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More Stories from the 'Hidden Kitchens' Hotline

The <I>Hidden Kitchens</I> hotline received hundreds of calls from listeners sharing their tales of fellowship through food. <b>Click on the telephone icons on the map to hear calls from around the country.</b>
The Hidden Kitchens hotline received hundreds of calls from listeners sharing their tales of fellowship through food. Click on the telephone icons on the map to hear calls from around the country.

As Jay Allison — curator of the "Quest for Hidden Kitchens" — says, "If there is a single unifying theme to the hours of phone messages we've received, it's not about food, but fellowship." We end the year by sharing some of the hundreds of messages that have come in to the Hidden Kitchens phone line.

Story Notes

Over the past six months, hundreds of you have called our Hidden Kitchens listener line. You inspired us, you made us weep, you made us laugh — you made us go to the hills of Kentucky to taste burgoo. We cannot thank you enough for jumping into this big, sprawling, national kitchen collaboration.

This week, we try to give back the gift you've given us — stories that capture the fellowship of food. Thank you for joining our fellowship of storytelling.

We'll be continuing in the coming year with occasional stories and several hour-long Hidden Kitchen specials, in collaboration with station KQED in San Francisco. We'll also bring you an hour of Lone Star kitchen stories in collaboration with KUT Austin, and more. More of your messages will be heard in the coming year.

Over the course of the series, we received many letters as well. "The George Foreman Grill" and "Forager Angelo Garro" generated the most mail — until "Milk Cow Blues," our report on one community's efforts to obtain raw milk and save a family farm in the process.

One letter in particular caught our attention — from listener Don Novello, a.k.a. "Father Guido Sarducci" of Saturday Night Live fame:

"Dear Sisters," Novello wrote. "Regarding your show 'Milk Cow Blues' — why didn't you have the guts to mention how they always put the oldest milk up front, and the freshest in the back? It's because they milk the older cows first, isn't it — is that the reason? Admit it! Thanks for your knowledge."

He added: "Also, I wonder why they put the day and month on the carton, but not the year. What are they trying to hide? Do they really think we can't tell?"

Novello also pondered the mysteries of half and half: "Why does it come in one carton, and not two?... Price-wise, would I be better off buying one of each and mixing them myself, or is it cheaper to buy it pre-mixed?"

Happy Holidays!

-- The Kitchen Sisters & Jay Allison

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) are producers of the duPont-Columbia Award-winning, NPR series, Hidden Kitchens, and two Peabody Award-winning NPR series, Lost & Found Sound and The Sonic Memorial Project. Hidden Kitchens, heard on Morning Edition, explores the world of secret, unexpected, below-the-radar cooking across America—how communities come together through food. The series inspired Hidden Kitchens: Stories, Recipes, and More from NPR's The Kitchen Sisters, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year that was also nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Writing on Food. The Hidden Kitchens audio book, narrated by Academy Award winner, Frances McDormand, received a 2006 Audie Award.