Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Historical Food Fortnightly Challenge #17 - Revolutionary Food

17. Revolutionary Food January 11 - January 24
The theme is revolution, and it’s all about ch-ch-ch-changes. Food can be inspired by revolution, can showcase a revolutionary technique, or come from a revolutionary time. Give us your best documented interpretation of revolution.

Today is January 27th and although our Challenge is late we have a perfect excuse - we were ziplining in Haiti.  Yes, really! 

We might be "historical" by definition, but we still have a lot of fun!

Of course we did a lot of other things during our January vacation on the Victorian Dance Cruise.  This is the gown made for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #24 - All That Glitters - and we danced at the Diamond Ball and had a wonderful time!
Now that vacation is over, it's time to get back to the Historical Food Fortnightly Challenges and our late Challenge entry for Revolutionary Food.

For our Revolutionary Food we would like to offer a simple yet powerful beverage - coffee.  In his book Uncommon Grounds, author Mark Pendergrast follows the history of coffee and its impact on the world.  Coffee plants grow wild in Ethopia and were perhaps used by people for thousands of years.  In the 1400s people began to roast the seeds and by the 1500s the drink had spread to coffeehouses across the world.  Europe began to enjoy this beverage 150 years later with London having 2,000 coffeehouses.  Coffeehouses became a place to bring people together to enjoy a cup and to exchange ideas.  Pendergrast outlines the probability of both the French Revolution and the American Revolution being planned in coffeehouses.

"It is often said that after the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when American colonists raided British tea ships and threw crates of tea into the harbor, Americans universally switched over to drinking coffee.

"There's a lot of truth to the story, I found," Pendergrast says. He cites a letter John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, in which the Founding Father proclaims his love of tea but says he will have to learn to embrace coffee instead, because drinking tea had become unpatriotic."

You can listen to the NPR interview with Mark Pendergast here:

We LOVE tea!  Black, green, white, flavored, herbal.....and we have quite a selection in the cupboard right now.
I used to host monthly teas for the ladies and gentlemen in the retirement communities we managed, and still host some of my special Kentucky Derby and Witch's Brew Teas.

We also LOVE coffee!  We always have a selection of coffees, coffee cups, our grinder for whole bean, and our Keurig for quick cups.
Our 1950 and 1951 CBS Homemaker's Exchange Recipe Booklets have a selection of coffee directions and recipes.
Drip Coffee recipe.

Iced Coffee and Cold Café au Lait recipes.
We remember a number of different coffeemakers as we were growing up.
1950 Stovetop Coffeemaker like our grandmothers used.
1950 Electric Coffeemaker like our mothers used.
1950 two-layer electric coffeemaker like our sophisticated aunts used.
As a teenager I was taught how to make coffee with only a saucepan, cold water, coffee grounds, and an egg.  The recipe served me well and I became the designated coffeemaker in my first job as night shift nurse aide where coffee kept the staff alert through the long nights.  I later learned that the recipe is called Kahvi or Finnish Egg-Cleared Coffee and since I'm of Finnish descent, I guess it all ties together nicely.  So from "The Finnish Cookbook", here is the recipe for you.
Kahvi -- Finnish Egg-Cleared Coffee

8 cups cold water
1 egg, well washed
16 slightly rounded teaspoons coffee, plus one for the pot
Bring the cold water to a boil in a coffeepot or saucepan. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, crush the egg (shell and all) into the dry coffee grounds and mix thoroughly. When the water has come to a rolling boil, add the egg-coffee mixture and stir quickly. Let it come to the boiling point, and remove from the heat. Repeat this twice more. Then cover and let stand about 5 minutes so the grounds can settle. Makes 8 cups.
The secret is to never NEVER boil the coffee.  Just bring it to the boil and then remove from heat.  Coffee is the national drink of Finland so I trust they know what they are doing.
 Here is the recipe preparation:
16 rounded teaspoons plus for 1 for the pot of ground coffee and 1 egg including shell.

Mix egg and coffee grounds.

Bring 8 cups cold water to rolling boil, then add egg/coffee mixture.
Stir quickly.

Return to boil and immediately remove from heat.

Repeat twice.

Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Coffee/egg mixture will settle to the bottom.  I used a soup ladle to skim coffee without disturbing grounds.

A breakfast of eggs with peppers, toast with North Carolina Traffic Jam made from strawberries, blueberries and red raspberries, fresh strawberries, and the world's most smooth coffee!  Stop by, pull up a chair, and we'll pour you a cup!

Drink Up!
Patrick and Jeanette

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Historical Food Fortnightly #16- Celebratory Foods

16. Celebratory Foods December 28 - January 10
It’s the end of the year, a time for celebration! Pick a celebratory food (either inspired by the season or not, it’s your call). Make it up and share it with loved ones!
Happy New Year!  Wishing you all good food, fun, family, and the peace and comfort of such joys!
All food is celebratory food for us!  We cook and set the table and enjoy as if each and every meal were an event.  It's something I learned from my grandmother and even when I eat alone, I set a place and take a moment before each meal to reflect on how fortunate I am to have such a gift before me.  But Christmas this year brought a gift more wonderful than I could have imagined!
So we will make a White Christmas Pie from the CBS Homemaker's Exchange Recipe Booklet October/November/December 1950.  Extra special for me as I was born in November 1950.

The ingredients.

One package of gelatin dissolved in cold water.

Milk added to some of the dry ingredients.

Cooked over low heat until boiling and then cooked 1 minute more.

The gelatin has set up slightly and is added to the slightly cooled cooked mixture.

The minute the gelatin was added the consistency changed to a softer and more fluid state.

Beat with a rotary beater until smooth - which didn't take long.

The heavy whipping cream was made earlier and kept in the refrigerator until this step.  The almond and vanilla extract are added to the other ingredients...

...and the whipped cream added and everything folded together gently.

3 eggs separated and whites beaten until stiff with sugar and cream of tartar added slowly.

Egg white mixture and coconut ready to be added.

Everything folded together.

Poured into the prebaked and cooled pastry shell.

Topped with coconut!  The entire island appears to have gotten a coconut topping!  Into the refrigerator for 2 hours.

We know that sometimes it looks as if Jeanette is doing all the writing and that is partially true.  It also looks like Jeanette is cooking and taking photos and that is only somewhat true.  We usually cook together and in our home we have a rule that has served us well - one cooks, the other cleans.  Really!  No need to worry about using too many dishes and ruining your enjoyment of cooking with a lot of clean up afterward!  The other will clean!  This is the mess I left for Patrick today. *smile*  But I know he'll love the pie!
Several hours have passed, we've gone for a beautiful walk in the woods, and now to try the pie.  It sits out for 20 minutes before serving.  Cutting is easy, and it slides out of the pan nicely.  I like the presentation of the golden crust in the glass pie pan and although the recipe called for a 9" pan, this pan is 9.5" and just barely held the filling.

The filling is so smooth with the light crunch of coconut and could really stand up to a strong flavored tea or coffee.  It would also be fun to toast some of the coconut to sprinkle on the top.  Excellent pie!
We have so much to celebrate this holiday season!  Patrick's twin daughters, Cathy and Chrissy, are 31 years old and you might remember from a previous post that Cathy became engaged to Aaron in October.  Patrick and his daughter's mother were divorced and the Joint Custody Agreement outlined the rights and responsibilities of each parent.  Holidays were divided and since the girls were out of school for two weeks during the Christmas break, they spent the first week with their father and the second week with their mother.  With my marriage to Patrick I became part of that schedule and Cathy and Chrissy would be with Patrick and me until Christmas Eve when the girls would go to church with their father and leave with their mother.  After an entire week of love and laughter in our home, Christmas Eve was a sad time as the house was again quiet.
After Christmas in 2013 Cathy and Chrissy's mother passed away suddenly.  She was in her late 60's and the death was completely unexpected.  Patrick travelled from our home in North Carolina to Illinois and spent the next month with his daughters helping them through the emotional and financial tangle.
We were touched when Cathy and Chrissy invited us to spend Christmas with them this year!  Patrick and I have been married 22 years and this would be our first Christmas Day with them.  We made the trip to Illinois, had the most wonderful time with Cathy, Chrissy, Aaron, and Aaron's mom and dad, Janet and Tom, who, although they are also divorced, spend together time with their children.
What a special time!

L to R Front:  Cathy, Jeanette, Patrick
L to R Back:  Aaron, Chrissy, Janet
Jeanette, Patrick, and Janet at The Bean in Downtown Chicago

Historical Food Fortnightly

The Challenge:  #16 Celebratory Foods
The Recipe:  White Christmas Pie, CBS Homemaker's Exchange Recipes
The Date/Year and Region:  October/November/December 1950, United States
How did you make it?  See photos and description in post
Time to Complete:  3 hours
Total Cost:  $6.00
How successful was it?  4 thumbs up!  Very smooth, could handle the balance of a strong tea or coffee, and the almond flavor is very wonderful!
How accurate is it?  Still a popular recipe around the internet and the recipes are basically the same, so very accurate.

Celebrate, Celebrate, Dance to the Music!
Patrick and Jeanette