“Old Line Plate” Blogger to Visit Library

October 5th, 2018

eggs whisk and cookbookIt’s no wonder that cookbooks are one of the most highly checked out subjects at the library—food is incredibly important to our daily life, culture, and history. We attribute cookbooks with nourishment, comfort, and for creating events and memories.

Kara Mae Harris, originally from the Maryland suburbs outside of Washington, D.C., provides a remarkable service: archiving Maryland cookbooks. Initially, she started reading cookbooks because she was interested in food, but then started learning about the recipes unique to Maryland, and she was inspired to learn more about the foodways of the state.

On her blog, Old Line Plate, she documents her progress, tries out recipes, and interviews authors of recently published cookbooks. Some of her most recent posts talk about blackberry pie, gumbo, and Baltimore Peach Cake. She’s also mapped out the 512 recipes found in “Eat, Drink and Be Merry in Maryland” online, which you can view through her website.

On Friday, October 12, the Elkton Central Library will be hosting Harris for a special After Hours program, where she will present on her research and the history of Maryland through cookbooks. After her presentation, attendees will be able to find new cookbooks and other books to enjoy. Doors open at 6:15 PM, and the event starts at 6:30 PM.

We asked Harris a few questions:

What inspired you to start archiving cookbooks?
“I was inspired to start archiving cookbooks when I realized just how many Maryland cookbooks there are. Some of them have the same or related recipes so I wanted to compare and contrast.”

What’s the most surprising, or interesting, thing you’ve discovered since starting this project?
“The most surprising thing at first was how vague cookbooks were. Sometimes they have no measurements or cooking times at all. They’d assume that the cook already had some experience.”

Do you have a favorite recipe?
“Aside from anything with crab in it, some of my favorite recipes have been shrubs – a berry syrup made with vinegar, and shad roe – I love that it is so seasonal you can only get it a few weeks a year.

To learn more about Maryland’s history through cookbooks, be sure to stop by the Elkton Central Library on Friday, October 12 at 6:30 PM. Register for the Library After Hours program by calling 410-996-5600 x 481, or by visiting www.cecil.ebranch.info.


Tags: , , , , , ,


Uncover Your Family History

September 26th, 2016

Family

Did you know that if you go back 10 generations in your family tree, you have 1,024 direct-line ancestors? Ten generations may sound like a lot, but if you were born in 1950, ten generations may only bring you back to 1700 – a little over 300 years ago! Direct-line ancestors only include parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on, so each of those 1,024 people directly contributed to your existence.

For some, researching their family tree helps them connect with the past and make sense of where they fit in the scheme of history. For others, genealogy is a deeply emotional experience as it helps them understand where they came from, who they are, and why they do the things they do. Others find genealogy to be an invigorating game of detecting, piecing together clues from documents and family lore to figure out who, what, where, and when, sometimes even why!

If you’re like many, you know the Federal Census is filled with information, but it may seem too daunting to wade through thousands of hand-written records. I invite you to attend one of two sessions called “The Census: Genealogy Goldmine” where I will share tips, tricks and resources on how to scrutinize the data and elevate your family history research. This program will be held at 6pm on Tuesday, October 11 at the Rising Sun Branch and at 6:30pm on Tuesday, October 25 at the Chesapeake City Branch.

Whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned researcher, the 5th Annual Cecil County Genealogy Symposium on Saturday, November 12th is not to be missed. A detailed program of speakers and presenters is almost finalized, be sure to check our website for details.

*Please note, the 5th Annual Genealogy Symposium will be hosted at the Cecil County Government Administration Building, 200 Chesapeake Boulevard, Elkton.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,