[LMB] OT: Dinner challenge

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Tue, 10 Aug 2004 23:17:30 -0400

-- Paula Lieberman
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "M. Traber" <mtraber251 at earthlink.net>

> CatMtn at aol.com wrote:
> >Alexandra H writes:
> >
> >
> >So have Mexican and Italian.  In fact, if we want to get technical,
> >pemmican, pumpkin stew, corn, and a few other things are the only native

Succotash is another, maple syrup, anything with squash in it, cornmeal
mush, turkey, cranberry anything, blueberry anything, not sure about
raspberries--they might be spread over other parts of the world, strawberry
anything, most of the beans around--the beans native to Europe and Asia and
Africa include mostly stuff live fava beans. Runner beans, lima bean, string
beans, wax beans, tepary beans, blackeyed peas, Navy beans, kidney beans,
etc., are Americas natives.  Peas are also native to the Americas, and
peanuts are native.   There were native chestnuts, black walnuts,

> >cuisine around.
> >
> Ah, but could you get shoofly pie in say Darien or Greenwich Ct?
> Poutaine in Los Angeles?

Large enough place with enough ethnicities, yes!

> I am originally English [1638] with a blend of scots, welsh and manx
> [early 1700s] and an admix of German [1832] Dutch [1690 something] with
> french [1820s] and english [1810] grafted onto amish on my mothers side.
> Other than my grandmothers german cook, the family cooked whitebread
> american hygenic foods...My father told me about how half the family
> wouldn't eat at their house in the late 20s, early 30s because the food
> was *strange* because the cook used garlic, cinnamon in something other
> than a dessert, summer savory, basil, oregano...all sorts of strange
> stuff in the food...<gasp> whole mustard seeds in *pot roast* when
> everybody knows you use salt and pepper in pot roast! and she served
> *turnips* in the beef stew....with carraway seeds! *And* grew RED
> Americans dont have toad in a hole, bubble and squeek, yorkshire
> puddings, spotted dick ... and havent for about 200 years....we had

Actually Yorkshire puddings do get cooked in the USA, given that my
dormfloor in college made it for Hall Feeds....

> indian puddings, boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage, clam bakes.

New England Boiled Dinner of corned beef and cabbage and potatoes was
functional food.  Cattle did well here....  clambakes, there were lots of
clams and a huge abundance of lobster, also lots and lots of cod and haddock
and other fish.

> Down south we have cornbread, beaten biscuits, cracklings...  See, we
> were pretty cussed when it came to our independence and basically
> refused to cook traditional english foods in new england and in the

A lot of it was climate and environment.  England has a milder climate than
New England. It also doesn't have the Georges Bank, which was the richest
fishing ground in the world.  And the sandy beaches here that were full of
clams, the one beach I saw in England was all beachstones, not what I would
suppect would be a good clamming bed!  Salmon was native, so are still
smelts and herring, which get to be like six inches long.  Sheep do okay
here, but sheep mostly dropped off the US diet as a main meat, likewise goat
mostly dropped out.  One reason about the sheep might be people who were in
the military in WWII, apparently the miltary served horrid vile
strong-tasting mutton, and some of the people who ate it made the deliberate
decision to never eat sheep meat ever again after the end of the war -- sort
of like Cordelia and Aral about bleu cheese dressing!

> south, imported slaves cooked and added their own styles  of foods, so
> american traditional cooking *isn't* european traditional
> cooking...Grits, Indian Pudding and polenta are all made of ground corn,
> but they are all *very* different!

Grits depend on dried flint corn.  It's southeastern.  There are southern
grapes, as opposed to northern ones, notably the Concord grape, which is
native up here and rampant.