072 – Virginia Festival of the Book, Sheri Castle, Rhubarb, Ronni Lundy, Victuals


Dessert Work. With Sheri Castle and Ronni Lundy at The Virginia Festival of the Book. Welcome to my latest episode! Were you a bad food enthusiast? Did you miss “Save Room for Dessert! Cookbooks With A Sweet Tooth!” at the Virginia Festival of the Book? No worries, Edacious taped it for you! It might be May, but we’re still celebrating. In this exclusive panel moderated by yours truly.

Sheri Castle was born in Boone, North Carolina. The Queen of Hustle, Sheri is a professional food writer, culinary instructor, and public speaker known for melding storytelling, humor, and culinary expertise. She wrote her first recipe at 4 years old, mailed it to a TV show, and never looked back. She’s written three books, been in countless magazines, and appeared on Vivian Howard’s show, A Chef’s Life. Her books have been IACP Award finalists, won the SIBA award, and been mentioned in the New York Times and Washington Post. Nigella Lawson (yes THAT Nigella) counts herself a fan and has made recipes from her latest book, Rhubarb, on her website.

“We always had rhubarb…I love it raw…I can remember when I was little going up to the garden and snapping off stalks…whereas my grandmother would sprinkle salt on hers…I would take a cup or a handful of Tang…and dip rhubarb in the Tang and eat it that way.” —Sheri Castle

“That is a characteristic of Appalachian food and Southern food in general. It’s very agrarian, it’s very resourceful, and it is knowing how to make the best of what you have. And sometimes what you have is modest and sometimes it’s glorious but it’s knowing how to do right by ingredients and give them regard and dignity.” —Sheri Castle

Ronni Lundy was born in Corbin, Kentucky and has spent much of her life chronicling the people of the hillbilly diaspora as a journalist and cookbook author. Her book Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken was recognized by Gourmet magazine as one of six essential books on Southern cooking. In 2009, Lundy received the Southern Foodways Alliance Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award. She has contributed to Eating Well, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Esquire, among many others. Her latest book, Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, With Recipes won the IACP 2017 American Cookbook of the Year, as well as two 2017 James Beard Foundation awards for American Cookbook of the Year and Book of the Year. Food historian and heirloom seed saver Bill Best called Victuals, “The 67th Book of the Bible!” Victuals explores the foodways of Appalachia, the most bio-diverse region in the world, including many located right here in Virginia.

“Victuals is for me not just a story about food and sustainable foodways but it’s also a way to illumine the people of this region in ways that people are often surprised by.” —Ronni Lundy

Both ladies have been past podcast guests and I consider them dear friends. In this talk, we explore rhubarb, its uses in dessert as well as in savory dishes, and Appalachian foodways and its history of preservation, resourcefulness, and sustainability, including desserts that most folks have never heard of like apple stack cake and caramel cake. As well as a host of other things including how social media has impacted recipes for both good and ill. Yes, we got off topic, but so what? All good conversations do. Enjoy these multiple-award-winning authors, and thanks so much to everyone who came out to listen. Cheers!

“Because of social media and food tv…most people now assume a recipe to be a visual thing more than it is a written thing. And that can be both good and really burdensome sometimes too.” —Sheri Castle

“I used to get asked do you actually test your recipes and I used to find that an offensive question…although now there are books that are going out where people are not testing recipes which blows my mind!” —Ronni Lundy

SHOW NOTES – Links to resources talked about during the podcast:

  • Sheri Castle was on the podcast before! Give a listen!
  • Ronni Lundy appeared on this podcast a while back. Give a listen!
  • Trampoline This graphic novel by Robert Gipe is the most creative thing I’ve read in years. A young girl grows up in Appalachia, unwittingly becoming an environmental spokesperson for her region all the while getting into trouble she can’t seem to get out of. Poignant, thoughtful, and hysterically funny. Gipe is a great new voice. I expect great things from him in the future. Click here to listen to an excerpt!
  • In Praise of Ugly Food Kat Kinsman ode to ugly edibles appears in the 2016 Best of Food Writing anthology.
  • Flora Restaurant Oaxacan cuisine with a great tequila selection. In Richmond. Thank you so much to Michele Jones and Jason Alley who gave an incredibly generous amount to my recent Big Love Birthday campaign. Their donation helped bring us over the top! Big Love guys!
  • Help Scotty Recover – My best friend has Stage 3B Colorectal cancer. Bills are piling up. He can’t work. Can you help? Share! Donate! No amount is too small. Thank you and BIG LOVE to everyone who donated and shared the Big Love Bake Sale and Big Love Birthday! Next up? Tee shirts! Look for them soon.
  • Subscribe to This Podcast. Stay Edacious! – Come on, after this episode? You know you want to. Subscribers get new episodes instantly, while non-subscribers have to wait a few hours or days depending on the iTunes gods. Never miss a chance to be edacious!
  • Subscribe to Edacious News – Never miss a food event in our area! Learn about regional and national food stories so you can stay edacious!

This episode is sponsored by Teej.fm and listeners like you who donated their support at Patreon, who wants every creator in the world to achieve a sustainable income. Thank you.


Leave your comment

three × 4 =