Crescent Dragonwagon: Dragon With a Wagon, But Not a Full Moon

With today’s post, we welcome the wonderful Liz of DeLizious food services and the Food for Fun blog to our growing slate of columnists. You’ll like her. Not only is she a great chef, great writer, and the kind of person who puts a pun into the name of her business, but she’s been a long-time fan and we’ve been looking forward to this post ever since she expressed interest in writing for us nearly four weeks ago. Plus, with Liz joining us (and if you include Mailman), then we now have a gender-balanced cast of authors, which makes us kind of like the cast of Friends (Woohoo!  Always a dream of mine). She has spent the last month trying (in vain) to control expectations, so let’s give her a warm welcome as she joins the BoFN team! – Dave

Greetings and welcome to The Blog of Funny Names (in Food), a small village in the BoFN world that you know and love. Today we meet Ms. Crescent Dragonwagon. Living my food-centric life, I knew Dragonwagon as a cookbook author, but only for the BoFN team did I bother to dig deeper. And oh, what a treasure trove I found.

Crescent isn't mooning when she promotes her Cornbread Gospel cookbook. (Though the rolls in the red basket scare me a bit--do they have eyes?)

Crescent isn’t mooning when she promotes her Cornbread Gospel cookbook. (Though the rolls in the red basket scare me a bit–do they have eyes?)

Crescent Dragonwagon has authored seven cookbooks, including Passionate Vegetarian, Dairy Hollow House Cookbook, and The Cornbread Gospels. But there’s more, folks: She’s also written over 20 children’s books as well as poetry and novels, bringing her total of published works to over 50. Daughter to well-known authors Charlotte and Maurice Zolotow, she has an impressive writing pedigree.

CD is a fantabulously cool name for sure—one I would choose for just about any character were I writing sci fi or fantasy novels. It would also make a pretty cool gaming avatar. But knowing she’s a real person who writes books (rather than appears in them) makes a funny-name fan wonder where she got that crazy name.

The answer was easy to find: A quick search led me to the answer in her awesomely titled blog post, “Is that your real name”? I encourage you to read it yourself as Dragonwagon has a way with words (she’s an award-winning author, for gosh sakes), but will recap here.

When Dragonwagon married her first husband at age 16 (!), she and he decided to jointly choose a new last name. They also researched meanings for their birth-given first names and didn’t agree with what they learned. Says Dragonwagon:

His old first name, Mark, meant ‘the warrior’; we were anti-war. My old first name, Ellen, meant ‘the Queen’; we were anti-authoritarian. It was the ’60’s; we didn’t agree with much. He came up with the new first names for us: Crispin, for him, meaning ‘the curly-headed one’; Crescent, for me, meaning ‘the growing.’

The fire-breathing last name was chosen shortly before the wedding only because it was “completely frivolous.”

The Dragon(wagon) logo depicts an industrious dragon with excellent posture.

The Dragon(wagon) logo depicts an industrious dragon with excellent posture.

So it was: A new name for Ellen Zolotow. Though she and Crispin’s union went belly-up in 1973, Dragonwagon kept her new name after their divorce. Her dragon logo stands even today and she feels Crescent Dragonwagon is a most excellent name for a children’s book author. (Indeed!)

A second marriage to Ned Shank was much happier, though ended after 23 years at his death. Dragonwagon and Shank owned the Dairy Hollow House, an inn and restaurant in the Ozark Mountains. They also co-founded the non-profit Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow, which continues to thrive. Dragonwagon has since developed and still leads her Fearless Writing workshops, which proudly count Julia Child as alum. In addition to writing cookbooks, she contributes to food publications such as Relish, Bon Appetit, and Fine Cooking.

Dragonwagon is an immensely talented and exuberant writer who successfully spun a radical decision of her youth into a strong and defining piece of her character. This warrior has earned her awesome name.


About Liz

Owner of deLizious Food Communications. Projects include recipe development, editing, and formatting; food writing and editing; nutrition analysis; public speaking and cooking instruction. Past and present clients: General Mills, Green Giant Fresh, Hormel, Minnesota Beef Council, Minnesota Soybean, Minnesota Pork Producers, Norwood Promotional Products, Pillsbury, Tad Ware, and Weight Watchers Publishing. Mother of two young girls.
This entry was posted in funny names in food, Greatest hits and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Crescent Dragonwagon: Dragon With a Wagon, But Not a Full Moon

  1. amb says:

    Liz!! You’re here you’re here you’re here!! I’m so excited. And way to control expectations and then blow them out of the water – I see what you were doing there! 😉

    This was such a fun read, and your caption of the dragon(wagon) logo made me laugh out loud. Well done!!!

    • Liz says:

      wow–what a welcome–thanks, Amber:-) love that you (and Dave) think I was trying to control expectations, then blow them away. ‘Cause I’m really that devious. (bwa ha ha;-)) Thrilled you enjoyed the info. I loved seeing the mystery of her name unravel. Had thought she was a bit of a kook, but after getting to know her a bit more, am thinking she’s better adjusted than most. Glad to be here and glad to have made you laugh. Just returning the favor:-)

  2. josefkul says:

    I hope that chair is ergonomically appropriate. That dragon looked awfully large by comparison.

    • Liz says:

      I’m thinking the chair is probably NOT erg approp, as it doesn’t appear to give any upper back support. ?? And the dragon’s body does indeed seem to swallow it up. Though I don’t know details on dragon vertebrae so… Thanks for dropping in on CD!

  3. Liz says:

    Can I comment independently on my own post? (Of course I can:-)) Shout out to Dave for the fine welcome. Wow–that’s a lot of nice. I can do Friends–that was fun while it lasted. Which has me thinking, maybe you could spin your blog into a TV Pilot? With the ultimate goal being a movie version? How ’bout you think on that in your free time, when you’re not researching brain science and funny names and such.

    But thank you to you and The Blog of Funny Name guys (and gals:-))–yes, spelled it out this time–for being here and having me over. Please excuse me now while I go off in search of another funny food name…

    • amb says:

      Let’s see … you’re the chef of the group, so that makes you Monica … Dave is the scientist, so he’s Ross … Arto can rock a one liner like Chandler and I can’t shut up so I must be Rachel … which means our remaining esteemed authors have to fight it out for Phoebe and Joey’s spots? Does that sound about right? 😉

      • Liz says:

        Monica cleans and I don’t clean. Also, I am not neurotic (says me, others may disagree). Can we make slight personality changes? You seem a good fit for Rachel and I wouldn’t mind Dave for a brother. ??

        • Dave says:

          You’d be a cool sister, as long as you didn’t nag me. I promise I won’t touch the fine china plates, or lay a finger on anything 🙂

      • Dave says:

        Haha, this is exactly what I was hoping for when I posted that comment.

        Arto is totally a Chandler. Haha, I was hoping to get Richard Burke (Tom Selleck) since we have one extra person for each gender. He’s an MD and got to date Monica. Seems like a good life 🙂 Rob and Mark both like sports a lot, so they could be Joeys, but Rob is tall, dark haired and gentle like Ross so he could be Ross too. Mark is an east coast guy who is a big fan of all NY sports teams so maybe he’s Joey – a much smarter version of Joey. Thank heavens we don’t have a Gunther!

        Oh, P.S. If anyone nominates me for “Ugly Naked Guy,” I’m leaving the blogosphere forever! 🙂

        As for the ladies: that one’s trickier, especially since I haven’t met any of you in person (other than Mailman). However, I do think Amb as Rachel, Liz as Monica, and Fannie as Phoebe seems like a good fit. Mailman (who I just decided to goad to post more) could be Ursula (Phoebe’s twin sister) or maybe Carol (Ross’s ex-wife). She definitely couldn’t be Janice (though I did love Janice’s character).

        Haha, a fun little thought exercise 🙂

        • amb says:

          Now all I can think of is the episode where Chandler finds Monica’s secret closet and Joey is convinced that she’s keeping Richard in there: “Think about it. When was the last time you saw Richard?”

          If we’re bringing in secondary characters, perhaps Mailman could be Jill or Amy? Then she’d be related to ME (I’m so excited she’s coming back to post again!) And Pete was fun too, if we need another boy. Man, Monica got all the good boyfriends!

          • Dave says:

            Haha, I bow down in awe of your Friends knowledge! Heading off to the lab right now, but I’ll be thinking about this throughout the day, that’s for sure 🙂

      • Dave says:

        … on the other hand, Leslie (Arto’s wife) told me I was most like Ross, so it’s not the first time I’ve heard that. I just hope I’m not as whiny or awkward as Ross. Or such eligible divorce material 🙂 I guess if we allow slight character changes, then I’m willing to accept Ross. He’s not totally insufferable, and we do have some things in common 🙂 But honestly, what man worth his salt wouldn’t want to be Tom Selleck!?

    • Dave says:

      Hmm… Arto and I have thought about a book on more than one occasion, but I don’t think a TV show ever came up… that would be pretty awesome! Something to think about today…

      • Liz says:

        Wow–you guys have put a LOT of thought into this 😉 So many direx it could go. No nagging from me, Dave, about china plates or anything else. Remember–am not neurotic. I like good food and good times and along with both come broken plates, etc. Thinking I’m the only female on the planet who is NOT attracted to Tom Selleck (too hairy 0-:), so could I date someone else? (just don’t tell my husband–haha) Will leave the rest of the character assignments up to you all as I don’t know folks so well. Was a huge friends fan at the time though (I read the book, really, I did! AND I have a Friends cookbook–not making this up), so fun to read your comments.

        • Dave says:

          Haha, that’s totally fine. Monica ends up with Chandler, and Arto’s married too, so it could work. (That’s the kind of reasoning that allows shows like Friends to constantly have new content)

  4. Wow Liz, that was worth the wait. Loved it. One a separate note, friends would be very funny. And I could see myself falling into Pheobe’s shoes.

  5. paralaxvu says:

    Am, um, moony over your post;-)

  6. wdydfae says:

    Splendid blog! Wonderful post!

    When I was in Sacramento one summer, there was someone in the phonebook named Orange Moony.

    I’m sorry. That’s all I got.

    • wdydfae says:

      Unless you do stage names.

      • Liz says:

        Thanks! stage names do count, you know. I’ve seen these guys (and by “guys” I mean the BoFN team/crew/board/what-have-you) write up geographical locations and historical figures. Send your stage names in:-)

        • wdydfae says:

          My first message was after I thought “This is so cool! Too bad I don’t know any funny names like that!” And then the second post was after I realized “Wait a minute . . . Oh. My. G- !”

          The name that came to mind was none other than . . . Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, better known as just Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

          • Liz says:

            ah ha–tell us more:-)

          • wdydfae says:

            The Wikipedia entry is actually pretty informative:
            For the groundwork on the name a little more digging is needed but not much.

            She started as a Harajuku denizen, became a fashion blogger, then a model, then a designer, then a pop artist with millions watching her videos, then a (an?) ubiquitous tv presence, including appearances on tv commercials. She has been compared to Lady Gaga but it’s not apt. Gwen Stefani and Katy Perry are more plausible, plus, I think, a whole lot of Lewis Carroll. She’s only about 20. It’s like Twiggy meets Lewis Carroll meets Hello Kitty.

  7. oh god, the caption…
    I think I might be addicted to your blog

  8. Liz says:

    you’re awesome to say that–thanks! Though we must make a distinction here 😉 This blog belongs to a gang otherwise known as the Blog of Funny Name Guys. And I am proud to be a part of it for sure, but it is their blog, not mine and I can take credit for only a teeny tiny piece of the pie. You’re welcome to check out my foodforfun blog as well, but the captions will never be as interesting–haha. Seriously, though, thanks for being here. You rock!

  9. Liz says:

    Thank you, wdydfae! Awesome and funny. Cute little thing she is. Do you know the Doodlebops? (I do because I have a 6-year-old daughter). KPP looks like a Doodlebop. And you’re welcome Dave, Arto, Rob for sussing out yet another super cool name. 😉

    • Dave says:

      There’s no way a sentence featuring the word “Doodlebop” could ever be boring. On the topic of words that make you smile, I had a friend today post pictures of herself with baby turtles. I realized that not only are baby turtles possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, but even the term “baby turtle” makes you smile. It’d be interesting to see a study on what kind of effect certain types of sounds have. Arto’s a linguist, maybe he can do it.

  10. Arto says:

    Wow, what a name! I can’t believe I’d never heard of her before. Certainly would’ve remembered such a fantastic moniker. Nice job Liz and welcome to the fold!

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  16. Dave says:

    Reblogged this on The Blog of Funny Names and commented:

    This week’s Throwback Thursday post goes back to the beginning of this year when Liz first joined the team. Thus far, Crescent Dragonwagon is the only person profiled by the Blog of Funny Names to reach out to us after reading our post. Liz has a knack for people getting in touch with her for funny names-related business.

    • Liz says:

      I have Get in Touch written all over me–haha. Thanks, Dave 🙂 I still remember the thrill of having the post go over so well.

  17. Oh, happy days. Combining my favourite food writer with a positively EXCELLENT name. I shall go to bed a happy Becky 🙂

    • Liz says:

      And I am happy that you are happy, so the cycle is ON. Immensely flattered to be your “favourite food writer.” Woohoo! Hope you slept well.

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