Category Archives: Autumn

Turkey talk

turkey-lectern-boynton

Turkey lectern at Boynton, St. Andrew’s Church, Yorkshire. William Strickland is said to have brought the first turkeys into England, and donated this lectern to his church.

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William Strickland’s Coat of Arms.    Yep, that’s a turkey on top.

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  •  Albert Flamens. Gallus indicus, Coq d’jnde (The Turkey-cock), from Thirteen Birds Fine Arts Museum San Francisco
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Delft tile – 1620

 

Twelfth Night:

SIR TOBY BELCH: Here’s an overwheening rogue!
FABIAN: O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him; how he jets under his advanced plumes!

turkey-brought-to-jahangir-from-goa-in-1612-ustad-mansur-l-brown

Turkey Brought To Jahangir From Goa In 1612

 

Thomas Tusser   Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, 1577.

 Good bread and good drinke, a good fier in the hall,

brawne, pudding and souse, and good mustard withall.

Beefe, mutton, and porke, shred pies of the best,

pig, veale, goose and capon, and turkey well drest ;

Cheese, apples and nuts, joly Carols to heare,

as then in the countrie is counted good cheare.

black_spanish_turkey_tom1

Norfolk or Spanish Black – the turkey Columbus brought back to Europe, probably, more or less….

“The Turkie, which is in New England a very large Bird, they breed twice or thrice in a year, if you would preserve the young chickens alive, you must give them no water, for if they come to have their fill of water they will drop away strangely, and you will never be able to rear any of them: they are excellent meat, especially a Turkey-Capon beyond that, for which eight shillings was given, their eggs are very wholesome and restore decayed nature exceedingly. But the French say they breed the leprosie, the Indesses make Coats of Turkie feathers woven for their children.”

john-josselyn-2-voyages

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Filed under Autumn, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, The 17th century, Wicked Wayback

National Indian Pudding Day!

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If there’s a mug, it MUST be a real holiday!

 

The ‘Indian’ in Indian Pudding is cornmeal – or Indian Meal

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The not-so pretty color of Indian Pudding is the molasses that sweetens it

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Many recipes call for sugar, too…add or not as your choice.

With the added spices it tastes a lot like gingerbread…

Ice cream on top is never a bad thing. In Charlemont MA there was a little place serving Indian Pudding with Pumpkin Ice Cream – genius!

One of the worse – and I do mean totally dreadful Indian Pudding recipes I have ever seen called for

  • a box of corn muffin mix
  • a box of instant butterscotch pudding

Do I need to say any more???????

Sure, pour milk over it and set it in a slow cooker for a couple of hours and it’ll sorta look like IP – but what about the

TASTE?

jiffycorn_muffin_mix

The corn muffins of my youth. Add blueberries or cranberries or just serve warm with butter and honey.

And now a link for a recipe…..

Slow Cooker Indian Pudding

 

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Filed under Autumn, New England

Duck season, Rabbit season

duck_rabbit_duck

 

 

 

duck-rabbit_illusion

1892 by Fliegende Blätter, a German humor magazine

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daffy-the-easter-bunny-bugs-bunny-and-daffy-duck-23501316-1024-768

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Stations of the Crust

A walk through the making of a pie.

Pastry Station

The beginning  and the end of pie…the crust, the dough, the very pie-ness of pie. Contrary to all sorts of nonsense, pie dough is easy. Easy as Pie.

Three ingredients – flour, fat, liquid. Infinite variations.Change the flour, change the liquid, change the fat…The basic of basic: a 3:2:1: ration of  flour:butter :water. In Ratio (Michael Ruhlman precise by weight measurements; or in more eyeballing, not quite so scientific throw together school (mine) :  2  1/2 cups flour, 2 sticks butter, 1/4-1/2 cups water. You might also want a teaspoon of salt (not quite so necessary if you’re using salted butter) and perhaps a spoonful of sugar, but if  you don’t know if you need sugar, DON’T PANIC, don’t fret – leave it out and after you eat this pie, know more, know better for the next pie.

Add the butter to the flour, rubbing it in, letting some of the pieces remain the size of pease.Sprinkle the 1/4  water on top, stir it together until it comes together in a ball. Add a little more water if it’s still too crumbly. Don’t over-mix – you don’t want to wake up and excite the gluten. When it holds together, divide in half and make into 2 disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour, or even a full day. This waiting time lets the water molecules mix with the flour molecule and all be evenly hydrated. These 2 disks are enough for a top and bottom crust.

This is the outer gold of the pie.

pie_crust

Apple Station

5-10 apples, depending on their size, how high a pie you want to make and how patient you are with peeling and coring and slicing.If you don’t like slices,you can chop the apples….but in the end you want them to fit on a fork with some crust and then fit into your mouth. Or roses….you can make roses from apples instead of slices or chunks….

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Martha Stewart Living Feb 2005 – there are YouTube videos galore about this, too.

Any apple can make an apple pie – what are you looking for in a pie? Old Farmer’s Almanac has an Apple GuideApple Guide if you don’t want to trust your own taste.You can also mix apples…really, it’s your pie.You can mix otehr fruit in, too, but then it isn’t an apple pie, it’s and apple and____pie. Apple make good company. Cranberries. Squash slices. Pears. Onions (caramelize them first). Sweet Potatoes. Regular Potatoes. Bacon. Cheddar Cheese. Etc.

Spice Station

Sugar and spice  and everything nice…

Sugar – white or brown? A little to enhance the other flavors or is it a flavor in an of itself? Maple sugar? Maple syrup will make it drippy….

Cinnamon – a little or a lot? Ginger? Nutmeg? Let your nose lead you…

Lemon juice is often added to keep the slices from browning – News alert : Cooking the apple is ALSO going to brown them, so add the sugar, add the spice and add the lemon juice if you like the taste.Or add a little of another juice. Apple juice/cider is good. Lemon juice is  very 20th century flavor in apple pie; a spoonful of lemon liquor would work, too. Grated orange peel is another option.  Caraway, dill seed or fennel seed add nice flavor. A spoonful of rosewater or orange flower water. Cinnamon and rum…lead with your nose!

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Paolo Antonio Barbieri. The Spice Shop – 1637

Rolling Station

Now the component pieces start to come together as a whole. Before you gather together the pie pan, the rolling pin, the dough and the filling, there’s another decision – Is this pie to be bakes now, or is it to be assembled and frozen to be baked later? If you want to bake the pie now – turn on the oven to 425°F. If later – get rolling!

Sprinkle a little flour on a clean flat surface. Unwrap one disk of dough. With a rolling pin

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One kind of rolling pin

 

roll one disk into a circle about 2 inches wider around then your pie pan. There are lots of rolling out videos and magazine hints. In the last few months both Christopher Kimball in his new magazine Milk Street has a new no-shrink dough

and – just about everyone else has a pie rolling video out. Apple Pie alone could entertain you on the internet for weeks on end…..

Roll out one disk, put it on the pie plate.

Roll out the other disk.

Put the Apple in the bottom crust. Dot with butter. Maybe sprinkle with sugar.

Put the top crust on.

Almost pie.

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The other kind of rolling pin

Crimping Station

In pie, crimping is good. It holds everything together.It can be pretty, too. Remember that that oven is heating up, and the longer the filling sits in unbaked crust, the soggier your bottom will be. And a little venting in the top. Even a pie has to let off some steam.

 

Baking Station

Now is the time to pass this pan, with apples and butter and flour  through heat, where it will be transformed. It’s not really pie until it comes out of the hot oven.

Start at 425°. After 10 or 15 minutes take a peak – is it browning up? Is it smelling good. A good pie crust is golden brown, not pasty palely white. Let it cook! Turn it down to 375° when you see color on the pastry, and let it continue baking until juices are bubbling.Let the fruit cook, too. 30-45 minutes – don’t rush it.

Cooling Station

If you REALLY want to eat pie hot – even though pie is not at all it’s best then – use spoons and dish it up like like a baked pudding. Forget all pretense of slices.

As it cools, contemplate – whipped cream, ice cream, cheddar cheese?

pie-science2

 

Henry Ward Beecher on Apple Pie

[B]lessed be the unknown person who invented the apple-pie! Did I know where the grave of that person was, methinks I would make a devout pilgrimage thither, and rear a monument over it that should mark the spot to the latest generations. Of all pies, of every name, the apple-pie is easily the first and chief.

Apple-Pie should be eaten while it is yet florescent, white or creamy yellow, with the merest drip of candied juice along the edges (as if the flavor were so good to itself that its own lips watered!), of a mild and modest warmth; the sugar suggesting jelly, yet not jellied; the morsels of apple neither dissolved, nor yet in original substance, but hanging, as it were, in a trance between the spirit and the flesh of applehood.

Not that apple is no longer apple! It, too, is transformed; and the final pie, though born of apple, sugar, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon, is unlike none of these, but the ideal of them all, refined, purified, and by fire fixed in blissful perfection.

Enjoy!

 

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We Gather Together

Fall is in the air, and it’s

 

Pie in the Sky season!

Community Servings prepares and delivers delicious, medically-tailored meals to 1,600 homebound individuals and families in 20 Massachusetts communities each year. For $30, the cost of a pie, we are able to feed a client for a week. As you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, please remember that a sick neighbor is also eating today, thanks to you!

Click the link and buy a pie! Pie in the Sky is part of Community Servings.

The South Shore Locovores

are planning the next Pie-Making Marathon for  November 17, 2016. This will be the third year community joins together to make pies for the Food Pantry to give away for Thanksgiving.If your in the the Greater Kingston (MA) area on the 17th, come and join the fun.

Pies are made with apples, and sugar, and spice, and love.

PAC TV video from last year….

and from the year before….

Making pie is….

well, easy as PIE

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Judgement Day

No, not THAT Judgement day –

PIE Contest judging day!!!!!

THIS Pie contest

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So much talent

Such mighty fine pies

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Pie Parade – I’m bringing up the rear with Alice Parker’s pie, since she – as Alfred Parker, is playing the piano and didn’t have a hand free. Tinky is in the hat, singing like a bird.

Like any good pie, this story has more than one slice…..

thelma-and-louise-car

Our car had a roof, so we were dry in the rain. And we had fall foliage. And no Brad Pitt.But we were driving towards PIE!

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice one – This year I did not go alone. Baker Tani wanted to go to taste pies, too. So early in the morning we left, driving out from coastal Plymouth to the Hills of Hawley. Three hours and Fall Foliage and maybe we got a little lost up the mountain later, we get there.There was also rain and Honey Dew coffee and Doughnuts and the Mohawk Trail and  Thelma and Louise-ishness. At least the part about 2 women on a road trip. Neither of us could remember much about the movie, just the image of  two women in a car, one with a scarf. And Brad Pitt.We remembered Brad Pitt.

 

thelma-louise-brad

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 2 – The judging of pies

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 3 – Ham and Bean Community lunch

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 4 – The entertainment after lunch and before the winners were announced. This including the singing of the town song…..

whoville-xmas-morning

There’s a certain Whos of Whoville  vibe about the town song

pie-lemon-merinque-slice Slice 5 – The Winners (there are no losers in PIE!) and the prizes

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 6 – The PIES

 

To be continued……..

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Filed under Autumn, New England, Pie

Oatober

Make that #Oatober….someone at Quaker Oats is pretty genius.

Could it be this guy??

quaker-1877

This is the first Quaker for Oats – trademarked in 1877. They’ve been working the genius marketing for a while.

And in 1891, Quaker put the first recipe on the back of the box – for Oatmeal Bread…A few years later Fannie Farmer had a Quaker Oats Bread in the Boston Cooking School Cookbook. Coincidence? I think not!

QUAKER OATS BREAD (1896)

Ingredients
2 cups boiling water.
1/2 cup molasses.
1/2 tablespoon salt.
1/2 yeast cake dissolved in
1/2 cup lukewarm water.
1 cup Quaker Rolled Oats.
4 3/4 cups flour.

Directions
Add boiling water to oats and let stand one hour; add molasses, salt, dissolved yeast cake, and flour; let rise, beat thoroughly, turn into buttered bread pans, let rise again, and bake.

By using one-half cup less flour, the dough is better suited for biscuits, but, being soft, is difficult to handle.

To make shaping of biscuits easy, take up mixture by spoonfuls, drop into plate of flour, and have palms of hands well covered with flour before attempting to shape.

The Boston Cooking School Cookbook
By Fannie Merritt Farmer (1896)pp.59-60.

This makes a pretty dense loaf…and pretty is the wrong word, too. But it makes great toast. Maryetta’s Oatmeal Bread is a lighter brighter oatmeal bread option.

My other oat adventure today was thanks to Martha Stewart.

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Martha Stewart, probably kicking herself for not coming up with Oatober.

In the September issue of Martha Stewart Living she had a tip and recipe for quick cooking steel cut oats.

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I eat oatmeal for breakfast pretty much every morning and have for years. I believe that oats truly brought my cholesterol levels down, down and fast, and frankly eating breakfast is pretty easy, pretty inexpensive and has far fewer side effects then most of those little pills…. not to mention more pleasant and easier to remember in the fog of morning. Oats are the base, the only choices I have to make are what to put in them. That choice I usually make at the market, and do the same breakie all week. Ah, blueberries and cinnamon! Oh, Parmesan and pepper!  Dropt egg and rooster sauce; cranberries and honey….The Gracious Pantry has some pretty inspired oatmeal toppings. Back to oats –

Steel cut out are nubbly and more textured then rolled outs.

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Extreme closeup of rolled oats – the roller goes over them and they get very very thin

 

bowl_of_dry_steel-cut_oats_with_full_spoon

Steel cut oats – are chopped – chunky – chewy

Steel cut oats take longer to cook and are not zippy quick or mindless in the morning. I do not want to spend my dawn’s early light time at the stove stirring porridge.There’s always a slow cooker option, but then I’d be making lots, and have to repack to re-heat…not easier.

BUT

soak them the night before, and then 5-10 minutes in the pan – easy peasy! I made enough for one – so 1/4 cup of steel cut oats, 1 cup water and a pinch of salt in my littlest sauce pan and pop the lid on. It sat on the stove overnight, so was there to greet me when I put the coffee on, and after the first cup I remembered why it was there….

lecreuset-pot

This look very much like my little yellow pot, which pretty much lives on top of my stove.It’s that kind of workhorse.

After the second cup, awake and ready to rejoin the world, I brought the oats and water and the pinch of salt to a boil. I then lowered the heat to a fairly active simmer and stirred it from time to time until the water was gone and it was just oaty goodness and no longer liquid. A tooth test – firm, some give, but not hard, not little pebbles. Done. Under 10 minutes, maybe 7 or 8.

Rolled oats take 5 minutes at 50% power in the microwave. The new directions on the box say 3 minutes at 100%, but this just make them pasty. Take the 2 extra minutes!

Martha eats her oatmeal with golden raisins and currants and a slash of low fat milk. Sweet and milky are not my cup of tea. I had some butter and a little cheddar cheese.

There is a really great oatmeal muffin recipe lurking in one of my cookbooks…apples or was it apple sauce? Fortunately, I have all of Oatober ahead of me to find it.

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My Bowl of Oatmeal was not a movie…and I not on speaking terms with my breakie.

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Filed under Autumn, Breakfast/Brunch, Pantry, Recipe

National Coffee Day

coffee-shop-17thc-london

I went to the Coffee Club and heard very good discourse… ~Samuel Pepys, diary, 1660 January 17th

Coffee beans in the shape of a coffee cup. Stock Photo

Coffee beans in the shape of a coffee cup. Stock Photo

A fig for partridges and quails,
ye dainties I know nothing of ye;
But on the highest mount in Wales
Would choose in peace to drink my coffee.
~Jonathon Swift

jean-baptiste-simeon-chardin_glass-of-water-and-coffee-pot_1760carnegie

      Chardin, Glass of Water and Coffee Pot, 1760, Carnegie Museum of Art

 

No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils.

~Henry Ward Beecher

coffee-pot-renoir

Coffee Pot -Pierre Auguste  Renoir

A cup of coffee — real coffee — home-browned, home ground, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream that never cheated, but was real cream from its birth, thick, tenderly yellow, perfectly sweet, neither lumpy nor frothing on the Java: such a cup of coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all. ~Henry Ward Beecher

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“There was a special Nolan idea about the coffee. It was their one great luxury. Mama made a big potful each morning and reheated it for dinner and supper and it got stronger as the day went on. It was an awful lot of water and very little coffee but mama put a lump of chicory in it which made it taste strong and bitter. Each one was allowed three cups a day with milk. Other times you could help yourself to a cup of black coffee anytime you felt like it. Sometimes when you had nothing at all and it was raining and you were alone in the flat, it was wonderful to know you could have something even though it was only a cup of black and bitter coffee.

Neeley and Francie loved coffee but seldom drank it. Today, as usual, Neeley let his coffee stand black and ate his condensed milk spread on bread. He sipped a little of the black coffee for the sake of formality. Mama poured out Francie’s coffee and put milk in it, even though she knew that the child wouldn’t drink it. From time to time, she’d smell the bitter sweetness of it. That was better than drinking it. At the end of the meal, it went down the sink

Mama had two sister, Sissy and Evy, who came to the flat often. Every time they saw the coffee thrown away, they gave mama a lecture about wasting things.

Mama explained: “Francie is entitled to one cup each meal like the rest. If it makes her feel better to throw it away than to drink it, all right. I think it’s good that people like us can waste something once in a while and get the feeling of how it would be to have lots of money and not have to worry about scrounging.

This queer point of view satisfied mama and pleased Francie. It was one of the links between the ground-down poor and the wasteful rich.  The girl felt that even if she had less than anybody in Williamsburg somehow she had more.”

treegrows-in-brook-1947pb

Popular Library ed. pp. 15-16

Harper edition published August 1943; 29 printings.

tree-grows-in-brooklyn-coffee

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Wallyburgers

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It started, as myths often do, in the dim, misty long ago times. Summer was ending, the days still hot but the nights were cooling, and school was beckoning. There was a fire, a charcoal grill fire. This was long after we had invented BBQ Cheetos, and we stood around the fire and talked of how good, how very good, how very much better than ordinary were burgers and dogs on a charcoal grill, and how we would miss that goodness through the winter, and why couldn’t there be charcoal grilling all year round, why must fire end with summer??????

Why couldn’t we make a place where we could have a charcoal fire all year long, where the burgers and dogs always taste like fire and we would call that place:

WALLYBURGER

And it was good.

And the story did not leave us with summer, but grew and changed and morphed over time.

When the youngest brother was still very young, we began to see him as the emblem of the Wallyburger,

the Wallyburger chef.

The story grew strong.

He would wear all white, like a superhero. A white cap and a white apron; white T shirt and white carpenter pants…..and as the story grew, the apron grew greasy. What was once shiny white became a little…less so.

Like Mel on Alice. Only more so.

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A little more grease, a little more scruff…

And Wallyburger Chef would have a 3 day growth of beard, even though he was really 3 years old, and the whole hipster scruffy face thing was decades in the future.

And

He would have a cigarette hanging out one side of his mouth, with a long ash that was just about to fall……

But because the burgers and dogs were

SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD

The people would come  anyway, and pay any price. That good.

 

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Time marching on

and years later, in front of the TV in the Ancestral Home, Dad gave the command.

 Invade.

That’s what Dad said as he was watched Phantom Gourmet.

phantom gourmet log

“The Walls should invade Wahlburgers

A little back story seems in order……

Dad – raised in Dorchester.

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The Neponset River as it runs through Lower Mills – this is where Nana is from

Wahlbergs – from Dorchester.

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Mark Wahlberg in Dorchester with reporter Lara Logan

Dad was a cop.

Donnie Wahlberg plays a cop in Blue Bloods

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Will Estes and Donnie Wahlberg in Blue Bloods

 

And so the plans for invasion began….the problem was that as Wahlburgers was being built ( we couldn’t invade until they were actually there) the various reports had the location sometimes in Hingham – the actual location – and sometimes in Boston, easier to get to, but out of town speak for a place in Massachusetts that isn’t Cape Cod or the Berkshires…..

hinghamburger

But Dad got sick right around the time that Wahlburgers opened in 2011, so he never got there.

This Spring, my Number One Son and his girlfriend and I all went to Hingham.

wahlb-ex

Jake knew the way because in a past job, he delivered the buns.Because Dorchester is all about the connections, even in generations removed.

wahlburgers-menu

The menu

I got the Thanksgiving Burger – natch.

 

wahlburgers20mar16

For desert I got the Apple Empanada. We forgot to take picture until dessert time.Too busy eating.

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SOOOO 

it wasn’t quite an invasion.

It was a good meal with a leisurely drive to and fro.

And we discussed if Dad would have gotten an O.F.D. (Originally From Dorchester)  or a Triple Decker…(more properly called a ‘Tree Decka’ from what I remember in Dorchester-ese). And since my son didn’t know the

Wallyburger

story….well. I guess that’s what this is for. Our family. Our story. Their burgers.

While the family is gathered round to remember and connect (and eat – eating is wonderful for the memory!)  we will not doubt be remembering  the Wallyburger chef. And Dad. XoX

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What the Fluff?

It’s almost September, time for

Labor Day Cookouts

Back to School

and

FLUFF FESTIVAL

Fluff Festival  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

The Fluff festival is held in Somerville, MA,  birthplace of Marshmallow Fluff

(and ME!)

This year the Festival is Saturday, September 24th , rain date the 25th.

And because it’s hip to be Square in Somerville, you’ll find the Fest at Union Square.

Go to the link, there are directions.

There is also a cooking contest.

Sweet!

Cooking Contest Registration

Does Marshmallow Fluff inspire you to create culinary works of art? Have you ever used Fluff as a secret ingredient? Is there a fabulous recipe featuring Fluff that’s been passed down in your family for generations? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we hope you’ll join this year’s What the Fluff? Cooking Contest!

Click here to register for the 2016 Cooking Contest! This year all participants are asked to pre-register for the Cooking Contest; no new entries will be accepted on the day of the festival. Entries will be accepted through September 19.

Award Categories

  • Best Youth Entry
  • Best Traditional Recipe
  • Most Creative Recipe
  • Grand Prize: Best Overall
grilled-fluffernutter-sandwich-720x480aimee seavey2016

Grilled Fluffernutter Sandwich Aimee Seavey – it’s a link if you need help with this

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