Category Archives: New England

New England Style Poutine

I’m talking about chowder fries.

Why have I never heard of these before?

darling-oyster-bar-1_2000x1500

Chowder over French Fries – New England Poutine

Saveur had a story….just last March.

Thick chowder is key – as are hot and crisp Fries. Frozen will not do. This might be my Summer go out for dish.

The spud on spud left my Irish heart happy.

Here’s what may be the first chowder recipe in print.

Boston Evening Post on September 23,1751.

First lay some Onions to keep the Pork from burning
Because in Chouder there can be not turning;
Then lay some Pork in slices very thing,
Thus you in Chouder always must begin.
Next lay some Fish cut crossways very nice
Then season well with Pepper, Salt, and Spice;
Parsley, Sweet-Marjoram, Savory, and Thyme,
Then Biscuit next which must be soak’d some Time.
Thus your Foundation laid, you will be able
To raise a Chouder, high as Tower of Babel;
For by repeating o’er the Same again,
You may make a Chouder for a thousand men.
Last a Bottle of Claret, with Water eno; to smother ’em,
You’ll have a Mess which some call Omnium gather ’em.

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Filed under Eating, New England, Recipe, Summer

Spenser for Dinner

So I ended up with a copy of Robert B. Parker’s Bad Business.

RBP Bad Business

Just the kind of read to unwind a busy work week on the Friday of my weekend.

(That sounds rather convoluted, but since week-ends are considered Saturday and Sunday, but I work Saturday, so my not at work days are Sunday and Monday….which makes Tuesday my Monday and Thursday my hump day and Saturday my Friday. So, SATURDAY, I read this book on Saturday night.)

And there were several cooking/eating/ food scenes in the book, because that’s the way Spenser is and that’s how Robert B. Parker writes.  I remembered, back in the day when  the books had been a TV series called Spenser for Hire

Spenser_For_Hire_title_screen

Robert Urich was Spenser

Robert U spes leatehr

and a pretty good stand in for Robert B. Parker

RBP with dog

Complete aside: Season 3 – that was 1987  –  they filmed a Thanksgiving episode. Which include scenes shot at Plimoth Plantation.

Spenser season 3

All three seasons are available on DVD

Season 3, Episode 7 Thanksgiving

 First Aired: November 29, 1987

Spenser takes Susan to Plymouth for Thanksgiving and runs into an old Army buddy whose down on his luck. When his friend, Mike Kaminsky, is accused of murdering the young wife of an elderly philanthropist, Spenser tries to prove him innocent. As Susan looks after the Kaminsky family, Spenser and Hawk search out the shifty background of the murder victim, and deal with the controversy conscious step-son. Attempts on Spenser’s life ultimately lead he and Hawk to the those responsible.

Someone (actually, quite a few of us) got to come in early to be pilgrim ‘extras’. Should you watch said episode and see a pilgrim with a dead goose?

MOI.

But my 15 seconds of fame is a story for another day.

Since the series was called Spenser for Hire, I thought the companion cookbook should be called

Spenser for Dinner

Because of course, there should be a cookbook.

Back to Bad Business.

At the very beginning of Chapter 46, Vinnie is cooking up sausage and vinegar peppers…..

green-sliced-vinegar-peppers-32oz-jar.jpg

But any pickled pepper could work in this…

So I checked out the North End Italian Cookbook, and sure enough – sausage and vinegar peppers with potatoes.

sausage vinegar pepper FOOD

Sausage and Vinegar Peppers and Potatoes

2 # Italian sausage

1/4 cup olive oil

6 large potatoes, peeled, sliced thick and wiped dry

6-8 vinegar peppers

  1. Brown the sausages in the oil. Remove from the pan.

  2. Add the potatoes to the oil , turning till cooked and crispy.

  3. Add the sausage back and then tear the peppers on top, letting the juices fall in with the meat and potatoes. There will be steam when he vinegar hits the pan, so be careful.

  4. Turn off heat, cover  and and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

  5. The note in the cookbook says hold for a second day, but I’ve made some stellar fritatta…..just saying.

  6. adapted from pages 103-4

North End Ital cb mine

For Italian food from Boston, any one of the editions of North End Italian Cook Book will be your friend.

SPenser for Hire - Hawk and spenser

Did I mention Avery Brooks? He was in the series, too.

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Filed under Books, Italian, New England, Supper, The 1980's, TV shows

Grapenuts Pudding

 

While brewing a little beer at work recently…..

All in the name of research and history….

We had some malted barley and malted wheat brewing and we all noticed how much it smelled like Grape-Nuts.

The healthy, crunchy, good for you cereal.

grapenuts current

And I started to think, ponder, dwell, fantasize, dream  about

GRAPENUTS PUDDING

Not the Puff Pudding, just plain old Grape-nuts custard……

But first to find the Grape-nuts….

Kathy went to the store first and found Grape-nuts Flakes….do they even make grape-nuts any more?????

Another store, with some poking and searching  – Grape-nuts! And a store brand that had much more sugar and salt…..

So the Grape-nuts come home, but the pudding recipe is no longer on the box.

The internet offered several solutions:

grapenut pudding rx

The thin layer of grape-nuts at the bottom is not the layer I’m looking for….keep looking

grape-nut-pudding-Parade mag

This is from Parade Magazine – thicker layer at the bottom, and thinner, crispier layer at top. I hope.

  • INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 large eggs

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • Grape-Nuts cereal

  • whipped cream

 

  1. Butter a 2-quart baking dish and preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Whisk eggs, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in milk.
  3. Pour a thin layer of Grape-Nuts cereal into baking dish, barely covering bottom of dish. Pour in milk mixture.
  4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until mostly set but jiggly in center. Serve with whipped cream.

By Sarah DiGregorio  May 10, 2014

https://communitytable.parade.com/288844/sarahdigregorio/grape-nuts-pudding/

 

Still not the thick layer at the bottom I remember, the layer of soggy grape-nuts….

Savour has a version that promises the bottom layer….

December 19, 2007 Saveur

serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal

1 qt. milk

4 eggs

12 cup sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

14 tsp. fine salt

Grated nutmeg

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart glass loaf pan with 1 tsp. butter; set aside. Put cereal into a bowl; set aside.

Bring milk just to a boil over medium heat; pour over cereal and set aside to let soak for 5 minutes.

Beat together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour egg mixture into milk mixture while whisking constantly. Transfer to reserved pan; set in a deep roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan that it reaches halfway up pudding pan. Bake until just set, about 1 14 hours. Let cool; sprinkle with grated nutmeg.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Grape-Nuts-Pudding

 

But now that Spring has finally come, and the weather is in the 70’s, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven and fuss with a  water bath  – even calling it bain marie doesn’t make it more attractive.

Pea shoots, micro-green salads, pasta with seasonal pestos, eggs with greeny things….It’s still April; there’ll be a day for custard before May.

 

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Filed under New England, Pantry, Recipe, The 1960"s, Wicked Wayback

Boston Brown Bread – Slow and Easy

What’s so Boston about it? Probably the molasses…No one says….

Recipes for steam brown bread go back to the 1830’s…..and they mention lots of different containers. I think there’s a  timeline….

Pudding basins :

pudding basin

Pudding basins look like bowls and sometimes are – but that lip is to tie a top down so you could steam

Pudding molds:

steamed pudding mold

This is a steamed pudding mold – pour the batter in, snap on the lid and put it in boiling water

Baking powder tins

Clabber_Girl

Baking powder tins seem to be the first substitute from pudding molds

Coffee cans

coffee-cans

They need to be METAL coffee cans and not the plastic ones.

Then there was a more recent suggestion to save  cans that had safe seams….but I don’t buy that much food in cans, so I was perfectly contented to buy Boston Brown Bread in cans.

bbrown bread

But then I saw a recipe for

MASON JARS BROWN BREAD MADE IN THE SLOW COOKER

GENIUS

The recipe is pretty much the same though the decades…

Good Housekeeping cb

Good Housekeeping (1960’s)

beard on bread

Beard On Bread (1970’s)

KAF 200th anniversary

And King Arthur Flour (1990’s)

and the KAF website – all the same ingredients, different containers and method of cooking

BOSTON BROWN BREAD

SLOW AND EASY

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup rye flour

1 cup wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups buttermilk

¾ cup dark, unsulphured molasses

(up to 1 cup of raisins is optional. I usually opt in)

 

  1. Mix the flours with the baking soda. Put aside.
  2. Mix the buttermilk and molasses. Add the wets to the drys.
  3. Grease 4  1 pint WIDE MOUTHED mason jars. (see the illustrations below)
  4. Grease the lids, too.
  5. Divide the batter between the four jars – I used a canning funnel.
  6. Wide them off.
  7. Put the greased lids on.
  8. Put the jars in a slow cooker. Fill the cooker halfway up the sides f the jar.
  9. Put on the lid and turn up the heat.
  10. Cook on high 2-3 hours until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Us potholders (mine are silicon) and take the jars out of the water.
  12. When they’re cool enough, shake the bread out of the jars and cool on a rack.
  13. Slice and serve. Eat with butter or cream cheese.
  14. Wrap in aluminum foil and store in the fridge. It’s usually magically gone so very soon…..

 

BLUE_WM_PINT_JAR_1

This is the wide-mouth jar. Notice the straight side up to the opening. If you steam bread in here, the bread will come out when it’s done. This is an important detail. Should you use the wrong jar, serve it with a spoon……..like you meant to do it the whole time.

ball-blue-heritage-regular-mouth-pint-16oz-mason-jar

This is the regular jar – notice that while you could fish a pickle out, a bread would have a hard time slipping out. Hence the serve with a spoon option…..

canning funnel

I love my canning funnel. I use it all the time, wets and drys. Sometimes I can, too.

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Filed under Bread, New England, Pantry

Public Service Announcement

traffic-lightmodern_british_led_traffic_light

Red Light means

stop

Stop means

DON’T GO

RIGHT ON RED  means

STOP

(that is : DON’T GO)

and then

TURN RIGHT.

Right is not the same direction as Left.

Right is not the same direction as straight ahead.

Right is not the same direction as left even if you turn on your right turn signal.

(For Massachusetts drivers- turn signal is another way of saying ‘directional’ or blinker)

Image result for Use your Blinkah image

Blinkahs are another PSA

That is the end of this Public Service Announcement.

 

 

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National Indian Pudding Day!

mug_indian_pudding_day

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

 

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

cornmeal-wiki

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

molassesgrandmas_orig_12oz_400x400

 

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

Crantart

Fen grapes, marish worts, mosse-berries, moore-berries, fenberries, bearberries, croneberry, cramberries…..how many nick names can one little bouncing berry have?

cranberries

Whatever else they’ve been called, they’re all still cranberries. In 1672 John Josslyn suggests:

“Some make Tarts with them as with Goose Berries.”

gooseberry-330px-stachelbeeren

Gooseberries

stachelbeere_ribes_uva-crispa1

Red Gooseberries

Cranberry Tart – Precedence and Persistence

“Tartes of Gooseberries.

Lay your gooseberries in your crust, and put to them cinnamon and ginger,

sugar and a few small raisins put among them and cover them with a

cover.”

A Booke of Cookery with the Serving of the Table; A.W.; 1591;

page 28

Berries, cinnamon, ginger, sugar and small raisins between pastry. Bake is implied. Easy.

And somewhat familiar…..

CRANBERRY – RAISIN PIE

3 C raw cranberries

1 C raisins

1 ¼ C sugar

2 Tbsp. flour

¼ tsp salt

¾ C water

1 ½ tsp vanilla*

Pastry for a 2 crust 9 inch

Put the cranberries and raisins through food grinder.Place in saucepan and add all ingredients except vanilla.Cook over low heat until thick, and cranberries are cooked. Add vanilla and place in pie shell. Bake until crust is done. Dots of butter and nutmeats may be added on

– Florence H. Angley. A Book of Favorite Recipes. complied by the Ladies Solidarity of St. Joseph the Worker Church Hanson, Mass..1968. p. 52.

This is sometimes called Mock Cherry Pie.

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Filed under New England, Pie, The 17th century, The 1960"s

Judgement Day

No, not THAT Judgement day –

PIE Contest judging day!!!!!

THIS Pie contest

pie2016poster

So much talent

Such mighty fine pies

pie2016parade

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

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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Filed under Autumn, Bread, Eating, Lunch, New England

People, people who need pudding….

National Indian Pudding Day isn’t until November, but Indian Pudding was in the headlines recently…

with Barbra Streisand

streisand Paul Marotta wireimages for BSB

Paul Marotto Wireimages for BSB

Who was in Boston to sing……

(review of her show here )

and nosh…..

But one thing Babs said really caught everyone’s attention: she said in one of her first visits to Boston, she went to Durgin-Park and ate Indian Pudding. But then just recently, she said, when she asked about Durgin-Park, she was told it was closed!

We’re not sure who Babs was talking to, but clearly they provided her with wrong information. Durgin-Park is still open for business, and after Streisand’s concert, the restaurant was deluged with phone calls the next morning.

“Were not closed, we’re still open,” said Petya Petkova, one of Durgin-Park’s managers.

Globe Story

indian_puddingdurgin park

So this is Durgin-Park’s

Baked Indian Pudding recipe

in case they ever do close. They have been serving Indian Pudding since 1827 when they opened.

Barbra – save this recipe!

Here’s a slightly different version:

Indian Pudding

and another:

An Ode to Durgin Park’s Indian Pudding

 

Ipforbes closeup

Durgin-Park Indian Pudding with ice cream

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Filed under Autumn, New England, Recipe