Tag Archives: turnip

Old Chestnuts

1640 Kitchen Still Life Barbieri

1640 Kitchen Still Life Paolo Antonio Barbieri

Under the spreading chestnut tree…’ Longfellow, The Village Blacksmith

Up until fairly recently chestnuts trees  were a part of the New England landscape. Castanea_dentataA fungal blight introduced at the beginning of the 20th century pretty much took all the chestnuts by the 1940’s. The presence of imported chestnuts in time for the holidays is just a shadow of the spreading chestnut tree’s previous presence.

Like in the Fable of The Monkey and the Cat from Aesop, no less

Aesop for Children (1919)

61. THE MONKEY AND THE CAT

Once upon a time a Cat and a Monkey lived as pets in the same house. They were great friends and were constantly in all sorts of mischief together. What they seemed to think of more than anything else was to get something to eat, and it did not matter much to them how they got it.

One day they were sitting by the fire, watching some chestnuts roasting on the hearth. How to get them was the question.

“I would gladly get them,” said the cunning Monkey, “but you are much more skillful at such things than I am. Pull them out and I’ll divide them between us.”

Pussy stretched out her paw very carefully, pushed aside some of the cinders, and drew back her paw very quickly. Then she tried it again, this time pulling a chestnut half out of the fire. A third time and she drew out the chestnut. This performance she went through several times, each time singeing her paw severely. As fast as she pulled the chestnuts out of the fire, the Monkey ate them up.

Now the master came in, and away scampered the rascals, Mistress Cat with a burnt paw and no chestnuts. From that time on, they say, she contented herself with mice and rats and had little to do with Sir Monkey.

The flatterer seeks some benefit at your expense.

Singe et chat

Singe et chat

 

chestnutTomasso_Salini_Mao_Una_fábula_de_Esopo._El_gato_el_mono_y_las_castañas

Tommaso Salini – The Monkey and the Cat – 1575

 

 

But chestnuts were also good roasted – and they still are.

To stuff a roasted Goose or Duck.

….Geese and Ducks are also stuffed with Chestnuts from which the peels and membranes have been removed [and which have been mixed] with Butter.

Rose, Peter, ed and translator. The Sensible Cook.(1683) p. 66.

Evidently FDR also like some chestnuts stuffed in his holiday bird.

 

Young, small turnips should be cooked in water without wine for the first boiling. Then throw away the water and cook slowly in water and wine, and chestnuts therin, or, if one has no chestnuts, sage.

Pleyn Delight, #17. (The Menagier de Paris, 1393)

Chestnuts

Castanea sativa or sweet chestnut

 

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Filed under Autumn, Christmas, Perception ways, The 17th century

Slow Beef

There is some debate about just how Irish corned beef and cabbage truly is, whether  or not bacon would properly be more traditional. My tradition is, if it’s St Patrick’s, your dinner debate is the choice between Lamb Stew or Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Another name for Corned Beef and Cabbage is Boiled Dinner, which makes it more New England, which is also fine by me.

OLD SOD BOILED DINNER, NEW ENGLAND STYLE

8 good sized fist sized spuds, peeled and quartered (are you saving the peel enough for broth? Use an extra)

4 turnips, peeled and cut to the same size as the potato pieces

These white turnips, not the big yellow rutabaga sort

These white turnips, not the big yellow rutabaga sort

2 large onions, peeled and quartered

1 small (2-3 pound) corned beef brisket

5 cups water (if you use a 12 ounce bottle of beer for 1 ½ cups of the water, it doesn’t make it worse, if you take my meaning. If you’d rather save the beer for your glass with the meal that works, too.)

1 small head of cabbage, cut into 6 or 8 wedges

  1. Combine the potatoes, turnip and onions in the bottom of a 4 quart or larger slow cooker.
  2. Add the brisket, fat side up.
  3. Pour water over everything.
  4. Cover.
  5. Cook on LOW 10-11 hours or until the meat is tender.
  6.  Remove cooked meat and vegetables, keep warm.
  7. Turn cooker to HIGH.
  8. Add cabbage wedges. Cover and cook on HIGH 20-30 minutes are until cabbage is done.
  9. Lift the cabbage out with a slotted spoon to join the rest of the dinner.
  10. Good with mustard and horseradish.
  11. Leftovers make great hash.

Adapted from Mable and Gar Hoffman. Mable Hoffman’s All-New Crockery Favorites. Bantam Books: 1993. p. 95.

mable Hoffman's

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