Ashley Strickland is an associate producer with CNN.com. She likes tackling English toffee, channeling summer with sunflower cheesecakes, sharing people-pleasin' pizza dip and green soup, cajoling recipes from athletes and studying up on food holidays.
There is a grace in the harmony of simple flavors and taking the time and care to introduce them to one another. I like to think it’s embodied in a perfect pound cake.
Take a moment to get to know the grand dame of Southern desserts.
Beth Howard pulled up to Newtown in her 24-foot-long camper, loaded with 240 apple pies.
She dished out pie to kids from Sandy Hook Elementary School, grieving parents and anyone who asked.
She describes herself as an attaché for grief, with her greatest gift being pie “made from love.” Most people simply call her "the pie lady."
“Pie is meant to be shared,” she said. “It’s meant to be given away.”
Have you ever considered the architecture of a coffee cup lid? Or the aerodynamics involved in a Pringles can? Did you know that microwaves were invented using technology developed during World War II?
We don’t often stop and think about the stories behind these items we see every day. A new exhibit at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, FOOD: Transforming the American Table, aims to illuminate America’s relationship with food by taking a look back at food history from 1950-2000.
Do you remember your favorite school lunchbox? It may have featured an image of your favorite cartoon character, band, movie or TV show. (Mine was a 1978 "Muppet Show" lunchbox with a Kermit the Frog thermos inside it.)
The lunchbox has been a key accessory for American schoolkids for more than 60 years, according to Peter Liebhold, a curator with the National Museum of American History. It's an American status symbol, too. "Today, if you travel to Target, Walmart or other back-to-school retailers, you will see kids and parents constructing their identity through lunchboxes (as well as clothes, backpacks and binders)," Liebhold noted in an e-mail.
The lunchbox as we know it can be traced back to 1935 when Geuder, Paeschke & Frey produced the first licensed character lunchbox with Mickey Mouse on it. But it wasn't until after World War II when the lunchbox entered its prime.
Read the full story: America's fascination with the school lunchbox
It was a few minutes before 11 a.m. and Bill Adams had two things on his mind: Brunswick stew and cracklin cornbread.
To satisfy his craving for meat stew and fried pig skin, this lifelong Georgia boy made the hour-long drive Tuesday from his home in Griffin to Harold’s Barbecue in south Atlanta. When he and his friends learned this was to be Harold’s last week in business, they made plans for a final pilgrimage.
“Just wanted to stop by for one last meal,” the longtime patron said as he waited in the restaurant’s dusty parking lot for doors to open. He wasn't alone; there were about a dozen others, including a pair of Georgia State Troopers.
“It’s inevitable. Everything changes. Nothing lasts forever,” he said. “We don’t like it but we can’t stop it.”
“Nooo! Not my beloved Twinkies!”
Upon recent news of Hostess Brands filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the internet rose up with a collective wailing and gnashing of teeth. That’s to be expected, but honestly, how many of the bereft can recall the last time they actually sank said dentition into a store-bought, cream-filled snack cake?
I can. It was 2008, and my colleague Rachel and I were photographing cross-sections of Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Tastykakes, Ring Dings and other classic commercially-baked goods for a feature. We knew we’d have no problem pawning off the still-wrapped extras to the hungry hordes who’d been eyeing our work all afternoon, but it seemed like a transgression against our childhoods just to toss the others into the trash uneaten.