[Sca-cooks] Meanderings on family histories and foods
mooncat at in-tch.com
Sun May 20 21:21:30 PDT 2007
I'd offer up my special recipes in trade --I've got one that's made with
cilantro, black beans, smoked turkey and red potatoes, and I've got an old
farm recipe for "quilters' potato salad" made with unsweetened, whipped
--Maire, who learned today that the number one most popular herb in the
world is cilantro! ;o)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Elaine Koogler" <kiridono at gmail.com>
To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2007 5:37 PM
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Meanderings on family histories and foods
> I don't suppose you would be willing to share your recipe for German
> salad, would you? In exchange, I have a great recipe for a potato salad
> that's made with red potatoes, pesto and pine nuts....
> On 5/20/07, Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius <adamantius1 at verizon.net>
> > On May 20, 2007, at 4:19 AM, Huette von Ahrens wrote:
> > > Well, my mother, whose parents were German immigrants and good
> > > Lutherans to boot, would
> > > make creamed eggs on toast after Easter using up all the hard
> > > boiled Easter eggs she had
> > > made for us kids. Mom never used paprika on this dish, but it did
> > > have black pepper in it,
> > > so that it wasn't just a bland egg/cream sauce dish.
> > You know, it's kind of funny: there are people who'd just assume
> > adding pepper, and/or even paprika (which is, of course, a capsicum
> > "pepper") wouldn't even come close to de-blandifying cream sauce, and
> > I'm more like, "cream sauce is bland??? you must be doing something
> > wrong..." As I get older (yeah, like I'm 6000 in this bunch) I find
> > myself becoming more interested in essential flavors. More
> > simplicity, more focus, more power. But I remember my first exposure
> > to some northern German cookery, from actual Germans who had
> > immigrated post WWII, and finding it un-be-_LIEV_-ab-ly bland. Yes,
> > this pea soup is spicy. It has ham in it. ;-) That was ~ 25 years
> > ago, and today I might even entertain the concept as a valid basis
> > for argument, and not merely meaningless sounds that might have some
> > accidental resemblance to words in English.
> > But thinking back, we often added black pepper to foods at the table
> > (salt, not so much, because we were taught it was considered kind of
> > an insult to the cook, and because my mom -- also generally the cook
> > -- would rake us over the coals and quote obscure health statistics
> > for six hours). Paprika wasn't added at the table, but it might show
> > up as a garnish on the comparatively few baked-casserole-type dishes
> > we were served.
> > > I can still remember the taste of
> > > this with the soft and creamy eggs on a toasted and buttered piece
> > > of white bread. Sigh.
> > >
> > > My mother and grandmother would use hard-boiled eggs in their
> > > potato salad, but they didn't
> > > do a creamed egg and potato hot dish.
> > When we say "hot dish", is this a casserole, or just a dish that was
> > hot? We had our potatoes on the side...
> > > For the potato salad, they would make a
> > > mayonnaise/cream/mustard/sweet pickle relish emulsion to bind the
> > > potatoes and eggs together.
> > > And on hot summer days, they would also add cubed ham and cubed
> > > cheese to make a cool, one
> > > dish meal.
> > >
> > > Huette
> > Yeah, that sounds right. My Aunt Ruth was the official potato-salad
> > guru of the family, and the unfortunate reality was that while she
> > lived, it was generally considered unnecessary for anyone else to
> > know how to make good German potato salad. Of course, she passed away
> > with no proper passing of the torch, so I've had to reconstruct some
> > missing data. [I live in fear that when I am gone, no one in my
> > family will be able to make good mashed potatoes.] I'm happy to
> > report that after years of expensive culinary school and even more
> > years of brutally ruthless interrogation of little old ladies in
> > places like Wilkes-Barre, PA, I can honestly say my potato salad
> > isn't too bad, and may some day be almost right. Which reminds me, I
> > need some more cellophane and a new bucket...
> > My aunt was of the "sour cream and mayo" school; most of my contacts
> > do the "add-vinegar-while-potatoes-are-still-hot" thing, then mayo,
> > mayo and sour cream, or, I suppose, mayo-and-sweet-cream, on the
> > rationale that the added vinegar would probably make them largely
> > indistinguishable anyway. Occasionally egg would be added, but not
> > ham. I'm wondering if maybe this was a transplanted regional
> > tradition, and perhaps the natural inclination would be to add
> > herring, thus terrifying the children, and consequently, no protein
> > garnish other than egg. But that's pure speculation on my part...
> > I've suddenly been struck, as if by a sort of culinary thunderbolt,
> > that we never even thought of a "boiled dressing" in this context,
> > and that I have no idea if this concept is known anywhere in Europe.
> > It actually would make a lot of sense in, for example, food-rationed
> > post-WWII England...
> > Adamantius
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