Friday, November 5, 2010

Great Home Cooking in America-Heirloom Recipes

I recently dusted off this cookbook and gave it a second look. I don't remember where I found this one, but after I brought it home it went into my cabinet over my planning desk in the kitchen and I forgot about it. Sometimes when I find an old cookbook and life is busy, this happens. Fortunately, since I've been reviewing cookbooks from my collection every Friday here on the blog, it forces me to take notice of the books individually and decide which ones are "keepers" for me.

Because I make my decision to keep or sell based on how many recipes look like items that I would actually fix (and our family would eat), I may sell this book. I enjoy the bits of history and background stories on how the heirloom recipes traveled from the Old World to the New World, but once I've read a cookbook, whether it stays is all down to the recipes! We aren't adventurous enough to eat most of the Polish and German foods in the book, and we don't test our taste boundaries with recipes such as, "English Suet Puddings". So you see, this book should not be ruled out by cooks who enjoy traditional recipes that originated in other countries and were brought to America. The historical information, alone, makes it a good read!

Great Home Cooking in America by the Editors of Farm Journal was published by Doubleday in 1976. The contents are divided up into the following sections: Part 1-Ch.1 American Food Originals; Part 1-Ch.2 Southwestern Specialties. Part 2: Ch. 1-The Heritage of English Cooking; Ch. 2-The Heritage of German Cooking; Ch. 3-The Heritage of Dutch Cooking; Ch. 4-The Heritage of Scandinavian Cooking; Ch. 5-The Heritage of Eastern European Cooking and Ch. 6-The Heritage of Italian and Other Mediterranean Favorites.

On page 40 of the book it speaks of the early colonists and their dependence on pumpkins for sustenance. In fact, here is a ditty written in New England in 1638:

We had pumpkins in the morning
And Pumpkins at noon
If it were not for pumpkins
We'd be undone soon

I thought we would use the recipe from the same page of the cook book as our sample recipe for today.

Page 40-41 Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin

1 (3-4 lb.) sugar pumpkin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 medium onion-chopped
1 lb. ground beef
3 eggs, slightly-beaten
1 C cooked regular rice
3/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 C water

Cut lid out of pumpkin; remove seeds. Prick inside cavity with fork. Rub inside with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp mustard.
Cook onion and ground beef in skillet until lightly-browned. Remove from heat. Add eggs, rice, pepper, 2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp dry mustard. Stuff pumpkin with meat mixture (size of cavity will vary with pumpkins-you may need more filling if pumpkin meat is very thick). Replace pumpkin lid.
Place stuffed pumpkin in shallow pan with 1/2 C water. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour 30 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Add more water if necessary. Makes 6 servings.

I will be joining Designs by Gollum, Life as Mom, Grocery Cart Challenge, Mom Trends, Ann Kroeker, and Amy's Finer Things for their swaps today.

(Book I'm reading now: The Crucible by Arthur Miller)

Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea to review a different cookbook every week in order to get them off the shelf, put them to use, or pass them along as the need fits. This recipe sounds very interesting, but these days I base most of my cooking on what the family will eat rather than what I'd most like to cook.