Ann Chandonnet's work of 'edible folk life' documents every sort of festival, work party, celebration, and sociable gathering in American history and even up to the present. It ought to inspire us to call up or text friends to get together to do a hard or tedious job, share effort, and then a meal. In fact, she includes a menu for 175 for a barn raising, and a smorgasbord for 500 in case you need some practical advice. And there are recipes, too, and the kind of documentation that warms the historian's heart. Written in a lively fashion with terrific nuggets of lore and fact like the song of lutefisk, Chandonnet's Barn Raisings and Cemetery Cleanings will keep you informed and well fed. -Sandra Oliver, food historian, blogger and journalist
Ann Chandonnet is a prize-winning food historian, poet and former journalist. After growing up on a farm in New England and spending more than 30 years in Alaska, she retired with her husband to Vale, North Carolina. Her hobbies include gardening and quilting. Previous titles include Gold Rush Grub (University of Alaska Press), Colonial Food (Shire) and Write Quick : War & a Woman's Life in Letters, 1835-1867.