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Texas Peach Handbook Cover

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Texas Peach Handbook

By Jim Kamas and Larry Stein

An up-to-date guide for commercial and residential peach growers . . .   With an estimated one million trees producing almost fifty million pounds of fruit per year, Texas is a leading producer of peaches, and several popular seasonal festivals highlight the widespread enjoyment of and interest in this delicious, versatile fruit. In addition, a recent rise of interest in edible gardens and home fruit production has led more people to think about planting a peach tree in the yard—or paying closer attention to the one they already have.    Jim Kamas and Larry Stein, drawing from their many years of experience and the best current research, provide authoritative advice for those who want to improve peach production, whether in a large commercial orchard or on a single tree in the back yard. With discussions ranging from site selection to marketing ideas, Texas Peach Handbook covers the basics of peach cultivation—planting, pruning, fertilizing, watering, protecting, thinning, harvesting—and gives both instruction on disease and insect control and advice on the financial aspects of the peach business. The authors also direct readers to other, more detailed or technical sources, for those who want to learn more about a given topic.   For its useful information and expert guidance, this how-to handbook will prove indispensable for anyone who grows, or wants to grow, peaches.

Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook Cover

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Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

William D. Adams; Photographs by William D. Adams and Deborah J. Adams

Perhaps no vegetable makes the mouth water in anticipation more than the perfect tomato--slices sprinkled with salt and pepper or lapped over a burger; sweet cherry tomatoes in a salad; fresh tomato sauce over pasta; tomato soup; tomato salsa. Tired of half-green, hard-but-mushy, store-bought tomatoes, an increasing number of people would like to grow their own. But as anyone who has ever stuck a seedling into the ground anticipating a bush full of luscious homegrown tomatoes in a couple of months knows, it isn’t that easy. Tomatoes require a gardener’s knowledge and attention, and in this handbook William Adams has provided a complete, step-by-step guide to success in the tomato patch. Drawing on more than thirty years of experience, Adams takes readers through the basics of soil preparation, planting, feeding, caging, and watering. He lists the pros and cons of standard, hybrid, heirloom, and cherry varieties, sharing tips about old favorites and suggesting new varieties. After the tomatoes are chosen, planted, and thriving under his tutelage, Adams prepares growers for the insects, diseases, and other visitors they are likely to encounter, warning that “gardeners are not the only ones that love tomatoes.” Once readers are armed to meet these challenges, Adams ends by offering a few words about “tomato kin folk” (peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, and potatoes) and a source list of selected suppliers. With patience, humor, and his own excellent photographs, Adams brings to this manuscript all he has learned about tomatoes in Texas to help ensure that the rest of us have a bumper crop.       

They Saved the Crops Cover

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They Saved the Crops

Labor, Landscape, and the Struggle over Industrial Farming in Bracero-Era California

Don Mitchell

At the outset of World War II, California agriculture seemed to be on the cusp of change. Many Californians, reacting to the ravages of the Great Depression, called for a radical reorientation of the highly exploitative labor relations that had allowed the state to become such a productive farming frontier. But with the importation of the first braceros-guest workers from Mexico hired on an emergency basis after the United States entered the waran even more intense struggle ensued over how agriculture would be conducted in the state. Esteemed geographer Don Mitchell argues that by delineating the need for cheap, flexible farm labor as a problem and solving it via the importation of relatively disempowered migrant workers, an alliance of growers and government actors committed the United States to an agricultural system that is, in important respects, still with us.

They Saved the Crops is a theoretically rich and stylistically innovative account of grower rapaciousness, worker militancy, rampant corruption, and bureaucratic bias. Mitchell shows that growers, workers, and officials confronted a series of problems that shapedand were shaped bythe landscape itself. For growers, the problem was finding the right kind of labor at the right price at the right time. Workers struggled for survival and attempted to win power in the face of economic exploitation and unremitting violence. Bureaucrats tried to harness political power to meet the demands of, as one put it, the people whom we serve.

Drawing on a deep well of empirical materials from archives up and down the state, Mitchell's account promises to be the definitive book about California agriculture in the turbulent decades of the mid-twentieth century.

A Tortilla Is Like Life Cover

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A Tortilla Is Like Life

Food and Culture in the San Luis Valley of Colorado

By Carole M. Counihan

Located in the southern San Luis Valley of Colorado, the remote and relatively unknown town of Antonito is home to an overwhelmingly Hispanic population struggling not only to exist in an economically depressed and politically marginalized area, but also to preserve their culture and their lifeways. Between 1996 and 2006, anthropologist Carole Counihan collected food-centered life histories from nineteen Mexicanas—Hispanic American women—who had long-standing roots in the Upper Rio Grande region. The interviews in this groundbreaking study focused on southern Colorado Hispanic foodways—beliefs and behaviors surrounding food production, distribution, preparation, and consumption. In this book, Counihan features extensive excerpts from these interviews to give voice to the women of Antonito and highlight their perspectives. Three lines of inquiry are framed: feminist ethnography, Latino cultural citizenship, and Chicano environmentalism. Counihan documents how Antonito’s Mexicanas establish a sense of place and belonging through their knowledge of land and water and use this knowledge to sustain their families and communities. Women play an important role by gardening, canning, and drying vegetables; earning money to buy food; cooking; and feeding family, friends, and neighbors on ordinary and festive occasions. They use food to solder or break relationships and to express contrasting feelings of harmony and generosity, or enmity and envy. The interviews in this book reveal that these Mexicanas are resourceful providers whose food work contributes to cultural survival.

Tortillas Cover

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Tortillas

A Cultural History

Paula E. Morton

“The ordinary tortilla was an extraordinary bond between the human and divine. . . . From birthdays to religious ceremonies, the people of Mesoamerica commemorated important events with tortillas. One Maya tribe even buried their dead with tortillas so that the dogs eaten as dinner during life would not bite the deceased in revenge.”—from Tortillas: A Cultural History

For centuries tortillas have remained a staple of the Mexican diet, but the rich significance of this unleavened flatbread stretches far beyond food. Today the tortilla crosses cultures and borders as part of an international network of people, customs, and culinary traditions.

In this entertaining and informative account Paula E. Morton surveys the history of the tortilla from its roots in ancient Mesoamerica to the cross-cultural global tortilla. Morton tells the story of tortillas and the people who make and eat them—from the Mexican woman rolling the mano over the metate to grind corn, to the enormous wheat tortillas made in northern Mexico, to twenty-first-century elaborations like the stuffed burrito. This study—the first to extensively present the tortilla’s history, symbolism, and impact—shows how the tortilla has changed our understanding of home cooking, industrialized food, healthy cuisine, and the people who live across borders.

The Turkey Cover

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The Turkey

An American Story

Andrew F. Smith

Fondly remembered as the centerpiece of family Thanksgiving reunions, the turkey is a cultural symbol as well as a multi-billion dollar industry. As a bird, dinner, commodity, and national icon, the turkey has become as American as the bald eagle (with which it actually competed for supremacy on national insignias)._x000B__x000B_Food historian Andrew F. Smith's sweeping and multifaceted history of Meleagris gallopavo separates fact from fiction, serving as both a solid historical reference and a fascinating general read. With his characteristic wit and insatiable curiosity, Smith presents the turkey in ten courses, beginning with the bird itself (actually several different species of turkey) flying through the wild. The Turkey subsequently includes discussions of practically every aspect of the iconic bird, including the wild turkey in early America, how it came to be called "turkey," domestication, turkey mating habits, expansion into Europe, stuffing, conditions in modern industrial turkey factories, its surprising commercial history of boom and bust, and its eventual ascension to holiday mainstay. The second half of the book collects an amazing array of over one hundred historical and modern turkey recipes from across America and Europe. Historians will enjoy a look back at the varied appetites of their ancestors, and seasoned cooks will have an opportunity to reintroduce a familiar food in forgotten ways._x000B_

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The Vegetarian Crusade

The Rise of an American Reform Movement, 1817-1921

Adam D. Shprintzen

Vegetarianism has been practiced in the United States since the country's founding, yet the early years of the movement have been woefully misunderstood and understudied. Through the Civil War, the vegetarian movement focused on social and political reform, but by the late nineteenth century, the movement became a path for personal strength and success in a newly individualistic, consumption-driven economy. This development led to greater expansion and acceptance of vegetarianism in mainstream society. So argues Adam D. Shprintzen in his lively history of early American vegetarianism and social reform. From Bible Christians to Grahamites, the American Vegetarian Society to the Battle Creek Sanitarium, Shprintzen explores the diverse proponents of reform-motivated vegetarianism and explains how each of these groups used diet as a response to changing social and political conditions.
By examining the advocates of vegetarianism, including institutions, organizations, activists, and publications, Shprintzen explores how an idea grew into a nationwide community united not only by diet but also by broader goals of social reform.

The Viandier of Taillevent Cover

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The Viandier of Taillevent

An edition of all extant manuscripts

Edited by Terrence Scully

This volume is the first to present all four extant manuscripts of the Viandier de Taillevent. The texts of the 220 recipes are in their original French and a complete English translation is provided. Variants between the four manuscripts represent more than a century of modifications in gastronomic tastes and culinary practices in French seigneurial life. The commentary and notes trace the significance of these modifications and indicate the influence the Viandier exercised on more recent cookery books throughout Europe. This critical edition also includes a glossary and a bibliography. In addition, selected recipes have been adapted for modern use and arranged in a menu for six people.

Vibration Cooking Cover

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Vibration Cooking

or, The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl

Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor

Vibration Cooking was first published in 1970, not long after the term “soul food” gained common use. While critics were quick to categorize her as a proponent of soul food, Smart-Grosvenor wanted to keep the discussion of her cookbook/memoir focused on its message of food as a source of pride and validation of black womanhood and black “consciousness raising.”

In 1959, at the age of nineteen, Smart-Grosvenor sailed to Europe, “where the bohemians lived and let live.” Among the cosmopolites of radical Paris, the Gullah girl from the South Carolina low country quickly realized that the most universal lingua franca is a well-cooked meal. As she recounts a cool cat’s nine lives as chanter, dancer, costume designer, and member of the Sun Ra Solar-Myth Arkestra, Smart-Grosvenor introduces us to a rich cast of characters. We meet Estella Smart, Vertamae’s grandmother and connoisseur of mountain oysters; Uncle Costen, who lived to be 112 and knew how to make Harriet Tubman Ragout; and Archie Shepp, responsible for Collard Greens à la Shepp, to name a few. She also tells us how poundcake got her a marriage proposal (she didn’t accept) and how she perfected omelettes in Paris, enchiladas in New Mexico, biscuits in Mississippi, and feijoida in Brazil. “When I cook, I never measure or weigh anything,” writes Smart-Grosvenor. “I cook by vibration.”

This edition features a foreword by Psyche Williams-Forson placing the book in historical context and discussing Smart-Grosvenor’s approach to food and culture. A new preface by the author details how she came to write Vibration Cooking.

Voodoo Vintners Cover

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Voodoo Vintners

Oregon's Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers

Katherine Cole

Could cow horns, vortexes, and the words of a prophet named Rudolf Steiner hold the key to producing the most alluring wines in the world—and to saving the planet?

In Voodoo Vintners, wine writer Katherine Cole reveals the mysteries of biodynamic winegrowing, tracing its practice from Paleolithic times to the finest domaines in Burgundy today. At the epicenter of the American biodynamic revolution are the Oregon winemakers who believe that this spiritual style of farming results in the truest translations of terroir and the purest pinot noirs possible.

Cole introduces these “voodoo vintners,” examining their motivations and rationalizations and explaining why the need to farm biodynamically courses through their blood. Her engaging narrative answers the call of oenophiles everywhere for more information about this “beyond organic” style of winemaking.

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