Food history nerd, living a mostly outdoors life in Greater Cascadia. Writing about a little bit of everything.

And, just like housework, I’m sick of it.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

A few years ago, I was working as a political campaign manager. This job included many moving parts: budgeting, canvassing, volunteer recruitment, and most importantly in this day and age, social media management. Social media is where the people are at, supposedly, but the reality is that most people hate…

Move over Baskin Robbins, there’s real variety in town

An exciting assortment of Kit Kats.

A few weeks ago, in a fit of COVID lockdown boredom, my husband ordered an assortment of Kit Kat candy bars from Japan. If you didn’t know, there are over 300 flavors of Kit Kats in Japan, and many are limited edition to keep up consumer interest. As an American…

Dangerous opportunities for Black men in 18th and 19th Century America

A whaling boat is dwarfed by the enormous whale in the foreground, men in a small boat. There is a schooner in the background
An etching showing the sheer scale of whales and whaling vessels. Many whalers were Black men.

During the years leading up to the Civil War, long-term job prospects for Free Black men were scarce in both the North and South. One could usually find work as a porter, servant, livestock tender, as well as general physical laborer.

Because these jobs were available to any unskilled worker…

Yod and his followers. Source: The Isis Aquarian Archives

Faith and place in an inconsistent world

Sun Worshippers. New-age cults. Mainstream mega-churches. Many of these groups were founded in the American West, and for good reason. The west has always been a place of escape and individualism, and religious freedoms were always part of the equation.

California and The Source

People’s Temple and Heaven’s Gate are some of the most…

Today’s the 33rd anniversary of my mum’s death. I have now lived longer than she did, and boy does it seem weird.

photo: Eileen Cowen

When you are a kid, the age of 40 seems so… old. Impossible that people can still do the things they want to do. Forty seems blandly middle…

Chestnuts popping from their protective burrs. source: the Genetic Literacy Project

Our songs sing their praise, our mythical holiday traditions include them in our reminisces. So, what really happened to all the chestnuts?

Imagine the perfect food. Some may envision beer or bread, but for Indigenous North American tribes and early Colonial immigrants, the perfect food was the chestnut. Stories tell of early American settlers feasting on the fruit of the “bread tree,” as well as document the various uses that they acquired…

being a natural redhead is more than just a hair color — it is a life identity.

“Red Sonja” portrayed by the decidedly un-ginger but incredible Brigitte Nielsen

On the day I was born, my father left for a 9 month tour on a Navy ship. Imagine, watching your child being born at 5:30 am and reporting to duty at 8am, leaving behind a newly postpartum wife and four children (the eldest being just 8 years old.) My…

King of the Hill, season 9, and reflections of a militarized society

King of the Hill, animated show on Fox

Picture this: November, 2004. The Iraq War had been raging for a year and a half. Operation Enduring Freedom was entering it’s fourth year, despite “Mission Accomplished” being infamously declared the previous year. 2004 is when the war crimes at Abu Ghraib were exposed, the year that Reagan died. The…

Eileen Cowen

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