The South’s Fruity History

This program was one year ago. Chicago Tribune has posted this event for Sunday, November 4th, 2018. You are welcome to enjoy the podcast for this program.

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Presented by Nancie McDermott,
Cookbook Author, Cooking Teacher, and confirmed Southern Belle

According to acclaimed cookbook author Nancie McDermott, there are a dozen iconic fruits which hold an historic and enduring place on the Southern table. A Southerner herself, Nancie is in Chicago to spread the gospel of these beloved fruits and share the delicious rituals that surround them so that we Northerners can bring them across the Mason-Dixon line to our tables. To further whet our appetites, Nancie has just published Fruit: A Savor The South Cookbook. With equal parts enthusiasm for history and gusto for easy-to-make recipes, the collection considers six wild and six cultivated fruits that thrive in the region’s long, hot growing season. They include: Blackberries, Cantaloupes, Damson Plums, Figs, Mayhaws, Muscadine and Scuppernong Grapes, Pawpaws, Peaches, Wild Persimmons, Quince, Strawberries, and Watermelon.

Nancie will provide a tasting of several recipes along with tips on making the most of fresh fruit all year long. Copies of Nancie’s book will be available for purchase and signing with profits used to fund the Culinary Historians of Chicago.

BIO: Nancie McDermott is a native North Carolinian who headed off to Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer in the late 1970’s, where she taught English as a Second Language. She returned to North Carolina and taught middle school English and social studies. Marriage took her to Southern California where a notice for “Food Writing #101” in UCLA’s extension program catalog caught her eye. It’s been food and stories ever since, with free lancing for newspapers and magazines, teaching cooking classes, and writing cookbooks.

Fruit: A Savor the South Cookbook is book #14. Nancie’s early work, focusing on Thai cuisine, reflects her time as a Peace Corps volunteer. More recently, she has explored iconic Southern dishes, including critically acclaimed books on “Southern Soups and Stews, “Southern Pies” and “Southern Cakes.”

Her husband’s job brought her family home to North Carolina in 1999, where she continues doing all the above plus blogging about food, creating online cooking classes for, and working on food and travel videos. Her website and blog are at

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Cost of the lecture program is $5, $3 for students and no charge for CHC members

To reserve, please e-mail your

Saturday, November 4, 2017
10 a.m. to noon
Imperial Towers Hospitality Suite, 2nd floor
4250 N. Marine Dr., Chicago, IL 60613

Via Public Transportation: #146 Bus stops directly in front of building
Parking: Free street parking available on Marine Dr. and all side streets
Two Pay lots (Spot Hero) on Clarendon (one block west of Marine Dr.)
Closest: 4251 N. Clarendon (corner of Junior Terrace—next to Brenneman School)
And 4149 N. Clarendon (behind Disney School)