Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Look Out!  These recipes are for White Food.

Lafcadio Hearn House in New Orleans.

Lafcadio Hearn House in New Orleans.

Made of potato, coconut, cream, egg whites, milk, sugar and almonds, these concoctions suggest the type of bland, colorless food that the No White Food  blog plans to avoid.

But these delicacies are something special —  collected and transcribed by the writer-adventurer Lafcadio Hearn who lived in New Orleans from about 1877 to 1890 and wrote for several newspapers.

The recipes are transcribed just as he wrote them, with unusual spelling and style.  You won’t find precise measurements or involved processes here.

My particular favorite is the recipe for Syllabub, a beverage used as a restorative after illness or fatigue.  Apparently Hearn’s landlady would cosset him with a nourishing syllabub when he was under the weather.

Historic plaque for Lafcadio Hearn house in New Orleans.

Historic plaque for Lafcadio Hearn house in New Orleans.

Potato Puffs

Very nice potato puffs may be made by mashing seven or eight potatoes smoothly, and mixing in with them two well beaten eggs, two tablesspoonfuls of melted butter, also well-beaten, and a cup of milk.  Pour it into a pan and bake in a hot stove.

Potato Croquets

Take 6 boiled potatoes – cold mashed potatoes will do – add three tbsp of grated ham, a little pepper, salt and chopped parsley, also, the yolks of three eggs; form into balls, dip in egg and roll in bread crubs; fry in hot lard; garnish with parsley.

 Custard Coconut Pudding

Grate one cocoanut…take a quart of milk, four eggs, and a cup of sugar.  Beat sugar and eggs light, then stir in the milk, and last the cocoanut and such flavoring as you may prefer.  Pour this into a deep pan lined with paste; put fancy strips of paste across it and bake lightly.  (Note, “paste” in this context is pie pastry.)

Blanched Almonds

Pour boiling water on them and let remain in it a few minutes.  Remove the skins, throw the almonds into cold water, drain them from the water, but do not wipe them. Let dry and store or use in other recipes.

Coconut Candy

Four cups of water, 2 -1/2 c. fine white sugar, four spoonfuls of vinegar, and a piece of butter as large as an egg; boil till thick, or about 3/4 hour.  Just before removing stir in one cup of desiccated coconut, and lay in small, flat cakes on buttered plates, to cool and harden.

Inventing New Orleans, by Lafcadio Hearn. Book Cover.

Inventing New Orleans, by Lafcadio Hearn. Book Cover.

Syllabub

Take the juice of a large lemon, and the yellow rind pared thin; one glass of brandy, two glasses of white wine, and a quarter of a pound of powdered sugar.  Put these ingredients into a pan and let them remain one night; the next day add a pint of thick cream, and the whites of two eggs beaten together; beat them all together to a fine froth, and serve in jelly glasses.

Source:  La Cuisine Creole, Lafcadio Hearn’s Creole Cook Book. Pelican Pulishing Co,  Gretna, Louisiana. 1990

Advertisements
Can of kejap manis, Indonesian soy sauce.

Can of kejap manis, Indonesian soy sauce, an ingredient in Saus Kacang.

Saus Kacang, recipe #1

7 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

2 large dried red chilis (hot, not mild)

2 tbsps finely chopped onion

1 tsp trassi (dried shrimp paste)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp kejap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce)

350 ready made peanut paste (or use chunky peanut butter)

1.5 tbsps palm sugar or brown sugar

Heat the oil in a wok and brown the onions and garlic.Remove from oil and place on paper towel. Fry the chilis on a low heat for just under a minute in oil. Remove from oil and place on paper towel. Once they are cool cut them open and remove the seeds. Chop the remaining chili flesh fine. Add  the trassi to the remaining oil in the pan, crush with a wooden spoon and stir into the oil so that it dissolves as much as it can. Add lemon juice and ketjap manis. Remove the heat from heat and mix in peanut sauce. Let this mixture cool.

Mix garlic, onion, chilli pieces, and sugar through the cooled mixture. Store in a glass jar.  When you want to use this base in a sauce use 1 part of paste to three parts of lightly salted water or coconut milk. Stir and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Ready to eat with gado gado, satay (chicken threaded on a kebab stick)  or other dishes.

Saus Kacang, recipe #2    

(a quick version)

6 tbsp peanut butter

1 cup water

3/4 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsps palm sugar or brown sugar

2 tbsp sweetened Indonesian soy sauce

juice from 1 lemon or lime

1/2 tsp trassi (dried shrimp paste)

cocnut milk or water

Mix peanut butter and water in a pan over medium heat  until the mixture nearly boils. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. If sauce is too thick, add more water or coconut milk. Taste and add more soy sauce, if needed. 

Saus Kacang recipe #3

* Recipe for Saus Kacang from Saveur Magazine

book cover

Endless Feasts Cover.

Endless Feasts — Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet

  • Ruth Harkness munching on exotic pheasants left in a Tibetan Lamasery by monks fleeing the Chinese invaders in 1944 because that’s all the food she had.
  • Novelist Pat Conroy in Umbria rediscovering the food and sights through the eyes of his new mate.
  • The demise of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York as told by Louis DiaGou, the chef who was ran the kitchen in 1910 when the hotel opened and was still there when it closed in 1950.

These are just three of the 41 narratives from  the late, great Gourmet magazine.  My grandmother wrote a few articles for Gourmet in the 1940s-early 50s.

I wonder…. do travelers possess innately complex palates that drive them to sample the world’s cuisines?  Or, does travel expose people to exotic — perhaps fresher — ingredients, unusual preparations and intriguing cultural traditions?

The interplay between food and travel is logical.  Go traveling and you’ll be foraging, whether at the street market in Ho Chi Min City, the Ritz in Paris,  a Bayou gumbo shack,  or at Havana, North Dakota’s community run Farmer’s Inn.

Travelers do develop faith in food; a meal is reward for a long day or night’s journey.  Sometimes the story is how grand that  meal; other times, how bad, and the aftermath.  These stories are nearly all about  the great meals and the iconoclasts who cooked them.  A few stories include recipes.

Details on the book: Edited and with an introduction by Ruth Reichl. Modern Library, 2002. 401 pages, no index, $24.95

A similar version of this article appeared in the  Bloomsbury Review.

Market in Guanajuato Mexico

Market in Guanajuato Mexico

Travel offers opportunity to try foods you might normally not see in your local market.  Wherever you go, visit the local grocery store, farmer’s market or street vendor.  In Guanajuato, there’s a vast two level city market built with great style and flair.  Navigate up the iron steps to the galleria on the top level where you can look down on the passing scene  then stroll around to buy Mexican candied delicacies, cacao, hammocks, clothes and every type of food.  On the streets around the market, small purveyors offer fruit at outdoor markets with prices marked on boards or called out by hawkers.

The delicate normal-sized strawberries sold during Spring carry stupendous taste.  Nothing sold in el Norte comes close for flavor intensity.

The Gastronomica Reader
Univ of California Press, 2010

What fun to find, by chance, that the Gastronomica Reader ,which includes my long article about Diana Kennedy and Mexican organic farming,  is featured in a biblio encyclopedia run by an Estonian webarian!  Fun because this connects directly to last week’s Wikimania 2012 in Washington, DC where I met the wikipedian from Estonia, Raul Veede.

Synchronicity and random serendipity are the indicators I follow in order to avoid the contrived pressures of marketing, crowd control, issues management, individual greed and social aggression.  Long live the randomness of the internet and the global volunteer efforts of wiki writers everywhere who are the activist-intellectual descendants of Thomas Paine.

Resource: Gastronomica, The Journal of Culture and Food.

Community Rooftop Gardens Go Global

What a splendid breath-enhancing addition to the city of Washington the new Czech Embassy will be!

Museums and post office administrators see the logic of cutting heating and cooling costs with roof top gardens and lawns that reduce solar impact. Quebec is moving forward with plans to green the roof of the Beaux Arts Museum.

In New York City, the USPS created a rooftop garden at a processing facility. Shanghai’s General Post Office, a vast marble showcase for postal services and museum exhibitions, offers a manicured rooftop garden overlooking the Bund.

Mexico City received a greening boost a few years ago when a popular mayor advocated turning rooftops into gardens. Now, a city once known for air pollution is making positive steps towards cleaner air by installing more gardens on rooftops.

The perception in some circles is that the U.S. lags behind progressive European and Asian countries. This green roof industry site suggests the U.S. needs to learn from other countries. But local governments in the U.S. are requiring that buildings incorporate green roofs in new designs or rennovation projects. Atlanta, Georgia is a green leader, retrofitting a green roof on City Hall in 2003.

Endless Feasts – Edited and with an introduction by Ruth Reichl

Modern Library, 2002,  401 pages, no index, $24.95

Ruth Harkness munching on exotic pheasants left in a Tibetan Lamasery by monks fleeing the Chinese invaders in 1944 because that’s all the food she had. Novelist Pat Conroy in Umbria rediscovering the food and sights through the eyes of his new mate.  The death of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York as told by Louis Diat, the chef who was ran the kitchen in 1910 when the hotel opened and was still there when it closed in 1950.

These are just three of the 41 narratives from Gourmet magazine delving into food, travel, taste and personalities.

Do travelers possess innately sophisticated palates that drive them to sample the world’s cuisines?  Or, does travel expose people to different, perhaps fresher ingredients, unusual preparations and intriguing cultural traditions?  The bond between food and travel is logical.  Go traveling and you’ll be foraging, whether at the Ritz or a Louisiana gumbo shack or at Havana, North Dakota’s community run Farmer’s Inn.  Travelers do develop faith in food; a meal is reward for a long day or night’s journey.  Sometimes the story is how grand that travelers’ meal; other times, how bad.  These stories are nearly all about  the great meals and the iconoclasts who cooked them.  A few stories include recipes.

by L. Peat O’Neil

This review appeared in Bloomsbury Review




  • Archives

  • Categories