Friday, March 29, 2013

Food Friday: A British Dessert Treat

Have you tried any foods your ancestor would have ate? Now, no fair if you are deeply entrenched in that ancestral culture and have that food all of the time. I'm talking to those who currently do not eat anything their  ancestors would have passed down, have never tried it, don't have a grandma to cook it for them, nada.

Yesterday, I took my kids on a culinary adventure to a British restaurant in San Diego. I had originally eyed Shakespeare Pub & Grille when I went to eat at El Indio with family a few months back. My goal was simply to have some British fare, something my maternal ancestors would have had. Basically this all boiled down to a single dish I've wanted to try for some time.

Loved sitting on the patio on a beautiful day. Photo (c) 2013 Gena Philibert-Ortega

Now, I know that name of this dish might spur chuckles among my fellow American readers and because I seem to be a magnet for spammers with creative love ideas I chose not to include the name of this dish in the title of this blog post.

Yes, the dish is...spotted dick.

Spotted Dick. Photo (c) 2013 Gena Philibert-Ortega

What it looks like inside. Photo(c) 2013 Gena Philibert-Ortega

After a wonderful ploughman's plate with a scotch egg (hard boiled egg encased in sausage and then rolled in breadcrumbs before being baked) I decided to go with dessert and I wasn't disappointed. Spotted dick is a steamed pudding with raisins (basically reminded me of a cake with raisins  that was topped off with custard.) 

Part of the Ploughman's Plate. Photo (c) 2013 Gena Philibert-Ortega

Scotch Eggs. Photo (c) 2013 Gena Philibert-Ortega

I had always wanted to try this because many years ago, a Mormon cookbook I had purchased talked about how early English pioneers ate this dish. I think there may have even been a variation  that was used as they were crossing the plains. Since these are my ancestors, I wanted to try something they would have enjoyed.

Anyway, for today's Food Friday here's a rather vague recipe for Spotted Dick (From Good Housekeeping, August 30, 1890 available on Google Books) and a reminder to go out and be adventurous! Try something your ancestor's ate.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Food Friday: Food a la Dorcas

This week's Food Friday is from the  Dorcas Society cookbook, A Book of Dorcas Dishes. Family Recipes Contributed by the Dorcas Society of Hollis and Buxton. Edited by Kate Douglas Wiggin (Maine, 1911). Kate was also the founder of this particular Dorcas Society chapter. Some may recognize her name as the author of Rebecca of Sunnybook Farm.

This page in the book shows, presumably,  Kate's signature and the inscription "Poor cook but pretty good editor!"

There is a nice introduction in the cookbook that would be of interest to those who have ancestors from this area or are interested in the Dorcas Society. If you want to learn more about the Dorcas Society of Hollis and Buxton see their website.

One of the interesting aspects of this cookbook is the recipes that are renamed so that "Dorcas" is part of the title. Some of those are featured below.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Food Friday: Pigs in a Blanket (Sort of)

Sometimes foods that have a familiar name might not be what we expect. In my book From the Family Kitchen I wrote about American Chop Suey and how most regions in the United States have a version of this dish but call it by different names.

I found another example today in my copy of  Presbyterian Cook Book. The Women's Society of the First Presbyterian Church. Winfield, Kansas. ca. 1932.

Their recipe, Pigs in a Blanket is a little different than what I would usually associate with that name. No pigs (hot dogs) and no biscuit blanket here. But hey, everything is better with bacon.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Food Friday: Gold Medal Sour Milk Doughnuts by Unknown

I'm lucky because my friends and family know my interest in researching female ancestors and the material culture that goes with it, items like quilts and recipes. My friend and fellow genealogist and author Jean Wilcox Hibben of Circlemending gave me this recipe that fell out of one of her mom's cookbooks. She knows it's not her mom's handwriting so the question is who gave her this recipe?

Part of genealogy is not only finding ancestors but documenting family heirlooms so they can be enjoyed by future generations. For Women's History Month I want to encourage everyone to document the lives of female family members and the heirlooms they left behind. Scan their recipe cards, notate their photos, take photographs of their needlework and quilts. Write down the stories that go with the objects.

Inheriting family heirlooms is an awesome responsibility. It not only means taking care of the item but also curating it for future generations. One reason that women's voices get lost through the generations is that their "women's work" is not documented. Start today to document the story of the women's lives in your own family tree, even if that means beginning with you.

Need some help with ideas about how to curate your family heirlooms? Check out the Family Curator's blog and book.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Food Friday: Fried Green Tomatoes and 1921 Automobiles

For this Food Friday I am featuring one of my favorite dishes, Fried Green Tomatoes.

This recipe from the Women's Guild of of the Second Church of West Newton (1921) is entitled Recipes Tested by the Families of the Parish and Compiled by the Women's Guild. It is found in the Cookbooks and Home Economics  section of Internet Archive.

What's interesting about this cookbook is that it has quite a few ads for cars that include prices. Two are shown below, but there are so many more in the cookbook including models from Ford, Chevy, Cadillac, Reo, Oakland Six, and Waltham. Want to know what a car cost in 1921? Check out this cookbook!

And of course there are other types of ads as well including this one for ice.