Monday, May 30, 2016

Barbecue During Hard Times

Japanese Americans working in a US government operated Butcher shop at the Manzanar Relocation Center in California, 1943, Courtesy of the Library of Congress 
Traditionally, North Americans barbecue meats on Memorial Day, a day in which we remember those who gave their lives on the battlefield for the country. What about during wartime, when government officials establish rations and meat prices soar making a barbecue an expensive way to celebrate the holiday? In 1942 Alice B. Winn-Smith published Thrifty Cooking For Wartime. She suggested to barbecue pit masters that they use “the less expensive cuts of meat” such as organ meats and perhaps brisket and ribs which had been less important in providing meat to the soldiers fighting overseas. “Remember much of the meat is needed by ‘our boys,’ and the use of some these meats cuts that are less important for supplying the armed forces, definitely helps in the conservation program,” said Winn-Smith.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Stumping and Eating in Prohibition Hotbeds

1917 picnic, Courtesy of the Library of Congress
In 1912, 1500 residents of Falls County Texas turned out to a picnic to hear political candidates and enjoy food and drink. 1912 had been a presidential election year in which Theodore Roosevelt and Eugene Debs ran as third-party candidates against Democrat Woodrow Wilson and Republican William Howard Taft. Fall County had been a hotbed for pro-prohibition voters. In contrast to the serving of beer, bourbon, and other booze and other parts of the country in 1912, the organizer of this picnic served Coca-Cola and other soft drinks. This drink menu seems strange today with healthier public policy advocates fighting to raise sales taxes on soda and thereby reduce the consumption of sweet drinks. 

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Stumping and Eating Series: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Electoral+Politics+and+Food

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Nutrition Month Series with Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=nutrition+month 

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Atlanta Braves in a Pickle in 1950

Food vendors in white uniforms in the stands, 1940, Courtersy of the Boston Public Library
Here is another entry in our series fanfare which looks at all things food related in speculator sports. The Atlanta Braves organization has been in trouble with a underperforming ball club and their fans are not happy. In May of 1950 the Braves had a problem just days before Memorial Day weekend. About 100 refreshment vendors threatened to go on strike prior to a Memorial Day weekend doubleheader between the Braves and New York Giants. The vendors of peanuts, soda, hotdogs and more claimed their employer's did not reimburse them for the extra work of filling peanut bags. If the vendors went on strike it would leave the management in a pickle since large crowds turned out to see baseball on Memorial Day weekend, especially when it had been a doubleheader. The majority of the vendors had been high school kids in their teens. It’s unclear if the strike had been resolved before the Memorial Day doubleheader. 

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Stumping and Eating in Kentucky in 1912

Barbecuing beef and lamb near Bardstown, Kentucky, 1945, Courtesy of the Library of Congress 
The presidential election of 1912 featured more candidates in the general election than is generally the case in US political history. Republicans nominated William Howard Taft leading the incumbent Republican Party president Theodore Roosevelt to run as a progressive as the Bull Moose Party candidate. The International Workers of the World (IWW) labor leader Eugene V. Debs, a socialist, also ran for president in 1912.  The split of the Republican vote provided a path for the Democratic Party to take over the White House. At their convention in Baltimore, Democrats (Dems) nominated New Jersey Governor and the former President of Princeton University Woodrow Wilson as their candidate. In Lexington Kentucky the local Democratic Party chairman there, George S. Shanklin organized a Democratic Party “ratification meeting and barbecue.” The event attracted the largest assembly of people in Kentucky's political history at that time. The barbecue included drinking burgoo, eating barbecued meats, and washing them down with buttermilk, mint juleps, straight bourbon or spring water “as it suits the individuals fancy.” Dems attracted and fed approximately 40,000 people at a cost of $3,000. Bluegrass farmers in Fayette County, Kentucky help underwrite the cost of the event donating the beef and mutton for the barbecue.
(Cincinnati Enquirer, August 18, 1912)

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Returning to School and Stretching Your Budget

Strawberry syrup and corn bread recipes below

Here is another installment in our series eating while poor. During hard times those who can afford to return to school to retool themselves for another job and/or career. Some desire a degree for the title. That kind of motivation will not sustain most people when school becomes difficult. Earning a degree means lots of late-night early-morning reading and preparing for class as well as exams and team projects. Furthermore, it can mean cheap eats because you are poor. In grad school I learned how to stretch my food budget as much as possible. For example, I've learned make strawberry syrup from boiling down water and sugar to which I add bit of strawberry gelatin powder, and then two cups of frozen strawberries and let it cook down into a syrup. I'd serve it with cornbread saturated with some strawberry syrup and topped with vanilla yogurt and nuts for added protein. 

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Eating While Poor Series with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Eating+While+Poor

Surviving Graduate Series with Recipeshttp://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=surviving+graduate+school

Corn Bread Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Corn+Bread


Monday, May 23, 2016

Stumping and Eating in Kentucky

Kentucky open pit barbecue,  Louisville, 1895, Courtesy of the Library of Congress
We turn to Kentucky today to continue our series stumping and eating which looks at the role of food in politics. The term political meeting in 1876 often meant and outdoor meeting with live brass bands, speeches from 3 noted and persuasive politicians who at times spoke for more than an hour. Meeting organizers had a short break to feed the hundreds and not seldom thousands of attending these events. A Kentucky political barbecue menu featured a whole barbecued/roasted ox and smaller animals such as hogs and lamb serves with bread for free served buffet style. In 1876, Judge D. K. Weis served as President of the Tilden and Hendricks Democratic Club of Ashland Kentucky in the 10th US Congressional District, a Democratic hotbed. In October of 1876 is political club hosted a democratic barbecue in Ashland to mobilize voters in the district and delegates attending the party's convention in St. Louis. Ashland Dems supported the presidential ticket of Tilden and Hendricks and John P Clark for the House of Representatives.

Roast Lamb Recipe
Five-pounds of meat should cook in half an hour, and ten-pounds in one hour. Season meat with salt and pepper before putting it to cook, baste it with lard or butter before putting in stove, and while cooking baste with the juice that comes out of the meat every two or three minutes until done.

Abby Fisher, What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking. (1881)

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Friday, May 20, 2016

The Significance of Tailgating

Syracuse Lacrosse Tailgate, Courtesy of Gerry Nicholson 
More on the history of Syracuse University (SU) lacrosse tailgating. It was the Stickmen’s Club with John McElroy at the helm who helped coordinate where the Syracuse University lacrosse team’s tailgate would be held and could always be the source of information regarding all things SU lacrosse. The significance of tailgating is spending time with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, and enjoying good food and drink. It’s about school pride, tradition, and a common love for Syracuse lacrosse. Many associate tailgating with food and beverage. Most often it’s not about the amount of the food but more about specific foods that define members of a specific subculture like the Syracuse Lacrosse community which has expanded from people from upstate and downstate New York, a sprinkling of folks from Baltimore, and increasingly to other regions of the country as the sport of lacrosse continues to grow.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

SU Lacrosse Tailgates In Their Early Years

A Syracuse Lacrosse Tailgate, photo courtesy of Gerry Nicholson
Here's another contribution to our series on the history of the Syracuse University (SU) lacrosse program's tailgating tradition. SU employee Mike Garvey had been a constant at games (home and away) and the truck that he hauled the teams equipment and barbecue grills for the tailgate. This allowed the team their families, alum, and fans to know where they could meet after the game for the tailgate.  Hall of Fame lacrosse Coach Roy Simmons Jr. coined the phrase “when we win we celebrate and if we lose we party.”  There had been more celebrations than parties in those days!  This was SU lacrosse tailgates in their early years. They served as the foundation for much bigger things to come, but most importantly it was the beginning of team, staff, families, fans and friends of the program getting together to visit and rehash what had just occurred on the field while enjoying food and beverage.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Fireless Frankfurter Cooker

Baltimore Orioles v New York Giants, Polo Grounds, 1894, Courtesy of the Library of Congress
Here is another storey in our series Fanfare. During World War I a Major Buzzicott, of the United States Army employed stew wagons which worked similar to Chuck wagons used to feed people out in the field—a portable steamer that allowed one to transport and keep food hot as it traveled from the kitchen to soldiers in the field. On the other side of the Atlantic Master Mechanic Billy Delaney, who worked for food entrepreneur Harry M. Stevens, adapted and improved the stew wagon so it could be used to keep hot dogs warm as they left a central stadium kitchen and vendors sold them to baseball fans throughout stadiums. The Delaney called his device the Fireless Frankfurter Cooker.  The Stevens Company first used it in the old Polo Grounds in New York City which had been home to the New York Giants. Before the rollout of the cooker, fans had leave their seats to purchase a hotdog at bars in the stadium. Starting in 1919 one could purchase a hotdog for ten cents sold with French or English mustard at frankfurter cookers throughout the stadium. At the time German mustard had been barred owning to the war against Germany.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stumping and Eating in Los Angeles

Jessie Jackson Stumping During the Democratic Primary in 1988, Courtesy of  Local 1199
The California primary is one month away. Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign platform reminds me of Jesse Jackson’s in 1988.  In May of 1988 Jackson stumped at a Latinos for Jackson luncheon at the Queen of Angels Church in Los Angeles. In his speech Jackson championed national healthcare, an end to US intervention in Central America, and a voter registration drive that would increase participation in the June primary in California supports for his progressive. Substitute Iraq and Afghanistan for Central America, and the two Democratic candidates’ policies are remarkably similar.

Eggplant with Dressing, 74
Ingredients
1 eggplant
1 cup chopped chicken or any meat
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion
2 tablespoons bread-crumbs
Salt and pepper

Instructions
Cut the eggplant in two, take out all the inside and put it in a pan with a cupful of chopped chicken, veal or any meat you wish (ham is also good); cover with water and boil until tender; drain, add one tablespoonful of butter, a small onion chopped fine, salt and pepper, and about two tablespoonful of bread-crumbs; mix well together and fill each half of the shell, put a little butter on each, and bake fifteen of twenty minutes.
Elizabeth D. K. Dooley, Puerto Rican Cook Book (1948)

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South by South of the Border Soul Food in LA: [Listen Now] https://www.southernfoodways.org/gravy/south-by-south-of-the-border-soul-food-gravy-ep-26/