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Annual dinner will address 'What’s Cooking Along the Great Stage Road?'

Submitted by Marshall Adesman • Feb 24, 2020 at 4:30 PM

The 19th century gave us the telephone and telegraph, the internal combustion engine, four new Constitutional amendments, and the birth of professional baseball. It also gave us some interesting food, some of which we are still enjoying today.

Foods from that era will be explored and sampled when the Netherland Inn-Exchange Place Association hosts its annual dinner Sunday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m. at the Press Room on Roller Street (behind Food City’s Clinchfield Street location) in Kingsport.

The three sites that make up the association — the Netherland Inn, Exchange Place and Hammond House — will take guests on a guided gastronomic tour of the 19th century. Janet Gillenwater from the Inn will examine the very early years, when salt was being ferried down the Holston River from Saltville, Virginia. Heather Gilreath (assisted by Emily Myers and Megan Grisenti) from Exchange Place will look at the middle years, when far too many homes had meals cooked and served by slaves. Mary Fanslow from Hammond House will close the century with the Victorian era, when a meal could be enjoyed by the light of the new electric light bulb.

Each site will pass out yummy, bite-sized samples of treats fashionable in its time period, and recipes popular in all three eras will be featured as part of the colorful table settings.

There’ll also be live music. The Junior Apprentices Old-Time Band, made up exclusively of members of the Exchange Place’s youth program designed to teach students about history and restoration at Kingsport’s living history farm, will demonstrate its talent by playing “between courses” of the program.

An actual 21st century buffet meal will be provided by Food City. Though a small portion of the meeting is devoted to association business (including the election of officers), everyone is welcome and invited to attend. Reservations are required and must be received no later than Feb. 26. Contact Sara Selby at (423) 349-8372 or sarabselby@gmail.com or Marshall Adesman at (423) 357-5352 or msadesman@gmail.com. Tickets for the annual dinner are $20 per person.

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