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Named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, the Virgin Queen, Virginia was the longest settled of the original Thirteen Colonies. In 1607, more than a dozen years before the pilgrims arrived in southern Massachusetts, a fledgling community, known as Jamestown, was established in Virginia. The early going was hard, and the colony was nearly abandoned, but the early Virginians learned to adapt and assimilate native foods into their diet. Corn became a critical food, both in the form of cornbread and grits for the settlers and as fodder for their hogs. Native Americans taught early Virginians to smoke meats. Today, Virginia remains renowned for smoked Smithfield country hams. Other Virginia favorites include such Southern classics as biscuits, grits, and red-eye gravy, and plump Virginia peanuts. The oyster is Virginia’s official state shellfish; the brook trout, its official state fish. And Virginia’s wine industry, Thomas Jefferson would be thrilled to know, has finally caught fire. Virginia’s nickname, the Old Dominion, refers back obscurely to the 17th century, when the colony stood faithful as one of the king’s loyal dominions during the English Civil War.

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Featured Cook

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Hampton, Virginia, USA
Living In: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
About me:
I'm fifty-eight, love food, love the texture, smell, feel, everything about food. Have been cooking since Girl Scouts, around 12 yrs. old. My mom used to let me bake something once a week.

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Bobbi Simonsen 

Cooking Level: Beginning
Home Town: Waynesboro, Virginia, USA
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Cooking Level: Intermediate
Home Town: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Living In: Glen Allen, Virginia, USA
About me: Busy, hurried cook at home to four crazy kids, sweet and patient hubby, and our animals- three chickens, two kitties, and our first baby a lab named Bella. Working as a nurse…

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Newest Reviews

Whipped Pumpkin Pie

Reviewed on Nov. 27, 2014 by JARRIE   view full review
I just used pumpkin pie spice but had to add a lot more cinnamon to get a festive flavor (used...

Oven Pancakes

Reviewed on Nov. 27, 2014 by pomplemousse   view full review
Pretty good! Hubs said it was a bit weird but I'm not sure why. He thought it was a bit like...

Festive Fruity Cookies

Reviewed on Nov. 27, 2014 by pomplemousse   view full review
This is pretty much the same recipe as the jello pastel cookies, which I've made before but...

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