“It’s around the table and in the preparation of food that we learn
about ourselves and about the world.” Alice Waters
Just as any delicious dish comes into its own through a variety of exquisite ingredients, the digital humanities project "How to Cook a Raccoon: Histories of Kansas Recipe Collections" would not exist without the collaborative effort and support of a number of wonderful people and institutions.
First and foremost, I would like to thank the Riley County Historical Society and especially the amazing Cheryl Collins, Linda Glasgow, and Allana Saenger who granted us access to their fascinating archive and provided generous as well as expert guidance for recovering the context and agency of their cookbook collection. A big thank you goes out also to the Manhattan Public Library and Rhonna Hargett for repeatedly housing my class and offering an inspiring research workshop on ancestry.com. Very special thanks, of course, go to my adventurous and dedicated students—Brendan Clary, Dene Dryden, Megan Eppler, Joyce Friedel, Kyle Hampel, Michael McCosh, and Noor Mustafa—who adopted cookbooks from the Riley County Historical Society or family heirlooms and carefully explored their material records, historic foodways, local family histories and their larger American cultural contexts. Thank you for lending your articulate voices to the overlooked Kansas recipe collections and their important stories.
It is a pleasure, too, to acknowledge the Kansas State University’s College of Arts and Sciences that funded the project with three undergraduate research scholarships for Dene Dryden, Kyle, Hampel and Thomas Lachowsky. The College of Arts and Sciences also provided travel awards for Dene and Kyle to present "How to Cook a Raccoon" at the 11th Biennial Conference of the Society of Early Americanists in Eugene. Thank you! Dene and Kyle independently organized and filmed all Cooking by the Book recipe videos and did a wonderful job. Here thanks go also to Barbara Braga, Missy Schrader, Karen Rogers, and Angie Hageman, who opened to my students the professional kitchens at Wefald and Justin Hall, so that the videos could be shot in professional environments. Thanks also go to Steven Dandaneau, Director of the University Honors Program, whose interdisciplinary vision makes the honor classes a delightful experimental teaching platform. Most importantly, the online exhibition "How to Cook a Raccoon" would not exist without Thomas Lachowsky’s expertise, patience, and commitment. He built and filled this sturdy digital home for us—Thomas, thank you for letting us look so good! Dene Dryden, moreover, shot hundreds of images of the adopted cookbooks and singlehandedly conjured "How to Cook a Raccoon’s" visual swagger. Final thanks go to Anne Philips, who allotted an honors class to this course proposal and whose advocacy backed and encouraged the project.
Kansas State University