Update: April 5th

Two updates in as many days?! What is this?!

In all seriousness, Kinsey and I are finally getting a little bit of traction concerning our project data which is nice. Nothing new since yesterday on the interviews, but there is finally data to work with!

This morning I finished manually copying in the eighty-eight books that make up the Southern Appalachian Community cookbook section. Of those, seventy-seven are specifically from North Carolina with the others ranging from West Virginia to Tennessee and Georgia. A full page on the website will be going up soon as to why we think that this sub-caegory of books is important and the best data for our project, but the bullet-list below should cover the major points:

  • The books in this part of the collection are primarily WNC community cookbooks which will allow us to focus on the recipes generated by communities in and around our area. This might just be a by-product of how Pam Allison collected the books, but we will not know until we can talk to Pam Allison.
  • All of the cookbooks have very common features: a local history of the area/group of people collecting the recipes, why they think this book is important, each recipe acknowledges who it was contributed by, and space in the back of the book for notes on recipes.
  • Most of the cookbooks were created with the dual purpose of sharing the community’s food with the community but also as a fundraiser project for some local group. (Quite possibly the group that put the book together in the first place).
  • The provenance contained includes notes from the person giving the book, inscriptions from the owner, or stains/general grubbiness from being used.
  • There is a surprising amount of overlap in which presses published the books.
  • A “by the community for the community” feel.

All of the above will be fully discussed and typed up soon, but for now Kinsey and I are going to focus on manipulating this data. One of the things that we definitely want to do is create a few maps comparing where the books were published and what community they were published for!

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