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Ky. author tells all about the history of pantries

Unless you live in a Victorian home or farmhouse, you probably don't even think about the closet or shelving unit that holds your food. But the pantry, or buttery, is surrounded by lots of history, lore and nostalgia.

Catherine Seiberling Pond, who lives on a farm in Nancy, has written a book about the history of pantries in American homes. "It was written for people who love old kitchens, pantries and domestic history," Pond said. The Pantry — Its History and Modern Uses also is a guide for those looking to build a pantry or decorate an existing one. Pond is an architectural historian and writes a blog at www.InthePantry.blogspot.com. The book, $11.95, is available at www.CatherinePond.com.

Meat and greet

The Kentucky Beef Council is having a "Meat" Your Neighbor Educational Tour on Wednesday.

The tour leaves the Bourbon County Cooperative Extension Service office and travels to local farms for a look at grass-finished beef operations. The group will visit Colcord Farms, and the family-owned operations of Berle and Brenda Clay, John and Melody Sparks, and Austin and Brenda Paul. Lunch will be served at Auvergne Farm, and a panel discussion on beef value cuts will be held at the extension office after the tour.

The tour is free. Call Alison Smith at (859) 285-0204 or e-mail her at asmith@kycattle.org.

Culinary camp for teens

Sullivan University is holding its third annual culinary camp for high school students in June.

The event will be at the Lexington and Louisville campuses June 13 to 18. It's designed for high school juniors and seniors who wish to explore careers in the culinary industry. Participants will experience cooking tutorials and hands-on lessons with professional chefs. The cost is $475, or $650 with lodging. To register, go to www.sullivan.edu.The historic town of Washington, in Mason County, is holding its 23rd annual Chocolate Festival on April 17 and 18.

"Take a step back in time and walk the flagstone pathways where Simon Kenton, Daniel Boone, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston once walked," Phyllis Helphenstine said.

Entertainment includes a chocolate candy hunt, cloggers, musicians, crafts demonstrations, and a cruise-in. Chocolate vendors will have fudge, cookies, cakes and pies.

Contact Michael Mahaffey at (606) 759-7409 or thehenhouse@live.com, or go to www.washingtonky.com. Washington is four miles south of Maysville.

Literary meets culinary

The Oxford American, a national literary and cultural magazine, released its second-ever Southern Food issue in March. The first one was published in 2005.

The 2010 issue looks past nostalgia to a new horizon of Southern cuisine. Amid the South's changing economic and cultural landscapes, The OA's contributing writers reflect on past cooking traditions and take stock of new trends for a better understanding of our connection to food and the people and places that cultivate it, according to publisher Warwick Sabin.

Writers include food critic Todd Kliman, on the trail of Peter Chang, an elusive Chinese chef whose Szechuan dishes inspire adoration; and Atlanta culinary guru John Kessler, who writes about three African-American chefs who blend old and new traditions. Go to http://food.oxfordamerican.org.

New standard for olive oil

Heart-healthy benefits have made olive oil a staple in many kitchens, and now there's a way for people to identify olive oil that delivers the quality they expect.

The North American Olive Oil Association has launched a quality-control program to recognize and promote olive oils that meet the industry's standards of excellence. Oil that bears the certified quality seal must be tested to be sure it meets or exceeds the International Olive Council standard. Some products on the market are blended oils that claim to be an olive oil. To find out more, go to www.naooacertified.org.

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