Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good Morning, HAMerica!

From the rooter to the tooter... all things "early American" clearly started with the p-i-g. If you hear me oink soon on this cooking adventure, you'll know why!

On June 21st, the menu consisted of:

- pg. 152 "Unusual Stuffed Peppers" from The Boston Cooking School (pick: Amy Maguire)

- pg. 13 "Rebecca Motte's Mashed Parsnips" from Authentic Colonial Cookery (pick: Melissa Griffin Schuler)

Let me tell ya' - those were NOT the stuffed peppers my mom used to make. Unusual, indeed. Stuffed with ham, split peas, onions, egg, bread crumbs and a hearty serving of butter, these were the tastiest "vegetables" I've ever eaten. The most "unusual" part was that my four-year old actually ate them. Old soul, perhaps.

In 1879, Mary Lincoln started the "Boston Cooking School." In 1884 she published The Boston Cook Book. Many years later, the school gained fame by the subsequent principal, Fanny Farmer. Yep, that's the "Fanny Farmer" name behind the pancake mix or mac-n-cheese that you find in grocery stores today. Strange but true... I guess I wasn't the first to return to my roots!

Speaking of roots... the parsnips were a noble thought but not readily available. I substituted turnips, and the result was a delicious success. What's not to like in a ground root, cream and butter? Yes, Britt ate that too!

Great tasting and a great story. Rebecca Motte was a colonial heroine. Coming to America from England in the mid-1700's, she became a widow at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. In fact, the British drove her out of her mansion and renamed the digs, "Fort Motte." In order to get rid of her univited guests, she volunteered to burn down the estate. Who knew a parsnip could lead to such a bold move.

Another meal down. Hankerin' for a sweet now... stay tuned...

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