USING FOOD TO TEACH HISTORY AND RELATED SUBJECTS

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  • 1. USING FOOD TO TEACH HISTORY AND RELATED SUBJECTS AMERICAN REGIONAL COOKERY
  • 2. INTRODUCTION
    • Is there such as thing as “American Cuisine?”
    • And
    • Why is that an important question?
    • OR
    • Who, Who, Who Are You?
  • 3. Models of Thought Through Food
    • 1. Americans as a mixture of individual identities-a cultural stew.
    • 2. Americans as a unitary culture-melting pot.
    • 3. American identity and food changing over time: from farm to city/suburb; from home cooking to industrialized food.
  • 4. Basics
    • 1. Geography-how the land shapes cultures and societies at world, national, regional, and local levels.
    • 2. Ecology-the importance of the environment in human life and history.
    • 3. Cultural Ecology-How human beings have changed their environments, created new ones, and destroyed old ones. The effects on history of these processes.
    • 4. Economics-raising food (the base of all societies), processing, selling, buying-markets small and large, economies of scale (modern food).
    • 5. Social Sciences- Class, social conflict, and integration.
    • 6. Anthropology-Food customs, celebrations, family life, hospitality, folk medicine, myths, and identity.
    • A. Ethnicity
    • B. Gender Roles
    • C. Multiculturalism
    • D. Languages
    • 7. Language Arts-reading and writing recipes and about food in general.
  • 5. American History Through Recipes. Regionalism (Geography, Ecology, Cultural Ecology, Ethnicity, Immigration)
    • New England: Native Peoples and Regional British-Irish-French foodways.
    • Land: Rocks and Sea
    • Ecology: Climate and native foods:
    • corn for wheat-wheat for corn
    • Lobster
    • Succotash-Native American
    • Baked Beans-peas to beans
    • Chowder
    • Indian Pudding-molasses and honey
    • Blueberries
    • Cranberries
    • Dairy-women’s work
    • Hamburgers on Toast-more meat
  • 6.
    • "DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING A CHOUDER" (1751)
    • Yield: Serves 12-16
    • 4 pounds cod steaks
    • 1 pound lean salt pork
    • 4 onions
    • 10-12 Hardtacks, or a box of Crown Pilot Crackers
    • 1/2 teaspoon mace
    • 4 sprigs parsley
    • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
    • 1/2 teaspoon summer savory
    • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
    • 1 cup red wine (optional)
    • Equipment: Tall soup pot, another soup pot
    • Slice pork into thin slices. Heat half a pot of water in the other soup pot.
    • Put 4 or 5 of the thickest slices of the salt pork in the bottom of the soup pot and heat slowly.
    • Halve, peel, and slice the onions. (Wear swim goggles to avoid tears.)
    • Break up the hardtacks (if using) and soak in water to begin softening them.
    • When the salt pork is frying nicely, add a layer of onions, then put in some of the fish steaks.
    • Put on a sprig of parsley and sprinkle on some of the spices and a little salt and pepper.
    • Top with some of the crackers or hardtacks.
    • Now start again with a few slices of salt pork; a layer of onions; more fish steaks; another round of herbs, spices, salt and pepper; and more crackers or hardtacks.
    • It's better to end with salt pork or fish.
    • When you get to the top, add the cup of wine, if using. Then fill the pot with hot water to cover all the layers by an inch.
    • Bring (back) to a boil, then reduce heat so it barely simmers. You may need to add more hot water if the hardtacks are very dry and absorb it. Simmer about 30 minutes. The idea is to cook all the fish steaks so they don't entirely fall apart, while giving the broth a chance to develop flavors and thicken.
    • Serve in bowls making sure each person gets some good hunks of fish and a slice of salt pork. Because there is no milk, this kind of chowder was seasoned at the table with lemon juice, or sharp sauces like Worcestershire sauce.
  • 7. Middle Atlantic English, Scotch-Irish, Germans, African-American/Caribbean-then the Great Mix
    • Land: the Bread Colonies
    • Ecology: European plants and animals replace natives
    • Wheat for Corn
    • Cattle and pigs for deer
    • Bread
    • Scrapple-German
    • Cream Cheese-Dutch/German
    • Hot Pots-Dutch and Afro-Caribbean
    • Shoo Fly (Molasses) Pie-Penna Dutch
    • Tomatoes-Tomato Soup
    • Doughnuts-Dutch
    • Bagels and Jewish foods
    • Cheese Steak-Italian-American
  • 8. Snitz and Knep Recipes: Receipts from Godey's Lady's Book, edited by Lily May Spaulding and John Spaulding. It is an old Pennsylvania Dutch dish, originally eaten without the ham for Lent and still enjoyed as "Schnitz un Gnepp." For many poor Appalachian farm families, dried apples were the only winter sweet until maple syrup making. Yield: Serves 6-10 4 cups dried apples Inch-thick ham steak or 2 to make an inch of thickness 1 cup whole milk 1 medium egg 3 cups flour 2 teaspoons dry yeast, or 1/4 cup Potato Yeast Equipment: Breadboard, tall soup pot with If using dry yeast, dissolve in a little warm water with a pinch of sugar. Warm the milk to lukewarm. Beat the egg, and stir into the milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to milk. When the yeast has a foam of bubbles on top, add the yeast and one cup of the flour to the milk. Stir the batter well and cover with kitchen towel until bubbly and light throughout. Put apples in soup pot with water to cover. Arrange ham steaks on top. Bring water to a boil, but reduce he to a bare simmer. Warm more water in a teakettle- the dried apples will absorb water and must be kept moist so they do n burn. Stir the rest of the flour into th batter, to make a soft dough. You ma need a little more flour or water. Form dough into a loaf shape, and allow to rise until about 20 minu before serving dinner. With a very sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch "slices" from the dough and arrange o top of the ham. Cover pot tightly to steam dum ling slices. Serve as a one-pot supper.
  • 9. The South: Native plants and peoples, introduced plants and animals, immigration (Regional British-Irish-French-German-Spanish foodways, multiculturalism, caste and class).
    • Land: varied, from hot coastal plains to Appalachian highlands
    • Ecology: Foods depend on local ecology and climate, native foods supplement foods from Europe, Africa and Asia: peanuts and corn; hogs and rice.
    • Barbecued ribs-hog and hominy
    • Chow Chow-Pickling
    • Okra (Gumbos)-Gulf Coast
    • Fried Chicken
    • Grits
    • Greens
    • Red-eye Gravy
    • Rice-Carolina-low country
    • Brunswick Stew-upcountry
    • Hush Puppies-fried everything
    • Catfish-fried and otherwise
    • Peanuts-America’s flexible food
    • Coca-Cola/Pepsi-Cola
    • Sweetened Tea-
    • Fruit Cobblers
  • 10.
    • GROUND-NUT SOUP ( 1847)
    • The peanut was developed in South America, but was introduced from Brazil to Africa in the early 1500s. It quickly replaced a native African groundnut in seasoning pastes, stews, and soups like this one. Slaves brought the peanut plant to the United States, where peanuts are still sometimes called "goober peas," from the Bantu (and Gullah dialect) term, "nguba." The chile peppers in the recipe had almost the same history. The oysters were locally cheap in Charleston, where the recipe was published by Sarah Rutledge in The Carolina House­wife. Peanut soup is also supposed to have been a favorite dish of George Washington, who had a substantial oyster fishery at Mount Vernon. Since slaves and free African-Americans were active in collecting oysters and peddling them door-to-door, this dish was probably invented entirely by African-Americans and taken up by white planters in places like Charleston, where slaves were the majority of the population. Signifi­cantly, Miss Rutledge's next recipe is a nearly identical soup substituting "Bennie" (sesame seeds)—another African import that retained its African name locally—for the groundnuts.
    • To a half a pint shelled ground-nuts, well beaten up, add two spoonsful of flour, and mix well. Put to them a pint of oysters, and a pint and a half of water. When boiling, throw on a seed pepper or two, if small.
    • Yield: Serves 6
    • 1 cup peanuts
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 2 cups oysters
    • 1-2 dried red chiles
    • Equipment: Food processor, spatula, soup pot
    • Process peanuts in short bursts about a minute to make a rough paste.
    • Add the flour and pulse a few more times to blend.
    • Heat up the peanut butter in a soup pot, and stir in 3 cups of water and the oysters with their liquor.
    • Add the dried pepper and bring to a boil.
    • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently so soup does not stick and burn.
    • Remove pepper before serving. Serve hot, perhaps with rice.
  • 11. Midwest: Native plants and peoples, introduced plants, immigration, ethnicity, food economies (local economies and industrial production).
    • Land: From Appalachians on East to the Prairies of the trans-Mississippi, from the Ohio River Valley to the Great Lakes and Great Plans-highly varied.
    • Ecology: Some native plants and animals remain-corn, turkey, deer, persimmons, wild rice, cranberries, blueberries. But ecology transformed with imported plants and animals-soybeans, potatoes, wheat, cattle, sheep, pigs.
    • Dairy and Cheese-mainly German, Dutch
    • Sausages- German, Jewish, Polish
    • Apple or Cherry Pie-English
    • Whitefish-smoked, boiled, fried-German, Scandinavian
    • Dumplings/noodles-German, E. European
    • Pirogi
    • Toasted Ravioli-St. Louis
    • Soybeans-recent transformation
    • Persimmons
    • Blueberries
    • Cranberries
    • Any creamed dish-Devolved French
    • Soul Food
  • 12.
    • MILK GRAVY (1911
    • Mrs. Nickey recalls light suppers of biscuits and milk gravy, still popular in both the Rocky Mountain states and the Ohio-Indiana region from which many homesteaders came. Milk gravy was also used on boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, cornbread, and pancakes. "An instant milk made according to directions makes acceptable gravy."
    • Yield: Serves 4
    • 4 tablespoons bacon grease
    • 6 tablespoons flour
    • 2 cups whole milk (or 11/2 cups canned evaporated milk)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • Equipment: Large skillet, flat whisk
      • .Melt bacon grease and stir in flour.
      • Keep stirring carefully until the flour is a golden brown (lighter than peanut butter). Don't burn the flour and don't burn yourself on the hot greasy mix. ture.
      • .Remove from heat and stir in one cup of hot water and then the milk (or 11/2 cups of water and the evaporated milk).
      • When well mixed, return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it is well thickened.
      • Season with the salt and pepper.
    • "I have seen some people take two of biscuits at one time, break them open, them on the plate, and then cover the bis liberally with milk gravy. It takes a big b gravy to take care of a situation like that, so might want to double the recipe."
  • 13.
    • Corn Oysters
    • FRESH CORN FRITTERS
    • These mock oysters made of freshly shucked corn were a great favorite in the America of the late 1800s and through the early years of this century. Some recipes call for deep frying the "oysters" and others—most likely for reasons of economy rather than health —instruct you to cook them more like griddle cakes. These are terrific with breakfast, but make an equally good appetizer, especially when served with tartar sauce.
    • 4 to 5 cobs sweet corn, shucked, or substitute 2 cups frozen kernels, thawed 2 eggs, separated 13 cup flour Pinch cayenne pepper Salt Ground black pepper Butter, melted
      • 1. Cook the fresh corn in lightly salted boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cobs. Measure 2 cups corn into a bowl.
      • .Stir the egg yolks and flour into the corn. Season with cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Beat the egg whites until firm and shiny. Fold into the corn mixture.
      • Heat a griddle or heavy frying pan over moderate heat. Brush with melted butter. Drop the corn batter by spoonfuls the size of a fried oyster (about 2 inches in diameter) onto the griddle. Brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
    • Mary at the farm and Book of Recipes by Edith M. Thomas
  • 14. Southwest: Native plants and peoples, introduced plants and animals, immigration (Southern American-Hispanic foodways, multiculturalism, caste and class, cultural identity).
    • Land: drylands, fertile valleys, vast prairie
    • Ecology: native foods remain-beans, corn, chilies with additions of cattle and wheat. Hispanic influence great .
    • Posole-hominy
    • Tamales
    • Tacos-Tex-Mex
    • Chicken Fried Steak-English-German-Appalachian
    • Beef Chili
    • Fajitas-recent American-Mexican
    • Green Chile Stews-native
  • 15.
    • Tamale Pie
    • CORNMEAL SAUSAGE PIE
    • Tamale pie is as authentically Tex-Mex as chili con carne. There are numerous variations on this casserole of cornmeal and meat, some using chili as a base, others using the same masa meal that Mexicans use for real tamales. Either way, it is a homey meal that may lack the complexity of tamales steamed in corn husks, but then again it does not take hours to prepare.
    • 1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • 1/2 pound sausage meat or Mexican chorizo, crumbled
    • 1/2 pound ground beef
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced
      • 1/2 cup cornmeal
      • 1 cup milk
      • 1/2 cup tomato juice
      • 2 eggs
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • .Heat the oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat. Add the sausage and beef and cook until browned and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chili powder and garlic and cook 1 more minute. Drain off any excess fat. Spoon into a 9-inch pie plate.
    • Combine the cornmeal, milk, tomato juice, eggs, and salt and stir until smooth. Pour over the meat mixture. Set in the oven and bake until firm and golden, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
    • Favorite Recipes of Colfax County Club Women compiled by the Colfax County Home Demonstration Clubs
    • SERVES 4 TO 5
  • 16.
    • Spanish Chicken
    • CHICKEN STEWED WITH TOMATOES AND CHILES
    • A favorite dish of silent screen stars Mary Pickford and Constance Bennett. This version comes from Miss Bennett.
    • 1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 teaspoon powdered thyme
    • A 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 small onions, peeled and cut in half
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 tablespoon chopped celery
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 dried New Mexican or Anaheim chile, stemmed, seeded, and crumbled fine
    • 1 large tomato, sliced
    • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • Stir together the flour, salt, pepper, and thyme. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over moderately high heat. Add the chicken pieces and fry until browned on all sides. Pour off the fat. Add the onions, parsley, celery, garlic, and chile to the pan. Add cup water. Cover, set in the oven, and bake until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes.
    • Remove the cover, arrange the tomatoes over the chicken, and sprinkle with the cheese and paprika. Place the casserole, uncovered, in the oven and bake 15 minutes longer. Serve hot.
  • 17. California and Northwest Immigrants
    • Land: Varied, richest agricultural regions and microenvironments
    • Ecology: Almost entirely introduced foods, save for fish.
    • California
    • Salads-lettuces including iceberg-invented food
    • Chop Suey-Chinese
    • Chow Mien-Chinese
    • Garlic
    • Tuna Fish
    • Taquitos-Cal-Mex
    • Avocado-Mexico
    • Burrito-recent Cal-Mex
    • California Pizza-chef invented
    • Almonds
    • Artichokes
    • Wines
    • Canned fruits and vegetables, including pineapple
  • 18.
    • Grilled Veggie Hero with Roasted Garlic Spread
    • This sandwich is great for using up some of the bounty from the farmers' market. The hours that it spends wrapped in plastic make this a terrific dish for entertaining or to take on a picnic.
    • 1 head garlic
    • Olive oil for drizzling and brushing
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 portobello mushroom caps
    • 2 to 3 zucchini or yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into thirds
    • 1 Vidalia or red onion, thickly sliced crosswise
    • 2 red peppers, cut in half, stems, ribs, and seeds remove
    • One 7-ounce log goat cheese
    • 2 tablespoons whole milk or sour cream
    • 1 loaf rustic bread such as ciabatta
    • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 bunch arugula or 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
    • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cut off the top quarter of the garlic head to expose the cloves. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake until soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
    • Preheat the broiler. Brush the mushroom caps, zucchini or squash, onion, and peppers with oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the element until tender, about 10 minutes, turning once. Set aside to cool.
    • Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the goat cheese, milk or sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste, continuing to mash well with a fork until blended.
    • Cut the bread in half and open it like a book. Spread both sides of the bread with the goat cheese mixture. Slice the roasted vegetables into strips and layer them on one side of bread. Top the vegetables with tomato slices. Drizzle with vinegar. Top with arugula or spinach and replace the top half of the bread to make a sandwich. Press the length of the sand­wich firmly with the palm of your hand to compress it slightly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and press under a weight (2 cans of tomatoes on top of a cutting board works well) for 2 to 3 hours to combine the flavors and improve the sandwich texture. Cut into portions and serve.
    • Serves 6 as part of a picnic buffet
    • NOTE: The vegetables can be grilled a day ahead and the roasted garlic spread can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
  • 19. Northwest
    • Wines
    • Wild Salmon-native
    • Apples
    • Pears
    • Asparagus
    • Potatoes-Plateau
    • Grapes
    • Wines
    • Beer (hops and micro-Breweries)
    • Starbuck’s Coffee
  • 20.
    • Wild Salmon Teriyaki
    • This recipe not only makes a delicious dinner, the leftovers serve double duty as the base for a second meal of fried rice.
    • One 2-inch knob fresh ginger
    • 1 to 2 garlic cloves
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • '/2 cup chicken stock (see recipe, page 78) or water
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses or honey
    • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 2 pounds wild salmon fillets
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • Place the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chicken stock, vinegar, molasses, and red pepper flakes in a blender and puree until smooth. Place the salmon in a nonreactive bowl or casserole just large enough to hold the fish in one layer. Cover with the marinade and refrigerate for 20 minutes, turning the salmon once halfway through.
    • While fish marinates, preheat the broiler and oil a broiling pan (in place of a broiling pan I use a cake cooling rack that fits neatly into a cookie sheet. The fish doesn't stick to the rack if I oil it well and the cookie sheet catches any drips).
    • Remove the fish from the marinade and place it skin-side-up on the broiling pan. Broil the fish approximately 4 inches from the broiling ele­ment until the skin is crispy and starts to bubble, 7 to 10 minutes. Run a spatula under the fish to loosen it from the rack and flip it over. Broil on the second side until dark brown, another 7 to 10 minutes. Test for done­ness by inserting a fork into the center of the fillet. The fish should be opaque and flaky all the way through. If not quite done, turn the broiler off and bake at 425°F until cooked through.
    • While the fish is broiling, pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes to make a delicious sauce.
    • Serve the salmon with rice and steamed vegetables and pass the sauce separately on the side.
    • (from Sherri Brooks Vinton and Ann Clark Espuelas, The Real Food Revival)