Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Refrigerator Pickles with Rebecca

The perfect no fuss snack for a hot summer day!

I’ve been sitting on this post for almost a whole year, which is both embarrassing and an indication of just how busy I’ve been. Which I know, I know, I’ve been complaining about a lot when I do have the time to post, so I’ll try to hush up about it as I keep trying to clear out my backlog of posts from last summer. 

July is apparently National Pickle Month, which made this one a priority to get out to you guys as soon as possible, or at least before the month was over. Although pickling has been around for thousands of years and the Chinese were the first to invent the modern pickling process, in the US, cucumber pickles have become pretty heavily associated with Jewish immigrants in urban centers like New York. Have you ever wondered why that is? 

Well, read on and wonder no more!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Melody Explores the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Celebrating 50 years of folklife!

In 1967, the first Smithsonian Folklife Festival was held in Washington, DC. Created as a means of encouraging cultural exchange, the festival has been held every summer for the last 50 years. Each year has a different theme, often centered around the culture of a particular country, region, or US state. They’ve managed to feature every region of the US, as well as 90 individual countries. That’s pretty impressive!

The festival is held on the National Mall between the US Capitol Building and the Washington Monument, making it a popular stop for tourists visiting the monuments, museums, and government buildings. Fourth of July is usually sandwiched more or less in the middle of the festival, which runs for two weeks. They’ve got programming running all day, with lots of vendors, artisans, and experts in their field. 

In honor of the 50th anniversary, the festival’s theme this year was more multicultural than usual: Circus Arts! Almost every culture in the world has a circus, right? It also featured programming about migration and the history of the festival. Want to check it out?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Felicity's 4th of July in Washington, DC

Where else can you see the actual Declaration of Independence on America’s birthday?

Is there a better place to celebrate the Fourth of July than Washington, DC? I don’t think so, especially not after the awesome day I had yesterday! Washington in the summer is hot, crowded, and often plagued by metro problems (although that’s definitely not just a summer problem), but if you can make it down to the nation’s capital for the Fourth? I think it’s worth it. 

Why? Well, I’ve got some cool programs to tell you about.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Addy's Washington Pie

A light and flavorful butter cake that’s perfect for any occasion!

Ah, remember when I thought I’d have lots of free time this summer to bake, write my novel, and generally indulge in my favorite hobbies and past times after two long semesters?

Yeah, let’s just say that didn’t happen.

But fortunately, I’m actually sitting on a backlog of posts from last summer, complete with nice pictures in my brightly lit former abode with my wonderful old camera, may it rest in peace. I figured while I’m still trying to find my feet and figure out a time to start featuring new recipes and places to visit, the best place to start might be clearing out my backlog.

And to start us off, I have for you all a really delicious treat that’s allegedly from the Civil War period. The historicity of this recipe is difficult to track down, but it’s a really delicious treat that will be right at home at any summer function you might be holding. Without further ado, let’s get baking!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Maryellen's Chocolate Cake with Coke

Straight out of 1952!

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Coke just as much as the next person, but I’d never thought to put it in a cake before starting to do research for recipes for this blog. Recipes for cakes using soda as an ingredient are more common than you might think, and this southern favorite is an interesting ancestor of those cakes we've been enjoying, especially since the 1990's. Known as Cola Cake, Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake, or basically any variation thereof, it's a solid chocolate cake with a unique ingredient.

Note that you don’t need to use brand name Coca-Cola for this recipe: Coke is the general term for soft drinks in different parts of the south, and any kind of cola beverage will do fine.

Also, it comes with a pretty weird frosting, that I still haven’t decided if I like or not. Maybe you guys will be able to help me make up my mind about it!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Felicity Attends Revolutionary War Weekend at Mount Vernon

A weekend you won't want to miss!

Last month, two of my friends and I packed up and drove to Mount Vernon for Revolutionary War Weekend! It's a two day long event with reenactors (American and British), historically inspired vendors, special exhibits, and a battle reenactment. Mount Vernon is always worth a visit, but I'm especially excited to share a few photos of our time there last month.

(Unfortunately, one of the reasons this post has taken me a long time to write is I'm so fed up of using my phone to take pictures! But fortunately I am in possession of a new camera, and hopefully will get to break that out soon. Please bear with these less than ideal photos!)

An extra treat was getting to meet some representatives from the brand new Museum oft the American Revolution! Got any ideas about what they might have brought with them to show visitors?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Molly's Honey Cookies for VE Day

Help the war effort with this clever sugar substitute!

Happy VE Day everyone! In keeping with tradition, I've decided to fire up my oven and throw together a mini VE Day bash, this time with a couple of my friends from grad school. We're going to watch the new documentary Five Came Back on Netflix, which I've heard good things about. I've read the book it's based on, and I enjoyed that quite a lot, so hopefully it's good!

To give some authentic 1940's flair to our get together, I turned to a cookbook I've been dying to try out.