Historical Notes on Montgomery County Foodways

I’ve been working on a cookbook titled Bread & Beauty, A Year in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. Along with interviewing farmers and agricultural advocates, attending events, and developing recipes based on Ag Reserve produce, I’ve had the great pleasure of researching in the Library of Congress. I’ve found some interesting bits of Montgomery’s food history, some of which is not appropriate for the book, but are too good to leave in the stacks.

From Home on the Canal, Elizabeth Kytle, 1983

Mary Colbert Mose grew up “boating” and recalls, “bean soup was the boatsman’s great meal. Bean soup and rivvels made with eggs. Fried chicken. Fish. Coffee. Anything at all. If we wanted to bake, we had our little baker—a regular oven.” She also recalls that when the boat arrived in Georgetown the children would be given a dime and head directly to Candy Kitchen on M Street where she had her first banana split. They’d buy blocks of taffy, licorice, and cough drops bought in boxes for a Christmas treat, and peanuts by the can. Back home they’d eat buckwheat cakes and butchered pigs to make pinehorst (scrapple).


About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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