Tag Archives: memory

Three Layer Corn Bread

Not so Wicked Wayback….

Talking about 17th century cornbreads, some one recalled a 3 layer cornbread that her mother  used to make….and I recalled this one from Tassajara Bread Book

Tassajara Bread Book

 

  1. Three Layer Corn Bread

Easy, glorious and amazing!

1 cup cornmeal (fresh stone ground from your favorite local mill is best – natch!)

½ c. whole wheat flour

½ cup white flour

¼ cup wheat germ (not in the 1970 version)

2 t. baking powder

1 t salt

2 egg

¼ – ½ honey or molasses

¼ c 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)

Oh, the ’70’s…..

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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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Pie Day!

Above is the shorthand in Samuel Pepys dairy.

Samuel_Pepys

Sam, himself

and he wrote VOLUMES about himself and living in London in the 17th century and himself and a little more about himself….

Samuel_Pepys_diary_manuscript_volumes330px

Volumes!

So when he writes about celebrating wedding anniversaries with

PIES

you want to pay attention…

Monday 3 February 1661/62

After musique practice I went to the office, and there with the two Sir Williams all the morning about business, and at noon I dined with Sir W. Batten with many friends more, it being his wedding-day, and among other froliques, it being their third year, they had three pyes, whereof the middlemost was made of an ovall form, in an ovall hole within the other two, which made much mirth, and was called the middle piece; and above all the rest, we had great striving to steal a spooneful out of it; and I remember Mrs. Mills, the minister’s wife, did steal one for me and did give it me; and to end all, Mrs. Shippman did fill the pye full of white wine, it holding at least a pint and a half, and did drink it off for a health to Sir William and my Lady, it being the greatest draft that ever I did see a woman drink in my life.

I’ve mentioned this before, but some things bear repeating. Celebrating with a pie for each year of marriage.

And so when the 1624 Plimoth couple, Jane and Anthony Annable  have a wedding  anniversary on April 26th, being married on that day in 1619 at All Saints Church, Cambridge, might there be pie in Plimoth? Five pies, perhaps?

All_Saints'_Church,_Cambridge

This is the 19th century All Saints in Cambridge – the actual building that the Annables were married in was torn down. Nice spire!

 

CambridgeCastle17thCentury

This view might be a little closer to what Jane and Anthony remember of Cambridge. And William Brewster – he was at Peterhouse College. And John Robinson. And the Blossoms….lots of Cambridge connections in Plimoth Colony.

So although we don’t know if the Annables remembered their anniversary in any particular way…and with their future Puritan leanings, they might not have been so inclined to celebrate the anniversary of things,

We do know an actual marriage date. And it’s always nice to draw attention to the things we ACTUALLY do, document-wise, know.

A little more Sam on pie:

6 January 1662.

This morning I sent my lute to the Paynter’s, and there I staid with him all the morning to see him paint the neck of my lute in my picture, which I was not pleased with after it was done.

Thence to dinner to Sir W. Pen’s, it being a solemn feast day with him, his wedding day, and we had, besides a good chine of beef and other good cheer, eighteen mince pies in a dish, the number of the years that he hath been married.

pies

Shapes for 17th century pies. Notice the Mince on a Dish.

bride pie mayround234

Robert May’s Bride Pie in The Accomplist Cook – each ring is a different pie piled on the one below….a tier of pies – a tower  of tarts –

pie eater closeup

These people look like they’re having a good pie time. Notice the woman eating in the pie with a her fingers.

SOOOO

One man mentions a type of celebration twice, although it does involve two different couple.

On the other hand – EIGHTEEN mince pies….

If anyone knows a play or a poem or a song or an actual reference of someone who isn’;t hanging out with Samuel Pepys..

SPEAK NOW

and for heaven’s sake,

DON’T HOLD YOUR PEACE.

Unless it’s a piece of pie…..

 

pie eater closeupalone - Copy

She looks pretty happy to have pie. And she’s sharing.

Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.

9 November 1665

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Betty Crocker was Good and Easy

was NOT written on  a bathroom wall ever. It does show  just how memory can be tricky. I totally remember Betty’s Picture Cook Book.

BUT – the cook book that is actually in my mother’s collection – and for the moment in my hot little hand is actually:

good and easy back and front

This one is in better shape then my mother’s, which has a matching blue elastic to hold it all together.

Truth be told, the illustration are from the same series, and the photos’ – there’s nothing like ’50’s food photos…..

 Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cook Book

Betty Crocker’s brand-new idea book – 1000 time-saving, taste-tempting recipes and hints for busy modern homemakers.”

 

The first and last few pages are missing – It begins on page five, with Breakfast already underway, and ends p. 256 with the index slug of

 Yellow (whole-egg) cake (sponge, 165)

And the whole thing is rather dash happy – – –

The half pear was a bear in a bowl of porridge – three dates stuck upright could be the three bears in another breakfast (nightmare) option….I’m glad that fruit as bears was not a  part of my childhood. But I have seen this long ago – the question is where?

In the mean time, something I DO remember, confirmed by my mother and my sister:

STIR-N-DROP SUGAR COOKIES

BETTY CROCKER’S GOOD AND EASY COOK BOOK

(page 194)

(See picture, p. 182.)

2 eggs

2/3 cup cooking (salad) oil

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. grated lemon rind

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

  1. Heat oven to 400° (mod. hot).
  2. Beat eggs with fork until well blended.
  3. Stir in oil, vanilla, lemon rind.
  4. Blend in sugar until mixture thickens.
  5. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and stir into oil mixture.
  6. Drop with a teaspoon 2” apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Flatten with a greased glass dipped into sugar. (This is where I could help. The real secret is not to grind the little batter balls into the cookie sheet, but rather level off the tops and leave a little sugar behind, nuance often lost with the under 6 set. My mother would pick out which glass to use and put down a saucer with a little Wesson oil in in, and a second saucer with some sugar in it, so dip, dip, tap, it’s a cookie.)
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes, just until a delicate brown. (mostly the edges)
  9. Remove immediately from baking sheet.
  10. About 3 doz cookies.

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