I Wrote It Already (Turkey Day Version)

Smells good Piggy! It does, doesn’t it… Muppet parody on Norman Rockwell from tumblr.

I was going to write a Thanksgiving-themed post about potatoes, but I realized I had already done that. And yams, too. Yes, they’re different from sweet potatoes. See post.

Cranberries? Check. Turkey? Check check.

In fact, if you want to know a little history about most of the standard American traditional fare served the last Thursday of November, I can probably help you out. Or already did.

How about The Mother of Thanksgiving, Sara Josepha Hale, who helped start the formal holiday? Check. (p.s. those are links to my previous posts, should you want to learn about the history of said items and the somber lady who petitioned Lincoln for an official Thanksgiving holiday)

Gravy? You betcha! (Hint: every culture has it, but they call it something else.)

How about pumpkin pie? well, I did write all about pumpkins although it was more Halloween-y…

Stuffing? Oh heck yes!

I will admit, I haven’t written anything about green beans, corn casserole, or any of those regional/ethnic variations, like macaroni and cheese, lasagna, tamales, or whatever your family does. Maybe next year.

Most importantly, I’ve already created the flowchart. This year, as I went to reprint a new copy–ours is now covered with handwritten reminders and gravy stains–I found to my devastation that I only have a picture, and not the original document. I am in the midst of recreating it, but here is the old version. And the original explanatory post.

I have apparently reached a milestone of sorts. When it comes to Thanksgiving, I may have already written it.

Perhaps for Xmas I will need to research the historical derivation of deviled eggs.

Gravy: International Emulsified Sauce of Mystery

Pan drippings did not originate in France. Just sayin. Photo from tastesbetterfromscratch.

 Leg of mutton, but no other meat is used. Prepare water; add fat; dodder [wild licorice] as desired; salt to taste; cypress [juniper berries]; onion; samidu [semolina]; cumin; coriander; leek and garlic, mashed with kisimmu [sour cream or yogurt]. It is ready to serve.

From “Three Babylonian Recipes You Can Make Today”

This is a recipe that starts with a gravy. Boil animal fat, water, and spices together, using semolina and yogurt as thickening agents. Combine with meat. It’s a recipe that is 3,600 years old, from ancient Babylon. Hammurabi and friends knew how to eat.

According to several internet cooking references, gravy was created in France because the medieval French wrote many cookbooks that used the technique. Gravé is a word from Middle English, which for some reason is credited to the French. Of course, one of the better techniques for making gravy involves using a roux–flour browned in meat drippings–and since roux is a French word (though it’s based on the Latin russet or red/brown), then obviously the French invented gravy! Certainly, that’s what the French would tell you.

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The Potato that Circumnavigated the Globe

An oldie but a goodie — from November 2019…

A potato, a yam, and a sweet potato were sitting in a bar. The sweet potato said, I think I’ve had a few too many… better call me a Tuber….

Fozzie Bear: What is the potato’s least favorite day of the week? Fry-Day! I’ll be here all week. Photo from Pinterest.

Did you know that yams and sweet potatoes are not the same–oh you did? Did you know that potatoes and sweet potatoes are not the same species–oh you did? Ok, did you know that sweet potatoes sailed to Polynesia? Gotcha there.

Also, potatoes once made Queen Elizabeth ill. Yams, which are more clever, once ruled the world. And, since those bastard potato plants pretty much destroyed an entire country and created a big chunk of a new one, that makes the lowly potato pretty down powerful. Yep, I started poking around to find out why potatoes and sweet potatoes aren’t related and I found all sorts of interesting stuff. We’re goin’ in!

Continue reading “The Potato that Circumnavigated the Globe”
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