Travel Log

  • Day 5 of Jacob's Journey: Greater With a Grater

    Posted on May 9, 2012

    May 2, 1819


    Along the road out of Hagerstown, I met a group of men gathered around a campfire, and they invited me to stay for dinner. The cookie's name was Nathaniel Morgan, and I dare say he was the finest cook I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. He was a fubsy old coot, knee high to a grasshopper, with an evil eye and half an ear. But what he lacked in ears and demeanor he made up for in culinary mastery. He claimed to have learned everything about cookery between the start of Texas Revolution and the end of the Spanish-American War, picking up tips from survivalist soldiers and renowned chefs alike. After polishing off his pork, beans and cornbread he told me over a round of tequila, “Bromwell you old sonofagun, if you wanna be great, you gotta dance like you’ve got tabasco pumpin’ in yer veins. But if you wanna be greater... get a grater.” I will never forget his sage words.

    Now I know what to name the grater I bought along for the trip: Morgan’s Famous Grater. It's made the same way it was nearly two-hundred years ago. It features fine, medium, and coarse grating surfaces, plus a slicing surface, making you master of cheese and produce. You can request it finished in either stainless steel or original tin (my favorite, since it stays sharper longer).

    Next time you’re in the kitchen with inferior cookware, just think: Can my kitchen get any greater? Now it can, with Morgan’s Famous Grater.

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  • Day 4 of Jacob's Journey: Family Matters

    Posted on May 2, 2012

    May 1, 1819

    Several years ago, my grandpapa told me, "Tis' a fine journey that brings on a man's fine appetite." Grandpappy was correct: when I arrived at my cousin Nathan's homestead late today, my stomach was dreadfully a-growlin'. Fortunately, my cousin's wife Jo had a bang-up feast in mind for us all: roast chicken, potatoes. carrots...and my favorite, apple pie!

    I showed Jo the cooking utensils I had stowed away in my saddlebag, to help with preparation of the pie. She marveled at the sifter that made her flour for the crust as smooth as silk, but in particular she took a liking to the grater, which she used to shred cheese over our warm slices of cinnamon goodness. "By Jove, Jacob, this grater is going to be coveted by everyone from the Atlantic to the Missouri Territory!"

    After the meal, I pulled out the popcorn popper and I showed Nathan and Jo's little ones, John and Martha, how the popper works over the fire to turn out fluffy kernels, and we shared the loot while exchanging ghost stories that made the children shriek with glee.

    It made me think about how there are few things in life better than gathering with family and loved ones. I long to share mine with a good lady once I settle down in Cincinnati and start my business, but in the meantime I give good grace for having loyal and helpful family members in my life. I think some of my products are going to help bring families together.

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  • Day 1 of Jacob's Journey: A Single Step

    Posted on April 27, 2012

    Map of the United States, 1819. Source:

    April 27, 1819

    An old sayeth by the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu tells us that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Today I--or rather, my horse, Pioneer and I--took the first step from Baltimore, Maryland to Cincinnati, Ohio. Why the journey to a city with a funny name? I have my reasons. First, I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, which is very close to Cincinnati and where most of my family folk still live. Secondly, I long to see our new nation's land opening up out West and believe it's the perfect place for an entrepreneurial man such as myself to lay down some new roots and make a living.

    Among the goods tucked into my saddlebags you'll find a change or two of clothing, enough minted coins to get me to at least halfway across to Ohio, a shaving razor, dried jerky, and a flask of whiskey--standard traveling fare. But my most prized possessions are prototypes of household goods that I believe will make this hard way of living on American land a little easier for most folks: a contraption for making flour fine, another for grinding cheese, and yet another invention that turns corn into tasty popped kernels.

    This morning I bade goodbye to friends, neighbors, and Baltimore, the city that was my companion for seven years after the War of 1812 ended. Pioneer and I are on our way to my cousin Nathan's cabin in Hagerstown, Maryland, just near the Pennsylvania line. Here's hoping we'll be both greeted with some good grub, hospitality--and a hot bath!

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