Author: Mike Costello

Black and white photo of a group of around fifty people stand along the riverbank, watching a baptism happening within its waters.

Remembering the River People

Looking back, four years after the 2014 Elk River chemical spill There’s an old-time method I use for preserving trout. It’s a simple process — coating fresh fillets with coarse salt until the moisture is withdrawn and the flesh stiffens. Prior to the 1920s, salting of red-bellied speckled brook trout was […]

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Photo of Russell and Betty Williams.

Jell-O Molds, Jell-O Rings, Jiggling All the Way

I’ll admit, for someone who cooks professionally, I don’t care much for following recipes. But for someone who seldom follows them, I sure have an affinity for collecting the old ones. Little discolored, badly-worn, musty-smelling notecards with hard-to-read cursive assemblages of ingredients, amounts and detailed instructions. Yeah, those — I’ll […]

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Tradition so Rich, so Fragile, so Sweet

Gone from most kitchen pantries, sorghum keeps connections strong in some rural communities. Just a few miles down a narrow, winding road from Buckhannon, the seat of Upshur County, West Virginia, a carved wooden sign welcomes visitors to Tallmansville. At first glance, there’s not much to the rural village of […]

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