Posted by Charity on May 16th, 2009

I have another blog called, All Things Hold Together, where I post about cooking, crafting, soap making, and other things near and dear to my heart.

One of the perks of that blog is that people sometimes send me books to review, and it’s a mighty fine perk if you ask me.

Currently, I am reviewing The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food — Before the National Highway System, Before Chain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, When the Nation’s Food Was Seasonal, Regional, and Traditional — From the Lost WPA Files, by Mark Kurlansky.

The book is a collection of essays, stories, and recipes written for “America Eats,” a project that was undertaken by the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal era program that employed out-of-work writers.  With the American entry into World War II, “America Eats” was never completed.

In The Food of a Younger Land, Kurlansky presents what he found to be the most interesting pieces from the “broad and rich mountain of copy” generated for the project, along with the history of the America Eats project and his own commentary.

I will let you know when my review is posted, if you are interested, but the reason I mention this here is because the book starts off with a couple of short sections on Vermont, that I found very interesting.  The text was written during a very different time, when Vermont was still a very agricultural-based state and the pretentious flatlanders had yet to settle here.

I thought you’d all get a kick out of the following quote.

As a rule Vermonters are not enthusiastic about salads or fish, favorites with the sophisticated, although Vermont gardens and Vermont lakes and streams offer a wealth of possibilities for both dishes.  Fancy foods and frothy things are not popular in the state, whose people go for plain, solid, substantial foodstuffs.

The Vermont recipes in the book are as charming as they are plain, solid, and substantial.  I cannot wait to try a few.