Kitchen Cupboards #5: Jolene Handy, Time Travel Kitchen
Inside the neat and tidy cupboards of the professional baker baking her way through the 20th century.
Welcome to Kitchen Cupboards, a monthly ingredient column where, rather than exploring some of my favourite ingredients, I’m taking a peek into some of my favourite food writer, creators and producers kitchen cupboards to talk about which ingredients shape their everyday cooking.
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As I mentioned when I went (virtually) rooting around in’s pantry for Kitchen Cupboards back in November, one of the things I love the most about writing about food here on Substack is the sense of community and collaboration.
Longer term readers might remember last year when I joined up with a couple of writers I’d met on Substack for On translating British ingredients to American (and back again!) where I transcribed a frankly mad Google Doc a couple of us were working on trying to ring the changes between ingredient names in our two countries. Amongst my compatriots for that post was, the voice of experience behind one of my must-read newsletters where each month she takes us traveling back through the 20th century via the medium of vintage recipes, cookbooks and bakes, first from her 1927 Chicago apartment kitchen, and now from her 1970’s home. Obviously I wanted to see if her newly stocked cupboards after the move were as retro as her (frankly fascinating) food writing.
To help my put together a bio Jolene emailed me a rough CV which is as staggering as it is expansive: this professional baker (who also has a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Counseling Psychology) has done everything from working in the Gourmet Magazine executive dining room and testing James Beard award winning cookbooks to working for a non-profit designed to help local women get back into work. Now, she runs the social media for her brothers pasta restaurant, in Chicago, Torchio Pasta Bar, as well as dropping into my inbox every month with fascinating essays on the candle-lit Feast of St. Lucia, the legendary food illustrator Hilary Knight, and the Relish Tray, a popular Mid-Century cocktail party staple I feel will be a non-negotiable at any of mine.