Tag Archives: Cynthia Harris

Anthony Bourdain & Clementine Paddleford Chronicled How People Ate

*Disclaimer – Photo of Anthony Bourdain is from Google Images*

I was saddened to hear about the death of food writer Anthony Bourdain.  I enjoyed watching his television show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts UnknownHe traveled to places many didn’t go and he took his television viewers along on the trip.  Bourdain visited with the locals and ate local food.

This is the same thing Clementine Paddleford did, except she never had a television show.

Both Bourdain and Paddleford traveled where they wanted to go, talked to whomever they wanted to talk to, and tasted the food they wanted to eat, then they shared the stories with viewers and readers.

Anthony Bourdain attended the Culinary Institute of American, became a chef, and a food writer.  Clementine Paddleford had a degree in journalism.  She never attended a culinary school, was never a chef, but she was a well-known food writer.

Sadly, Anthony Bourdain committed suicide and it was rumored that Clementine Paddleford tried, but failed.  Let me say, there is no proof that Paddleford tried to commit suicide and family members said it was strictly a rumor.

What made Bourdain and Paddleford well-known?

They chronicled how people ate.










While I am pretty sure that someone is already thinking about or in the process of writing Anthony Bourdain’s biography, a biography of Clementine Paddleford has been written.  It is titled Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate (NY: Gotham), 2008.


Excerpt: From Chapter 2

“In the late summer of 1921, Warren G. Harding was in the White House, Allied forces occupied the Rhineland, the U. S. Congress had just passed a quota on immigration, and Adolf Hitler became head of the Nazi Party.  On the heels of World War I, isolationism was in and multiculturalism wasn’t even on the horizon.  For Clementine Paddleford, newly arrived in New York City and the proud renter of a room in a boarding house at 520 West 122nd Street, on Morningside Heights north of Columbia University, this meant facing one of Manhattan’s challenges and figuring out how to conquer it: the subway.

“There she was, in homemade outfits Jennie had lovingly stitched from patterns Paddleford had picked, summer-weight wool suits, blouses with big bows at the neck, a tote bag at her side loaded with pencils and pads, the picture of a career gal of the day, and a greenhorn at that.  At her first act of independence in the city, Paddleford enrolled in graduate-level-journalism courses at New York University, despite her proximity to Columbia.  These met three evenings a week and required a long subway trip.”


Both How America Eats and Hometown Appetites are filled with recipes.  One of my favorite summer beverages is from these books: Plumade.


6 small black plums, washed, pitted, and quartered

9 cups water

1/4 cup sugar

2, 2-inch cinnamon sticks

1 lemon rind, grated

3 lemons, juiced

3 oranges, juiced

In a large stockpot over medium-low heat, stew plums in water until very soft and the liquid is a deep rose color, about 15 minutes.  Strain juice, return to pot and add to it the sugar and cinnamon.  Heat gently until sugar is dissolved, two to three minutes.  Add grated lemon rind and cook three more minutes.  Strain again.  Stir in lemon and orange juice and serve in tall glasses with chipped ice.

Yields: 10 to 12 servings.


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Filed under Authors, Biography, Books, Cookbooks, Genre

“Hometown Appetites: She Served Up Americana (With a Side Dish of Quirk)”

Today is Clementine Paddleford’s birthday.  If she were alive today she would be 119 years old!


“Hometown Appetites: She Served Up Americana (With a Side Dish of Quirk)”
By: Benjamin Schmerler

Clementine Paddleford wrote, “We all have home-town appetites.  Every other person is a bundle of longing for the simplicities of good taste once enjoyed on the farm or in the home they left behind.”

Benjamin Schmerler of the New York Post wrote, “If the food writer Clementine Paddleford were alive today, she would have at least two Food Network shows (one devoted to cooking, a second to travel), a weekly newspaper column, a cookbook series and, of course, a blog.  Or so it is easy to imagine by reading Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris’s smartly drawn, surprising uplifting biography ‘Hometown Appetites'”.

Schmerler continues, “Thankfully, the authors share Paddleford’s eye for a good story, deftly documenting their subject’s well-deserved contributions to food journalism, but balancing them with biographical color.”



Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and be entered into a giveaway drawing. Giveaway ends, September 30.


Giving away a signed hardback copy of Hometown Appetites; a $20 Amazon Gift Card; and a paperback copy of A Flower for My Mother.



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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Books, Genre, Non-Fiction

Old Empty Houses

Old Empty Houses
By Cynthia Harris

I would love to tell my story
But I don’t know how,
My owners left me forlorn
And some burn me down.
Yet I have lots of stories to tell.
My original owners were proud,
The day the first foundation stone was laid.
They looked forward to having
A new roof over their head,
And to the family they had.
But now they’re gone
And other family members
Have abandoned me
And I’m just
Waiting for my death.

© 2009 by Cynthia Harris

Photography copyrighted to Joe Harris, 2009

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Filed under Authors, Genre, poetry

Happy Birthday to Me!

happy-birthdaybeautiful-hd-picToday’s my Birthday and I sent out invitations for others to join me, however, everyone seemed to be too busy so I am eating CAKE all by myself.

Like my invitation stated, I am promoting all genres today even though February is Romance month.

And since no one wanted to party…guess you all had to big of a night on Sunday night after the Super Bowl Game…I am partying by myself.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of one of the books below, subscribe to my newsletter before midnight (Feb. 7th).  I will choose the winner on Feb. 8th.


Take time to visit the authors below and sign up for their newsletters.



by Clementine Paddleford and Cynthia Harris

Stories Paddleford wrote about her childhood.

  • Hometown Appetites, The Story of
    Clementine Paddleford the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate

by Cynthia Harris and Kelly Alexander

You can only get this book in Paperback and Kindle, if you would like to purchase a hardcover, I will be happy to sell you a copy.

Website – http://www.sparkinganvil.com/cindy.html

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Cyn_Harris


  • The Yellow Hoods Series

by Adam Dreece


Twitter: @AdamDreece
Signed copies available at TheYellowHoods.com/Store



by Jason B. Ladd

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Awards, Books, Cookbooks, Fiction, Genre, Historical Fiction, Non-Fiction, Religious


Opt in to my Newsletter before noon on Saturday, December 13, 2014

at – http://www.cynharris.com/contact.html

in comment be sure to say “Opt in for newsletter”

and be entered to win a copy of my latest book

Love & Kisses: WWII Letters of George A. Campbell to his wife Bea

Drawing will take place on the afternoon of December 13, 2014 and winner will be notified as soon as possible afterward and will be asked for a mailing address.

6x9-cover copy



Filed under Authors, Books, Genre, Military, Non-Fiction

Wow! A huge LinkedIn Surprise…THANK YOU

I received a letter from LinkedIn this morning stating that “I have one of the top 10% most viewed @LinkedIn profiles for 2012.”

WOW!  That was a huge surprise.

Could it be my name “Cynthia Harris?”  I know that there are many people with the same name, so I must share this with them.

Today, I want to thank everyone who viewed my profile that sent me into the top 10% of the most viewed profiles on LinkedIn.    I wouldn’t be in this spot without you!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

As a special “Thank You”  I want to offer you a chance to win a signed hardcover copy of my book Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicles How America Ate or a Kindle copy – your choice.

For a chance to win do one of the following:

  • Tweet about this blog
  • Share this blog with your friends and family on your Facebook Page

After you do one (1) of the above, come back and put the link to your “share” the comment section.  By doing this I can verify that you actually shared the information.

Because it takes a few days for people to read through all their blog posts and because many, like me, read the blogs on the weekends, the offer for a chance to win a copy of my book will go until 5 p.m. Central Time, Tuesday, February 12, 2013.

Once again, thank you everyone!







Filed under Awards, Books, e-books, Non-Fiction

Mark Your Calendar!

Mark your calendar for February 8-10, 2013 for our online Winter Book Fair here on this blog and at Black Lilac Kitty Literary Services.

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Filed under Authors, Books, e-books

Happy 114th Birthday Clementine Paddleford!

Clementine loved desserts.  This is one of her favorites.  The recipe was published in How America Eats by Clementine Paddleford. (NY: Scribner’s and Son), 1960 and in Hometown Appetites by Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris (NY: Gotham), 2008

Grandmother Caroline Paddleford’s Marble Layer Cake

4 cups sifted cake flour — be sure to use “cake flour” not self-rising or regular flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs, separated

1-1/2 cups whole milk

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2-9 inch cake pans.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar thoroughly.  Add vanilla.  Beat in well-beaten yolks.  Add flour alternately with milk, beating until smooth after each addiction.  Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.

Divide batter in half.  To one half, add chocolate and stir in.  Put into layer pans, alternating spoonfuls of light and dark batters.  Gently drop the pans a few inches onto the counter to settle the batter.  Gently smooth tops of layers with spatula.  Bake 18 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the layer comes up dry.  Put layers together with fudge frosting and frost outside of cake.

Yield: 9-inch layer cake

Fudge Frosting

4-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup hot, freshly brewed coffee

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Sift confectioner’s sugar and cocoa together into a medium bowl.  Stir in butter, then coffee, then vanilla, mixing well with a wooden spoon after each addition until frosting is smooth.





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Filed under Authors, Holidays, Uncategorized

Clementine Paddleford Online Exhibit

I hope you enjoy this Clementine Paddleford online exhibit.

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Filed under Authors, Books

Kick Off of the 4th Anniversary Celebration of Hometown Appetites

4th Anniversary Celebration of Hometown Appetites (September 18, 2012 – September 27, 2012)

Four years ago today, Hometown Appetites, The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate was released by Gotham.

The book has two awards:

2009 Kansas Notable Book

2010 J. Donald Coffin Memorial Award

Check back tomorrow for more celebrating!



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Filed under Authors, Awards, Books