[LMB] OT: Dinner challenge

M. Traber mtraber251 at earthlink.net
Tue, 10 Aug 2004 14:44:56 -0400

Alexandra Haropulos wrote:

>"M. Traber" wrote:
>>Honestly, the trend for meat seemed to be blood rare or shoeleather, and
>>organ meats instead of being cooked rare or medium rare was cooked to
>>shoeleather... unless you were jewish and or ethnic, and your family
>>used the traditional recipes.
>Well, there is certainly a lot of truth to this. I have a
>"Good Housekeeping" cookbook from the 40's that I still use
>for some things. However, I have to point out that the meat
>cooking tables have times for rare, medium, and well.

Note I did say blood rare and shoeleather==)

>(The directions for pickling pigs feet are such that I would
>prefer to build a nuclear reactor from scratch.)
Having worked in nuclear generation plants, it is easier to work on 
Ginnea 1 than it is to make pickled pigs feet.

>Also, "ethnic" is a bit more expansive term than it sounds.
>Germans, Scots and French settlers have been in the US for a
>very long time, and their cuisine is still around.

And here is where I really wanted people to let it slide.

USAians onlist - everybody else go off and gag at some of the Lileks 
cooking pamphlet pictures or giggle at us=)

I said that in general USAians onlist are not traditional americans. 
Most of us come from families that [those of us who are not like me, and 
come from a family that has been here in parts since the early 1600s, or 
owned property in New Amsterdam....] maintained enough cultural heritage 
that they kept alive the customs and foods of their countries of origin 
and didnt decide to do the 'total american' thang, complete to renaming 
everybody Pete and Sally, and refusing to speak the old language at 
home, or have anything remotely NON american  showing...This means that 
Susanna [however it is spelled] kept her funky nonamerican name, family 
customs and cooking from the old country, I be she didnt get fed hot 
dogs, hamburgers and traditional american Good Housekeeping americana 
cuisine for every single meal, I bet she ate cabbage rolls, liver 
dumplings, home made pickles, and foods that I have never made=) and 
many americans of the time would have shuddered at....

Keep in mind, many immigrants of the late 1800s through the 30s did 
their best to become rabidly american, no sign of the old country as 
they were MODERN AMERICANS...=)  Remember how the way to get out of the 
immigrant ghetto [little italy, little poland, little germany, little 
dublin] was to learn to speak english, blend in and get a job and move 
away from the ghetto....in other words americanize. The cookbooks of the 
period were written to be the american normal...and the american 
lifestyle was the one to emulate...Thankgully the 60s hit and ethnic 
became popular=)

But as I said, the people I know on this list and the cooks list are not 
from regular whitebread lets blend in families, our families kept 
heritage alive in family so that we have eaten funky non-family circle 
foods...[in my families case, we have a military tradition so foreign 
travel was not uncommon=)]

>That having been said, I shudder when I remember what and
>how we were taught to cook in my unfortunate season in Home
>Ec in the mid-60's. They didn't even teach us how to do the
>"white bread" stuff well. Imagine the brawl when I went to
>the principal and demanded to take Shop instead...
LOL, I had problems because I didnt use the bisquick to make biscuits 
with, I brought baking powder from home and made them from flour....and 
I made steak au poivre with cracked peppercorns from home, and baked 
potatoes instead of instant mashed... [we were told in advance what we 
had to make for our final exam meal...ugh!] and I made piecrust from 
scratch, though i did use the [yecch] canned apple pie filling provided 
as I couldnt lug in apples on top of the whole potatoes, pepper corns, 
baking powder, bag of flour, and half pound of butter. [i refuse to use 
margarine=(] And it all ended up finished at the right timing=)

I also boggled them because the blouse I made was actually a dashiki 
top, and the seams were hand done, and I chainstitched daisies around 
the neckline instead of storebought trim=)

Well, I didnt have a sewing machine at home=) and chainstitch embroidery 
goes very quickly=)

And they *hated* my sample budget and grocery list, even though it was 
about a quarter of the rest of theirs...because I bought things like 
milk butter eggs, meat and veggies instead of hamburger helper, tuna 
helper, rice a roni, cake mixes...amazing how much you can save if you 
dont use convenience foods. I even provided the menues with recipies=)

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!
Rudyard Kipling