary perspective, so we've got a pretty good baseline for how Christmas, Hanukkah and Twelfth Night were celebrated over the decades.

But there's one character who I haven't featured yet, and I found the perfect thing to share with all of you this holiday season! It's from a pretty entertaining source too, which I'm very excited to bring to everyone's attention. Read on to find out more!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Lost Camera, Pearl Harbor Day, and M&M Cookies

So I have some good news, and I have some bad news.

The good news is I'm back with another new post! The bad news is I lost my camera at some point last weekend, and it's becoming increasingly obvious that it isn't going to find its way back to me. I'm pretty upset about it, especially because I lost some pictures of a chocolate demonstration at the American History Museum with Heritage Chocolate! It was a really neat demonstration and the guys running it were very friendly, and really excited to hear I was a food blogger who had featured their products on my blog before. One of them was even willing to take a picture with Felicity! I wish I had the pictures to share with you guys, but unfortunately I think it's now in the possession of a Lyft driver or some lucky tourist at the American History Museum.

(I'm trying to keep up a brave face about this for the sake of keeping this light, but I'm - understandably, I hope - really, really upset about it.)

Thanks to my phone's camera and a backlog of posts I'm sitting on, there should still be new content between now and whenever I'm able to get my hands on a replacement. I hope you all don't mind a slight dip in image quality in the mean time, because I think it's going to drive me a little crazy.

Anyway, what have I been up to?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The National Museum of American History's 2nd Annual Food History Festival!

Politics on your plate!

Alright, back to business.

I've been fortunate enough to attend a couple really fun events since moving to DC. The Library of Congress' National Book Festival and the recent used book sale at the National Museum of the US Navy have helped boost my collection of signed books quite a bit, and of course I got to go see the African American Museum of History and Culture. One such event I've been meaning to tell you guys about since the end of October, but then my parents came to visit, the election happened, school got busier, and... yeah. Now it's almost the end of November and I still haven't shared it with you. Sorry about that.

The National Museum of American History had its second annual Food History Festival during the last weekend in October, and after a vote on my Instagram, I decided Kit would be the one making the trip down to the mall to go check it out. I had very little idea of what to expect, and while I feel like this event wasn't as fun or awesome as it could have been, it was definitely worth going to and I'll be happy to attend next year's, assuming I'm not swamped under piles of homework.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Quick Update

Well guys, it’s been a tough month between school and the election, and it’s only half way over.

I know not everyone is going to agree with that assessment, but I can’t pretend that hasn’t been the truth for me, my family, and lots of people I care about, not to mention people around the country and the word.

Yes, everything might work out for the best, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it does, but as a historian (and a queer woman and an American), I can’t pretend this isn’t unprecedented and upsetting. I don’t plan on stopping this blog, and I don’t plan on shifting the primary focus of it onto politics rather than food, but I wanted to address this. It has been very, very difficult to get excited about contributing to a blog that - for better or worse - tends to focus on the celebratory side of American history in the wake of the election. I can’t just go on as if nothing has changed. The world is more than food and pretty dolls.

I keep thinking about a quote from Franklin Roosevelt’s speech as he accepted the Democratic Party’s renomination for President in 1936: “To some generations, much is given. To others, much is expected.” A lot has been given to us and a lot will be expected. We all have a responsibility to make sure we get through the next four years together, and I hope we rise to that challenge by being empathetic, supportive and courageous.

Roosevelt completed his thought by saying that “This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” We can all help make sure that we meet it in the best way possible. I hope you’re willing to help make that happen.

And for now, that's it for me. I'm going to try to get a post written about Kit's trip to the Smithsonian written up this weekend, so stay tuned for that.

And here's a dessert from AGP DC.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Elissabat's Kiss from a Vampire Cookies

A ghoulish guest star with some scary cool treats!

Novelty recipes always enchant me. I might not be a huge Pintrest enthusiast, but I can appreciate a good food related craft, or clever tricks to make awesome themed cakes, cookies and tea breads.

My only complaint? Sometimes they don't turn out the way you want them to. Unfortunately, this is one of those times, but we were still left with a really tasty treat that would be welcome at any Halloween party.

Because I left most of what could be considered Halloween costumes for American Girl dolls at my parents' house, I decided this post was going to be hosted by one of my Monster High dolls, who happens to be a vampire. Seems fitting, right?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Addy Visits the National Museum of African American History and Culture!

Say hello to the newest Smithsonian!

I have a really cool announcement for anyone who's been living in a cave for the last couple years: there's a new Smithsonian on the Mall, and it's basically the best thing ever.

Plans for a Smithsonian focusing on African American history and culture have been in the works for a long time, and for the last several years, visitors to Washington could watch as a massive, unique structure was erected right next to the Washington Monument to house the collection. I know I've been impatiently waiting to see what the museum's like for what feels like forever, as every time I visited the city over the last five years or so the building looked closer and closer to being complete.

Well, the wait is finally over, and let me tell you, it was definitely worth being patient for.

DISCLAIMER: The following post contains images that may be upsetting to some viewers. Specifically, Addy has been photographed "touring" the exhibits and galleries at the museum as though she is a sentient being and is visiting it in the same way I have done past posts on site at historical sites and museums. I am but one white person, showing images that many people at this time cannot see for themselves, and I took Addy with me as the American Girl representative since she is the oldest black character AG has released and the most well known. The images contained are actual items, and they are brutal, but true, and are the kind of history that we, as people who claim to be interested in history, need to see. Because American history is not just pretty food and fancy dresses, it is brutality and oppression and ugly but if we do not look at it at the past, then we will never be able to see how not to perpetuate these things.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Melody Makes Rosa Parks' Featherlite Pancakes

The fluffiest pancakes you will ever eat.

So, I think it goes without saying that it's a really exciting time to be interested in Black history in Washington, DC. Everyone has been making a big deal about the opening of the new African American Museum of History and Culture - which I'm finally going to be visiting on Tuesday!! - and so there's a lot of efforts by different organizations to promote the museum, and raise awareness about the influence of Black Americans throughout history. It's been fun seeing other museums and institutions promote parts of their collections that might not have been on display recently, and see how they're working to teach people about an area of history that was (and still is...) too often underrepresented.

Take for example Rosa Parks' recipe for peanut butter pancakes, which is held in the Library of Congress and penned in her own handwriting! While a few of my friends and I were at the Library of Congress Book Festival last month, we happened to see a presentation that mentioned it, and immediately knew we had to find the recipe, get together and make them. So we did. We discovered they're basically the fluffiest, tastiest pancakes you could ever hope for, and are definitely something more people should know about.