Category Archives: Perception ways

Possets, Fools & Trifles

OR

How to eat Cream and Sugar before Ice Cream was part of  Summer  – or any other Season

Possets:

Using lemon or lime to curdle cream, which is like custard without the fuss – or egg.

Bon Apetit July 2017  which is “Posset” in the magazine – BUT

“Egg-less custard” on the web site.

They’ve been around since the 16th and 17th century, and are cousins of  syllabubs. Some are made with wine, which make them milkshakes for grown-ups.

posset cup silver

Darling little two handled posset cup. The heading image is a posset cup with a spout.

But here’s the link: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/eggless-lime-custards-with-lychees

And some 17th century recipes….

To make a Compound Posset of Sack, Claret, White-Wine, Ale, Beer, or Juyce of Oranges, &c.

Take twenty yolks of eggs with a little cream, strain them, and set them by; then have a clean scowred skillet, and put into it a pottle of good sweet cream, and a good quantity of whole cinamon, set it a boiling on a soft charcoal fire, and stir it continually; the cream having a good taste of the cinamon, put in the strained eggs and cream into your skillet, stir them together, and give them a warm, then have some sack in a deep bason or posset-pot, good store of fine sugar, and some sliced 425 nutmeg; the sack and sugar being warm, take out the cinamon, and pour your eggs and cream very high in to the bason, that it may spatter in it, then strow on loaf sugar.

To make a Posset simple.

Boil your milk in a clean scowred skillet, and when it boils take it off, and warm in the pot, bowl, or bason some sack, claret, beer, ale, or juyce of orange; pour it into the drink, but let not your milk be too hot, for it will make the curd hard, then sugar it.

Otherways.

Beat a good quantity of sorrel, and strain it with any of the foresaid liquors, or simply of it self, then boil some milk in a clean scowred skillet, being boil’d, take it off and let it cool, then put it to your drink, but not too hot, for it will make the curd tuff.

Possets of Herbs otherways.

Take a fair scowred skillet, put in some milk into it, and some rosemary, the rosemary being well boil’d in it, take it out and have some ale or beer in a pot, put to it the milk and sugar, (or none.)

Robert May. The Accomplist Cook. Accomplist Cook

No need for specialty serving ware.

But seriously – if you have an Iced Tea Spoon, why Not a Posset Pot?

As for Fools:

 

 

AN ORANGE FOOL

Take the juice of six Oranges and six Eggs well beaten, a Pint of Cream, a quarter of a Pound of Sugar, a little Cinnamon and Nutmeg; mix all together, and keep stirring over a slow Fire, till it is thick, then put in a little Piece of Butter, and keep stirring till cold, then dish it up.

  • Glasse, Hannah. The Art of Cookery, made Plain and Easy. 1747. Prospect Books ed. 1995, p. 79.

Glasse - First catch

But since

Orange Fool

aired on the Fourth of July, some thought it was…

political, not food at all.

SO this:

There are other fools….

Robert May again:

To make a Norfolk Fool.
Take a quart of good thick sweet cream, and set it a boiling in a clean scoured skillet, with some large mace and whole cinamon; then having boil’d a warm or two take the yolks of five or six eggs dissolved and put to it, being taken from the fire, then take out the cinamon and mace; the cream being pretty thick, slice a fine manchet into thin slices, as much as will cover the bottom of the dish, pour on the cream on them, and more bread, some two or three times till the dish be full, then trim the dish side with fine carved sippets, and stick it with slic’t dates, scrape on sugar, and cast on red and white biskets.

Which leaves

TRIFLES

To make a Trifle.
Take a pinte of thicke Creame, and season it with Suger and Ginger, and
Rosewater, so stirre it as you would then haue it, and make it luke warme in a dish
on a Chafingdishe and coales, and after put it into a siluer peece or a bowle, and so serue it to the boorde.

The_Good_Huswifes_Jewell_Frontispiece_1610(1)

 

Section XII.

To make all manner of Creams, Sack-Possets, Sillabubs, Blamangers, White-Pots, Fools, Wassels, &c.

To make a Triffel.

Take a quart of the best and thickest cream, set it on the fire in a clean skillet, and put to it whole mace, cinamon, and sugar, boil it well in the cream before you put in the sugar; then your cream being well boiled, pour it into a fine silver piece or dish, and take out the spices, let it cool till it be no more than blood-warm, then put in a spoonful of good runnet, and set it well together being cold scrape sugar on it, and trim the dish sides finely.

RobertMayTheAccomplishtCookFrontispiece

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Holiday, Perception ways, Recipe, Wicked Wayback

Van Gogh – The End

 

Wheat-Field-with-Crows Vincent van Gogh July 1890 last

A painting from the last days of Vincent’s life

This is the day, in 1890, that Vincent Van Gogh died. His cause of death is often stated as a suicide, but the evidence is/was far from conclusive.

Van Gogh The Life

According to Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, the authors of

Van Gogh: The Life  

Vincent  very well have been murdered. Naifeh and Smith make a very compelling case and their book is meticulously, thoroughly and lovingly researched. A long read but never a slog.

Tree-Roots-and-Trunks Vincent van GoghJuly 1890

Tree Roots and Trunks
Vincent van Gogh
Painting, Oil on Canvas
Auvers-sur-Oise: July, 1890
Van Gogh Museum
             another painting from Vincent’s last days

 

Save

Save

7 Comments

Filed under Books, Perception ways, Summer

Flipping, Flapping, Frapping

Flip-flops.

The Sound of summer includes the sound of flip flops.

Flip-flop. Flip-flop. Flip-flop.

Even in places where flip flops aren’t the best choice. Like anyplace that isn’t a beach.

You can hear them coming. And going. Without looking at feet, you know what’s on them.

Flip-flop.

Havaianas_Tradicional

 

So while the girl was asking, “Have you ever heard of a drink called…..a flap?” I was hearing flip-flops.

I asked her if she meant

“Frappe”

And she smiled real big and said, Yes, THAT’S it!” and her sister got closer, and her Mom and there were others and it was hard to tell who was together-together and who was just together as in there in the moment together.

frappe Photograph by Kang Kim, Prop Styling by Lauren Evans, Styling by Karen EvansApostrophe

FRAPPES    photograph by Kang Kim, Prop Styling by Lauren Evans, Styling by Karen Evans/Apostrophe

So I describe how a frappe was a milkshake with ice cream, and if they ordered a milkshake ‘round these parts, they were likely to get shook milk, no ice cream.

Her sister asked, “But where’s the

RUM?”

Flip-flop. Flip-flop. Flip-flop.

The_Pirates_carrying_rum_on_shore_to_purchase_slaves

Yo

 

Both girls were under the age of 12 so rum drinks weren’t what I first thought of when this line of questioning began, and then I remembered….

FLIP?

Are you asking about Flip?

Now everyone was smiling and nodding….

Now, thanks to Paula Marcoux I know from flip.

flip_Paula_01

Beer, rum, molasses, hot poker, done.

 

 

I know oodles of other things from her, too, but flip and rum had come up recently, and put her in my thoughts, and memories of flips past…. in the way rum drinks do here in New England. It’s not exactly flip season here, with temperatures and humidity both in the high ‘80’s, but no season is truly far from another here in New England, so soon enough it will be flip appropriate time.

rum5FlipTools

illustration fro Rum: A Global History

I had recently been flipping through Mrs. Child’s (Lydia Maria, not Julia) “American Frugal Housewife”, the way one does in the food history biz.

Frugal hs 2nd ed cover

I was (and still am) wrestling with the differences/different-name-for-the-same-thing conundrum between flapjacks, slapjacks and flatjacks. In short, sorting out the Jack branch of the fritter family.

Which started with Johnnycake and Hoe Cake, and is detouring through Pancake, with short stops in Griddle Cake, Mush Cake and Corn Cake……

While looking at pancakes, and I saw this:

Pancakes

“…A spoonful or two of N.E. rum makes pancakes light. Flip makes very nice pancakes. In this case, nothing is done but to sweeten your mug of beer with molasses; put in one glass of N.E. rum; heat it till it foams, by putting in a hot poker; and stir it up with flour as thick as other pancakes.”

  • Child, Mrs. The American Frugal Housewife, 12th Boston: Carter, Hendee and Co. 1832. Reprinted 1980. p. 74.

Paula’s has directions for flip (with a photo step by step) in Cooking With Fire. And she has notes on these pancakes in the appendix, where she recommends adding a pinch of salt and an egg. And cook them in bacon grease. All good.

Cooking with fire

I’m still thinking about rum in pancakes……with blueberry pancakes and cinnamon? With rum butter? Are these supper pancakes rather than breakfast pancakes?

So I told the girls about flip pancakes, too.

And then I wondered – what sort of New England Colonial Educational Experience was this family on that involved Flip? Cause that’s the field trip that I want to go on.

 

RumGlobal History

I have more RUM books then I thought – all that Living Proof at Plimoth Plantation

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, New England, Perception ways, Summer

Inventing Coffee Cake

Do You REALLY Live Here?

My Life As A Pilgrim

(the title of my yet to be written memoir….)

Chapter Six

Travel, travel back in time……..

And then there was the day we invented coffee cake.

Since most of Europe wasn’t all that into coffee in 1627, it’s really much more impressive then it sounds.

But we were young…..and we knew so little

me 1981 Joe Carlin

Seriously, young. What I looked like c. 1981.

baking bread Jean-François_Millet_1854 Kroller-Muller Museum

What I thought I looked like….Millet, for want of a 17th century role model (then – remember – no internet!)

It started out simply as baking.

Bread.

We baked and baked and baked. We baked just about everyday. We learned a lot about bread very quickly. But we did not know that there were actual 17th century instructions for bread. And we had the assumptions of the 1970’s – remember the Bi-Centennial? – to guide us.

Plat-bread-1

We didn’t know about this recipe. No internet. Not that many books on food history.

Basic bread – Four ingredients.

Flour. Water. Salt. Leaven.

We got it.

'Still life with a glass of Rhine wine, bread and fruits' by Sebastian Stosskopf (Alsatian painter, 1597-1657), 1644

We made bread that looked like the bread in the 17th century paintings.

And we learned to use the wood fired oven, before EVERYONE had a wood fired oven. And we were good at it. We saw the potential to use pizza as a training tool to learn about the wood fired oven.

Massive buy-in. Who wouldn’t want to help for pizza?

We got….a little bored by four, just four, always the same four, ingredients…

So we started

…..adding things.

Many things you can add to bread and they rather disappear in the loaf, at least visually.

A little sugar. We used brown sugar then  – because we didn’t have sugar loaves and most of us didn’t know we should want them.

still-life-with-fruit-and-sugar-loaf_unknown_about-1720

1720

Brown_sugar_examples

Because obviously brown sugar is more Oldie- Timie, right?

Butter. To make it richer.

A little milk Ditto.

A few eggs….why not?

chickens-at-Plimoth-Platation

Got hens? Use hen-fruit!

Not all at once, not every time, but more things, more frequently.

And then a few spices crept in.

cinnamon

Cinnamon

Ingwer_2_fcm

Ginger

Muscade

Nutmeg

ClovesDried

Cloves

Hmmmmm – that could be a song…..

Of All the Birds

Of all the birds that ever I see
The owl is the fairest in her degree:
For all the day long she sits on a tree
And when the night cometh away flies she.

Tu whit — Tu whoo,
To whom drink’st thou? — Sir Knave, to thee.
My song is well sung, I’ll make you a vow
That he is a knave that drinketh now.

Nose, nose, nose, nose,
And who gave thee thy jolly red nose?
Cinnamon and ginger, nutmeg and cloves:
that gave me my jolly red nose.

 

And then

 

Raisins.

More properly, raisins of the sunn.

Grape_Rasins_plus_Zante_Currants

Raisins and Currents – both are dried grapes, just different sized grapes.

The thing with raisins, is that everyone can see them.

Sometimes they are mistaken for flies….sometimes they concealed flies…….but with raisins you’ve made raisin bread, and everyone knows what that is.

So you learn to put the raisins in last and pull the un-raisined dough down around them….

We thought we’d made cinnamon raisin bread. But really, we had re-invented Gervase  Markham’s Banbury Cake.

Banbury_Cake_Gervase_Markham_1615

Because we didn’t know there were perfectly good cakes we could have made without any slights of hand and amazing feats of prestidigitation.

This was all in 1981 and 1982….it was Michael Best’s edition of The English Housewife where we saw the error – and genius – of our ways.

That wasn’t until 1986.

Markbested

We didn’t see it as coffee cake, or think of it as coffee cake, and certainly didn’t call it coffee cake. Bread . It was Bread.

UNTIL a day in 1981…in the fall….and a reporter for the Boston Globe was there when we were taking the loaves out of the oven and asked if it was coffee cake.…..

apearce

1981 – Abraham Pearce in the 1627 Village. This was the story the papers had come for. Or Thanksgiving. They were always there for Thanksgiving.

We neither agreed nor disagreed.

We may have pointed out a passing flock of geese overhead. Or those hens squawking about….and goats, we probably pointed to the goats, frolicking and gamboling as goats do…..

Perhaps another housewife threw the dishwater out her door, yelling, “Ware Slops!” like we used to do.

We may have sung…..

We all held our collective breath until the picture ran in the paper. The coffee cake was merely identified as bread, although if you looked close you could see the raisins…..

Just another day making history.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Bread, Cake, Perception ways, The 17th century, The 1980's

Macaroons and Popcorn

I’m just back from Rochester New York, where ALHFAM was this year.

ALHFAM is Association of Living History Farms and Museums so this was a professional development trip .

There was a whole lot of foods of the past in the program.

macaroons 2017

A Short, Sweet History of Macaroons  presented by Mya Sangster was very sweet indeed.

Mya made samples …A little bag with labeled cookies  so you could eat along with the recipes….

And then another lot up front, all the variations from a single recipe that called for

Almond, walnut, ground nut (peanut) cob nut (hazel or filbert) and coconut

Peanut macaroons are a marvelous and wonderful thing.

Somewhere I have the handout that has the recipes.

May 31st is National Macaroon Day, so I have time to get my act together before the next big celebration.

But I keep finding miscellaneous macaroons in my ordinary reading …like this:

The Sunflower:

I once made macaroons with the ripe blanch’d seeds, but the turpentine did so domineer over all, that it did not answer expectations.”

               Evelyn, John. A Discourse of Sallets. (1699)Prospect Books. 2005. p. 45.

So, Sunflower Macaroons – right out!

and then this:

Popcorn Macaroons

1 cup freshly popped corn

1 cup walnuts or butternuts

3 egg whites

1 cup powdered sugar

Pinch of salt

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a cooky* sheet.

  2. Chop the popcorn and the nutmeats or put them through the food chopper.

  3. Beat the egg whites stiff and combine with the sugar. Mix with the popcorn and nuts, add salt.

  4. Drop by the spoonful on a buttered cooky sheet.

  5. Bake fifteen minutes in a moderate oven, 350°.

  6. Makes one and half dozen.

 

  • Bowles, Ella Shannon and Dorothy S. Towle. Secrets of New England Cooking. Dover: 2000. First published M. Barrows and Co.: NY. 1947. p. 217.

 

Secrets NE cooking

and then there were other popped corn macaroons.

Popped Corn Macaroons

3/4 cup finely chopped popped corn

3/4 tablespoon melted butter

White 1 egg

5 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Blanched and finely chopped almonds

Candied cherries

Process

Add butter to corn; beat white of egg until stiff; add sugar gradually; continue beating. Add to first mixture; add salt and vanilla. Drop from tip of teaspoon on a well buttered baking sheet one and one-half inches apart. With the spoon shape in circles and flatten with a knife, first dipped in cold water. Sprinkle with chopped nut meats and press a shred of candied cherry in top of each macaroon. Bake in a slow oven until daintily browned.

  • The Corn Cook Book. Hiller, Elizabeth O., comp.Chicago, New York [etc.] P.F. Volland company [c1918]

corn cook book vintage

Popcorn macaroons as part of the War effort – the First World War.

Popcorn good. Cookies good. Popcorn cookies….I just have to make enough popcorn to not eat it all before it’s time to make the cookies.

And since it’s hot, it’s only right that there be ice cream to go with the cookies – or is it cookies to go with the ice cream? It seems Mrs. Lincoln (of Boston Cooking School fame) was way ahead of the Ben and Jerry’s curve.

 

 

choc-chip-cookie-dough-detail

Cookie dough great add in – cookies – also great ice cream add in

Macaroon Ice-cream

Dry one dozen stale macaroons, roll or pound them fine and sift through a fine gravy strainer. Add them to ice-cream after either receipt* and flavored with extract of almond or sherry wine. Stir them in when the cream is partly frozen.

               Scald the cream if you wish a firm, solid cream.

               –Mrs. Lincoln. Frozen Dainties.White Mountain Freezer Co., NH. 1889. p. 13. Applewood Books.

  • The two previous receipts are Hollipin Ice-cream and Maraschino Ice-cream, which are both based on the Neapolitan Ice-cream, which has 1 qt. cream, 4 eggs,1 cup sugar and flavoring.

Mrs Lincoln frozen dainties

Leave a comment

Filed under Perception ways, Recipe, Wicked Wayback

Happy Birthday, Pappa!

June 18th was Father’s Day in 1933.

It was also the day my father was born, which made a certain amount of sense when I was little  –  why wouldn’t fathers be born on Father’s Day?  (My mother was christened that same day in Italy, which is the start of the connections between the two of them…..)

And he  LOVED Chinese food.

chinese-take-outLike blue eyes and curly hair (what was left of it) this was such a fundamental part of who he was and what he did,  that I never asked, nor do I remember anyone else ever once asking,

“Chinese food? What is about Chinese food, Bill? Why Chinese food? How does an Irish boy learn about Chinese food”

Good questions…wish I’d thought of them sooner. Not only was  Chinese food the treat of treats, it brought him into the kitchen after he retired.

He had a wok.

Serious Wok action. This was the attitude, if not the reality.

Serious Wok action. This was the attitude, if not the reality of the ancestral home cooktop.

For a very long time, perhaps as far back as the ’70’s, a paperback copy of  “The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking” by Madame Grace Zia Chu has been kicking around .Chinese Cooking larger

Several recipes have markers….but the basic of the basics is Fried Rice.

HAM FRIED RICE

2 Tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon sugar

2 eggs

4 tablespoons peanut or corn oil, divided

¼ cup scallions cut into ¼ inch pieces

4 cups cold boiled rice

½ cup diced cooked ham

  1. Mix the soy sauce with the sugar. Set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs and scramble them slightly in 1 Tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy frying pan or a wok heat 3 tablespoons of oil over high heat.
  4. Add scallions and stir a few times
  5. Add rice and stir quickly so that rice won’t stick to the pan and will be well coated with the oil
  6. Add the soy sauce/sugar mix, stir well.
  7. Add the ham and the slightly scrambled egg, mixing and breaking the eggs into little pieces in the rice.
  8. Serve hot.

NOTES: The rice needs to be THOROUGHLY cold or all you’ll get is a sticky mess. Madame Chu’s note and my experience. Brown rice may be used for a more hippie version, just be sure that the rice is cooked thoroughly.

Cooked chicken or beef may be substituted for the ham.

The original recipe does not call for a wok, but I think they’re a little more common now, so if you got one, go ahead and use it.

The original calls for ¼ teaspoon MSG, which I stopped using years, make that decades, ago. If that departure from the recipe makes it Irish/Chinese fusion, so be it. Call the Food Police. Guilty as charged.

Serves 4.

Grace Zia Chu. The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking. Pocket Books, March 1969. p.51.

Fried_rice

Save

Leave a comment

Filed under Birthday, Books, Irish, Perception ways, The 1970's

Cornbread Song

I left out a little measure in the 3- layer cornbread recipe last time around – so here it is again, with all the tablespoons, teaspoons and cups that you could want!

  1. Three Layer Corn Bread

Easy, glorious and amazing!

1 cup cornmeal (fresh stone ground from your favorite local mill, like Plimoth Grist Mill is best – natch!)

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup white flour

¼ cup wheat germ (not in the 1970 version)

2 teaspoon. baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

¼ – ½ cup honey or molasses

¼ cup oil or melted butter

3 cup milk or buttermilk (my fave)

  1. Combine dry ingredients
  2. Combine wet ingredients
  3. Mix together. Mixture will be quite liquidy.
  4. Pour into greased 9×9 pan
  5. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until top is springy when gently touched.
  6. As a variation, add a cup of grated cheese – Jack, provolone or parmesan.

Tassajara Bread Book 25th Anniversary Edition (1995)

Tassajara Bread Book (1970) p. 107 (#58)

plimoth grist mill ex

Plimoth Grist Mill in Plymouth – formerly known as The Jenney Grist Mill

Leave a comment

Filed under Bread, Perception ways, Wicked Wayback

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

henry_ward_beecher_-_project_gutenberg_etext_15394

 

“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

2 Comments

Filed under Autumn, Perception ways

Van Gogh’s Potatoes

There it was in the magazine – FoodNetwork? Rachael Ray? It was July…..this July, just a month ago.

Van Gogh

painted four

still lifes of

Potatoes

He only painted one

STARRY NIGHT

9th-wonder

This is part of the Potato Promo

SOOOOOOO….

In this Potato Salad season of the year,

I give you Vincent Van Gogh

ON POTATOES

800px-Van_Gogh_-_Stillleben_mit_Kohlköpfen,_Kartoffelkorb_und_BlätternBaskets of Potatoes, 1885, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh – Still Life with Potatoes, 1885, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Vincent van Gogh, Baskets of potatoes, March-April 1885.

Vincent van Gogh, Baskets of potatoes, March-April 1885.

800px-Van_Gogh_-_Stillleben_mit_Karoffelkorb Baskets of Potatoes, 1885, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh Still Life with Basket of Potatoes 1885, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Still Life with an Earthen Bowl and Potatoes c.1886 Rotterdam Musuem Boi.

Still Life with Earthen Bowl 1886 Rotterdam Boi

vangogh stillife potatoyellow bowl Rijkmueums 1888

Van Gogh Potatoes in Yellow Bowl 1888 Rijksmuseum

and of course…..

Van_Gogh_Digger_(1882)

Van Gogh, Digger 1882

Van Gogh Potato peeler NY met

Van Gogh Potato Peeler 1885 NY Met

Van-willem-vincent-gogh-die-kartoffelesser-03850

Van Gogh The Potato Eaters 1885 Rijksmuseum

And if you’re not Van Goghed out,

Van Gogh The Life

By Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

 

3 Comments

Filed under Perception ways

National Apple Pie Day

was May 13th.

How did I miss this????

Who makes apple pie in MAY??????

There’s rhubarb and blueberries and strawberries…..but apples…

Not still and not yet.

Now, if were

National Mock Apple Pie Day

I could get behind that. A little pastry practice for all the lovely real fruits that are just ahead.

ritz cracker

Ritz Cracker did not invent the mock apple pie….but it certainly popularized it.

When there are no apples people still wanted apple pie. Dried apples were the thing that used to extend the season. After the fresh apples, the dried apple. After the dried apple, the crackers….and then Spring and Summer fruits until the new apples.

Here’s an earlier then Ritz version:

applepiepart1applepie part2

A CALIFORNIA PIONEER APPLEPIE-1852
Mrs. B. C. Whiting.

Break four soda crackers into an earthen bowl. Pour
over them a pint of cold water, made very tart with citric
acid. When soft, but not mashed, removed the soda crackers
to your pie plate, with the under crust already on; then sift
over two tablespoons of light brown sugar, and a little all-

spice and cinnamon to flavor. (The brown sugar and spice
give the requisite color), after which put on a prettily per-
forated top crust, and bake in a very quick oven a few
moments.
The deception was most complete and readily accepted.
Apples at this early date were a dollar a pound, and we
young people all craved a piece of mother’s applepie to
appease our homesick feelings.

applepiesource

Los Angeles, C. Simpson Methodist Episcopal Church (Ladies Social Circle).1894.How We Cook in Los Angeles. A practical cook-book containing six hundred or more recipes….including a French, German and Spanish department with menus, suggestions for artistic table decorations, and souvenirs.pp.240-1.

 

 

Here’s what used to be on the back of the Ritz box:

mockapplepieritz

I have made this pie. More than once. The first time I made it, there was a certain amount of disbelief. So, I made it a second time (in the same 24 hours) –  with witnesses.

Which also happened the second time I made it…..and I have made it since then, too. Because sometimes crackers are better then apples.

.It’s still a little hard to believe how much like apple pie it tastes. And looks. And smells.

Is it the cinnamon?

Or is it just how bland so many of our apples have gotten that they taste like crackers?

Part of the ruse is science.

pie-science2

Newsweek has an article on the appleless apple pie.

Part is that your eyes and nose believe, and then convince your brain.

mock_apple_pie_Savour2008

from Saveour, Feb 2008

And it’s really, really good – if  ironic  – with cheddar cheese

apple pie w cheddar

This is pretty orange cheddar….but for cheese and cracker pie …

Just like Real Apple Pie.

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Eating, Pantry, Perception ways, Pie, Spring, The 1980's