Chicago, Katherine Lambrecht, Vice President discussed on Outside the Loop Radio with Mike Stephen

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I also love talking about local culture and history so you put that all together and you get an organization called the culinary historians of Chicago this group has events and studies the history of food and drink in human cultures Katherine Lambrecht is the vice president of the culinary historians of Chicago be sure to check him out culinary historians dot org online and Catherine is here with us and outside the loop today hi Katherine how are you I'm fine how are you doing this morning well you know just right not a pandemic still great doing great all right so let's talk about the culinary historians of Chicago I think this is pretty cool so first of all let's explain what it is that you actually do tell us a little bit what color is Dorian started in the last twenty seven years old Bruce Craig was one of the founders the program was basically to have a place to talk about food and culture an early supporter was the Chicago history museum and so for many years we bet there until we basically grew out of that location and then we were at Kendall college for a good ten years until they've effectively move done and done and now were beating at various locations actually now we're meeting via zoom because we're so progressive just like everyone these days right so we're talking about food and culture explain to us why that is important because I think you know we think of food a lot of us jump to go to a restaurant and get a bite to eat maybe ordering takeout and culture sometimes we don't the media lead link with food but explain the significance between the two well first of all everybody can identify with food even people who don't have very much of interest do you still have to eat no matter what happens and so there's there's choices that we make that are kind of like influenced by your environment there are choices that we make because it's our family tradition your choices that we make because we don't really know why but we've seen other people do it so we follow along and so there's there's that aspect there's the there's always something to learn there's always something where you come into a meeting to go I don't I know everything about that and then you have an aha I didn't know that before and so people can walk in I remember my very first meeting with my catch up and I live in Highland Park it's a fifty mile round trip for me to go to a meeting and I'm like yeah I catch up I feel so silly and there were twelve people at that particular B. was the very first one I ever went to and he really got into a big discussion and I didn't associate catch up with with socks I did dissociated with you know with with the car and you know like with the with the Romans would eat I just associated with you know the not pace that they make in England it was like there's a whole lot of things going on about collection that isn't a red sauce in a bottle well that's right and that's that's kind of a cool thing when again you talk about history in general I think it's about just anything really how people might think of something that maybe we're so used to seeing every day and there is some history behind that thing and just like catch up there's a history behind that and a lot of us don't know that and we get that information there is that sort of light bulb that goes off or you move beyond the order called the Chicago land area and you think that everybody has an Italian beef and you find out they don't or you think you could go and find good pizza in many places you find out your doctor or your dog you also were also the first thing the product you're like Chicago's you gotta keep your mouth shut because they're gonna look at you go you're from Chicago arch but is that that is such a cool I think a really cool thing and we talk about culture and history and sort of that identification of who we are and how food sort of tells the story even something as I don't know an oculus is catch up can really tell the story of who we are as a people that's a great example of that well here's the funny thing about catch up you probably didn't realize it nor did I all the ketchup we eat have a slight burnt taste to it and I think it was like about fifteen twenty years ago Hines came up with a method for making catch up where it didn't get scorch of the pan people didn't like it because it didn't have that special taste they expect yup I never thought by the way I don't think in fourteen years of doing this program I've ever talked about catch up as much as I have today I'm alive right but it's an education but that again is an example of what you're all about at culinary historians of Chicago so you have these meetings and now they are online on zoom about things like catch up but I know you had a an in depth discussion about potatoes recently so that's how we do not channels as is potato field as prisons as prisons yes this goes back to World War two and this wasn't just the camera this would happen the specific examples related to a potato producing in of the country county but it was scattered all over the country so instead of there were World War two German prisoners but there were also some of the Japanese that were being you know entered and they were brought they were allowed to come and cultivate the fields and there were all sorts of like the fifth time in McEnery county the Japanese was more of a foreign person to them than the German POW's because there was a lot of German people that own the farms of the region so they were more relatively welcoming of the Germans than of the Japanese and it all had to do with the tables were a strategic crop and it was the Curtis candy company bought the field and oversaw the production of the potatoes at that location yeah it was about the tables can you imagine and that's all within the last six weeks we've had two programs on potatoes probably more than you thought about potatoes is what that looks like to catch up right now you don't get an education today words get education and I like it so we can go and we can participate so we can go on line and we can be part of these meetings for interested in some of the topics that you're doing at the culinary historians of Chicago absolutely at the moment we're doing we're doing so now we have a limit of a hundred people and I don't know I mean our email list several thousand I don't know how many people try to show up which I've already put out a pre emptive strike it said you can't get on go to Facebook will have it running on their mac I'm good and you and we also do podcast we've been doing podcast about programs since two thousand eight so a lot of our stuff is available just to listen to whatever you feel like it so there's a lot of opportunity if you are interested in some of the events that's about culinary historians of Chicago have coming up and again this is on the website you can go to culinary historians dot org and I I have to ask you Catherine about the current pandemic time that we're living in right now you know we think about how this impacts our society and there is a lot of conversation about that but from the lens of a culinary historian what what's this impact Bennett when we talk about the covert nineteen pandemic it and and food and culture and in that sense well okay I'm going to I'll look at it from my personal view because only you know what I don't have the big picture yet sure but I can tell you this it's been an excellent opportunity to clear the shelves of oddball ingredients that have been sitting there for a long time where I had this I'll get to it some day I'm getting to it now she like the I found I had a jar of lotus a can of lotus seeds well eleven that I mistook and then I saw I had a can of lotus roots I thought this to be a mistake well it turns out I have a kid each one of lotus root one of lotus seeds so both of them are gonna get cooked up this week one of the lotus root can be made many different ways like a you know like a stir fry or something like that lotus seeds I'm going to probably make a door curry I never thought about lotus seeds you talk about the car you know to catch up with lotus seeds I've spent more time thinking about lotus seeds of the last few days trying to figure out what to do but it's really good opportunity to kinda like stretch my abilities you know it's like I have mushrooms I have court bill of the house so I made polenta and put mushrooms on top it was a really good job and I got it I it it's now to the point where I took a picture of everything and then I talk about how I got to it so I posted that on Facebook I also posted a L. T. H. forum dot com which is another website I interact with it is great because I go and make a pizza mix you know five other people are making the same recipe I coasted control kind of influencing each other yeah I'm trying to kind of keep us let's face it everything's the same the only thing that's different is what we have for dinner that's that's the only variable in fact I've even baking recipes to avoid having leftovers because the real pleasure the date is that exercise of cooking yeah I totally agree I I look forward to the end of the week whatever that is because all the days but on the other you have it at that I just know I have to do the show on Saturdays that's all that's that's everything revolves around that and so I I try to do a big cook cook out cook something on Saturdays I really look forward to that I think you're right we're all sort of United in that sense and maybe we are influencing each other with recipes and discussion and again we should check out culinary historians dot org because the discussion about all of this continues and it's fascinating and it's open.

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