October 2010

Ernest Matthew Mickler, "Sinkin Spells, Hot Flashes, Fits and Cravins"

This cookbook is, I confess, somewhat mystifying on the face of it.  It is the sequel to a book called White Trash Cooking, which - in the words of Wikipedia - "enjoyed an unanticipated rise to popularity" when it was published in 1986. 

I really wasn't sure what to make of any of this.  Was it a joke?  A tribute?  Both?  And why was there a sequel?  For that is what  Sinkin Spells, Hot Flashes, Fits and Cravins is - a sequel to the original White Trash Cooking.

And then I went looking for more information about the author, Ernest Matthew Mickler, and now I am sad.  Mickler grew up in the South, and leapfrogged from a Bachelor's degree at Jacksonville University to a Master's degree at Mill College in California. 

Christmas in Washington Cookbook

Here in Washington, we're accustomed to thinking of ourselves as being reasonably progressive as far as food goes.  Seattle is one of the hotbeds of cutting edge cuisine, and western Washington is the home of Pan-Asian Fusion cuisine.  (As well as having the nation's highest per-capita number of teriyaki shops.)

But I think it's instructive to remember that for a very long time, and until fairly recently, Washington was extremely… how can I put this.  "Wonder Bread" is the term that comes to mind. 

Christmas in Washington was printed in 1995, from recipes collected primarily from - one gets the feeling - elderly people.  It is an accidental treasury of recipes from the 1950s and even earlier.  Published by Golden West Publishers (which seems to be a vanity press located in Arizona), Christmas in Washington collects "Recipes, Tradition, and Folklore for the Holiday Season."