I don’t like to let this go too long! Especially since readership has been picking up!  We are now http://www.Afroculinaria.com!  We have a Facebook like button now _______________> 🙂

Happy Emancipation Maryland! I was present for the Emancipation Day celebration at Oakley Cabin here in Montgomery County, Maryla to celebrate the one hundred and forty seventh anniversary of the emancipation of Maryland’s enslaved.  More later with pictures of me cutting wood to follow! http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/Cultural_Resources_Stewardship/heritage/oakley_cabin.shtm

The garden is coming down. I may plant more crops out like another set of collards, kale, potatoes etc. but not really sure on how to do cold frames on the cheap.  If anybody has any advice please let me know what to do! I was thinking of doing something with wood and plastic, but was unsure if that was a stable way of making a frame work or if there were other tricks to making the frame freeze/frost proof.  Keep in mind I have raised beds.  I am not as pleased as I thought I would be with this years garden.  However I did eat handsomely at times from it–and its all good.  I am thankful for what as able to do with the raised beds.  Unfortunately my garden is getting overshadowed by trees that were not quite as big several years ago—so if I continue in the same spot next year, that will be a major issue….

So the past few weeks have been very productive–I had a wonderful dinner meeting with restaurateur Spike Gjerde and urban farmer Denzel Mitchell extraordinaire at Spike and Amy Gjerde’s restaurant Woodberry Kitchen in the Hampden section of Baltimore…you’ll be seeing a post about that…http://www.woodberrykitchen.com/

Spike and Denzel with Fish Pepper Hot Sauce in the making!

We will aslo be talking with Denzel about his efforts in growing and producing for Woodberry and the edible schoolyard project he’s helping to mold at one of the city’s premier charter schools.  Finally food people talking about how to make the world a better place!

Earlier that day I did a presentation at Harford Community College where Jane Howe and friends established a beautiful garden this spring and summer full of plants from the African American Heritage Seed Collection through D. Landreth Seed Company!  I saw okra, collards, cotton, West India (Angolan) burr gherkin, hibiscus/roselle/jamaica, fish peppers, Scotch bonnet peppers, Cherokee purple tomatoes and other good things all growing in abundance!  In the shadow of  a historic mansion on the campus built by enslaved people, the multi-section African American heritage garden made me feel proud that this work has had a positive influence bringing people together and healing the land on which such hardships took place.  I will have an interview with Jane forthcoming on Afroculinaria.

I’ll also be doing some cross-blogging on The Washington Gardeners’ site via my friend, the publisher of Washington Gardener, Kathy Jentz!  I may be re-publishing my interview with Kathy here on Afroculinaria as well.

Finally, my class at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello went well again this year at the Southern Exposure Heritage Harvest Festival and I’m quoted in the new Chosen Food exhibit premiering at the Jewish Museum of Maryland (http://www.jhsm.org/)and traveling across the country this time next year!  I will be doing a Koshersoul class at the museum at some point next spring! I will keep you updated!

You gotta wonder what Jefferson’s thinking now…. 🙂

I just returned from Pittsburgh from the Heinz History Center, where I met some great scholars of the history of slavery, Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh history and the Underground Railroad.  Next year at this time, the Heinz History Center Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate institution will have a long standing exhibit on The Underground Railroad and Pittsburgh (http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org) For my part I will be working on the botanical part of the freedom-seekers journey in conjunction with Charlotte Tancin the Librarian and Senior Research Scholar at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie-Mellon, the foodways of the enslaved and some aspects of enslaved/19th century African American folklife. I will be doing a presentation there next summer in their wonderful museum learning center kitchen!  While there, I went to Spoon–an amazing farm-to-table restaurant.  There will be a fuller posting about all of that as well!

Last but not least….the jewel in the crown I happened upon in New York; the salted caramel cupcake from Sprinkles…..Lord Have Mercy its back for November….HEY SPRINKLES PEOPLE—-IT NEEDS TO BE FOR THE DURATION OF A SEASON–FLEUR DE SEL CARAMEL CUPCAKES ARE INCREDIBLE —AND SPRINKLES HAS THE BEST!!!

See that badboy in the back right hand corner?  That’s my favorite cupcake on Earth….The salted caramel cupcake 🙂 Yay


If you want to book a presentation where I cook, teach, talk–please email me at Koshersoul@gmail.com.  I am one of the only traveling itinerant historic African American cooks around!  Your church group, school group, community organization, professional organization, etc. can benefit from a taste of history!  I do historic cooking demonstrations, historic dinners, team-building cooking lessons, and talks that link the environment, gardening, wildlife and genealogy to some of the themes I address in my work!

Paid presentations make this blog and the work that I do possible.   Also–check out that new handy dandy Paypal donation button!  That helps buy copies, buys books for more research, and keeps the lights on–all the little details that makes this all possible…You-y readers—people of all backgrounds, religions, colors, are absolutely necessary to making this work.  Don’t second guess this–my work is NOT supported by an institution nor is it directed by an institution.  As interesting as what I do can be this is not grant-supported work…so every little bit counts.  Our ancestors are counting on Me, and I’m counting on You The antics on Jersey Shore are a hobby; trying to save our children and keep our ancestors story alive is work…..

Depending on the size of the organization and its reach, I can adjust my fee/honorarium.  Local organizations–aka the Maryland suburbs of Washington D.C., Frederick, the Baltimore metropolitan area, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia to Fredericksburg–you guys have it great–no accommodations or other arrangements necessary—just the cost of gas and my fee!  Why should I go other places when I have o many people to reach right here to the tune of 6 million people plus people!


I am working out the kinks of doing an initial web-class on early African American foodways–across 10 weeks.   I need to figure out how to make it as exclusive as possible to a body of online students, and how to make it interactive enough to be truly engaging!  If you are interested, please feel free to email me at koshersoul@gmail.com.  The first class will be very affordable in order to work out the kinks, but I promise you, once its worked out, it the price will go up, so get in on it!  We are aiming for January-February of 2011.  Early registrations can be given as Kwanzaa gifts!  There will only be room for 40 individuals this first go…..There will be recipes, demonstrations, a reading lists, readings that I post, and a pdf class guide. 

Sales and Things:

(Orders may be placed by email for snail mail or through Paypal.)

Fighting Old Nep: The Foodways of Enslaved Afro-Marylanders 1634-1864 makes a wonderful gift this holiday season, especially for Kwanzaa!  Copies are 10$ each.  Please email me at koshersoul@gmail.com for further details!
I am making batches of my Antebellum Barbecue Rub for sale, each bottle is “hand crafted” not machine packaged, and sells for 10$ a bottle, it makes a great gift for barbecue lovers and goes on just about anything, but gives a tremendous historic flavor to low and slow cooked meat over the grill!

To all of you who are following this blog–thank you thank you thank you for keeping me going!

Blessings, Michael!

1 comment on “What’s New?

  1. Hey – Looks likea busy harvest season! I missed you at the Emancipation weekend as I stopped by Button Farm instead, next year I’ll try to make it over to the Oakley Cabin.


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