Clementine Paddleford


Clem did....


Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, The Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate


This is my book, co-authored with Kelly Alexander, that was released on September 18, 2008, by Gotham Books.

Hometown Appetites made the 2009 Kansas Notable Book List

Read an Overview of the book at Culinate.

Order from:


Barnes and Noble

Or Buy It From Your Favorite Book Store!


Corrections to the book:

Back cover flap - Paddleford did not own her own airplane.  She always rented a Piper Cub to fly.

Page 125, Line 13 - Marcelle Duval should read Marcelle Laval

Page 262, Line 26 - Marcelle Duval should read Marcelle Laval 


Browse Clementine Paddleford's Papers at Kansas State University to find out more about this once famous person.


Or check-out the new Clementine web page at


                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Cynthia Harris and Lawrence Pollock, Friends of the KSU Libraries Book Sale, December 3,2008


 Cynthia Harris, Friends of the KSU Libraries Book Sale, December 3, 2008


Listen to co-author Kelly Alexander on Eat, Drink & Be Merry!

Read co-author Kelly Alexander's article in the New York Times, October 5, 2008.

 Hear co-author Kelly Alexander on KCRW radio, September 13, 2008.  Click on Clementine Paddleford Tribute.

Hear co-author Kelly Alexander on  the National Public Radion, Weekend Edition, Sunday, December 28, 2008.

Read co-author Kelly Alexander's  Hometown Appetites November 2002 article.


Schedule of events:

August 14, 2010 - Leonardville, KS, Hullabaloo

October 9, 2010 - Sunflower Book Festival, Osborne, KS

If you would like for me to visit your group and talk about Clementine Paddleford, please contact me via email at




Jennifer, Seattle Soup Line, February 19, 2009

Rekesha Spellman, Feminist Review, November 19, 2008

Belle Elving, Washington Post, October 26, 2008

Katie Volin, Kansas City Star, October 20, 2008

Sharon Dowell, The Oklahoman, October 15, 2008

Andrea Thompson, New Yorker September 19, 2008

Susan Wittig Albert, September 29, 2008,  Story Circle Book Reviews

 Esther Sung, September 23, 2008

 Jean Anderson cooks

 New York Post, September 14, 2008

Gourmet Magazine, October 2008

 Andrea Weigel, The News & Observer, October 1, 2008


Publishers Weekly -Nonfiction Reviews: Week of 7/21/2008 stated:

Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate

Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris, foreword by Coleman Andrews

Gotham, $27.50 (352p) ISBN 978-1-592-40389-9

"At long last, an enthusiastic, significant rehabilitation of Paddleford’s career as food writer from 1936 to 1966 at the New York Herald Tribune. Alexander, whose article on Paddleford for Saveur won the James Beard Journalism Award in 2002, and Harris, the archivist at Kansas State Univ., to which native Paddleford left her papers, happily resurrect Paddleford’s work. An indefatigable journalist, Paddleford broke with the staid home-economics primers of the era. With humble Midwest beginnings and a degree in industrial journalism, Paddleford set out for New York City to make a name for herself, and found that her energy and sheer prodigiousness opened doors at popular publications like Farm & Fireside, Christian Herald and This Week, the Tribune’s Sunday magazine. Influenced by the peripatetic culinary adventures of salesman Duncan Hines, Paddleford launched, in 1948, a series of columns in This Week called “How America Eats,” spotlighting regional cooks and their down-home specialties. With her trademark florid prose and historic touches, Paddleford became widely known, and her subsequent book, How America Eats (1960), became a bestseller. The authors make an upbeat case for reconsidering Paddleford’s achievement in this enjoyable read, and include a slew of her comfort recipes. (Sept.)"


KIRKUS REVIEW, August 1, 2008


Alexander, Kelly and Cynthia Harris

HOMETOWN APPETITES: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Foodwriter Who Chronicled How America Ate


Biography of the Kansas-born journalist who built an ahead-of-the curve career traveling the world to report on food and the people who cooked it.

Before Clementine Paddleford (1898–1967), food writing lacked the joy, whimsy and sophistication we now associate with it, contend the authors. Former Saveur editor Alexander and Kansas State University archivist Harris, an authority on the school’s Paddleford collection, believe that their subject’s primary goal was to address American home cooks’ concerns while enlivening the social history of the foods she tasted. To this end, she ventured onto a submarine and into Joan Crawford’s apartment, as well as the kitchens of countless homemakers known to her through written correspondence. The authors emulate Paddleford’s endeavor to connect cooking to the lives, traditions and personalities of real people. The biography doubles as a cookbook; it’s peppered with recipes tested for publication just as they were in Paddleford’s day, each tied to a moment in her career the same way she connected each recipe to a story. Alexander and Harris paint an affectionate portrait of the eccentric writer, an ebullient yet imposing individualist and charismatic adventurer. Undergoing a throat-cancer-induced tracheotomy at age 33, Paddleford covered the button she pressed to speak with a signature velvet choker necklace and decided to assume that her jarring voice was memorable rather than off-putting. In an era when far fewer women went to college or aspired to professional careers, the ingredients in her recipe for success were tireless enthusiasm, self-confidence, independence and ambition. She was completely herself with no apologies, rather than muffling her individuality to become more marketable. The authors cite Julia Child and Rachael Ray as Paddleford’s heirs.

Rich, flavorful and spirited, like its subject and the cuisines she chronicled.






 (Alexander's and Harris' Agent is Michael Psaltis at Regal Literary in New York City.  Alexander lives in North Carolina and Harris lives in Kansas.)




Here is a excerpt from Paddleford's article "Vermont's 1950 Maple Syrup Is Flown Here for Sale Today," published on April 14, 1950 in the New York Herald Tribune.

"'Giddyap, Nellie! Giddyap, Chubb!' The tractor driven by twelve-year-old Bobby Aldrich gave a gasoline snort. We made a run, a jump for the edge of the sledge, grabbed a firm hold on the sap-gathering tub and were off for our first sugar-on-snow party in the north hills. Shrieks and shouts from new-thawed voices. Loud barking from Doctor, the German police dog gone crazy by the excitement that had poured into the farmyard when the chartered bus from town dumped its load of party makers."


To use any of Paddleford's New York Herald Tribune articles as a reprint or to digitize for the web, you must get written permission from PARS International -- the Washington Post is actually the owner, but you have to go through PARS for permission.


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