Friday, November 23, 2007

Writers' and Artists' recipes

Beef Burgundy, Crackling Bread, Pice Ar Y Maen, Sevillian Yellow Plum Conserve, and Les Ioles (Writers' and Artists' recipes)

Beef Burgundy
by James A. Michener

Carolais cattle black and white drawing"Peel and sauté heavily twelve small onions in one half pound of thinly-sliced salt pork. When onions are done add twelve carrots and sauté slightly. Remove onions and carrots and throw into the pan two pounds of lean chuck beef cut into small cubes. When well browned put contents of pan, including all scrapings, into a casserole and add salt, pepper, bay thyme, garlic salt, celery seed, parsley flakes, green pepper flakes and marjoram. Cover all with a cheap red wine and add two cups of water. Place the casserole in a three hundreed degree oven for one hour. Then add onions, carrots and two tablespoons of tapioca. cook everything for one more hour. Add enough red wine to make the consistency as desired, plus a cupful of mushrooms. Cook for thirty minutes, then raise temperature to fivehundred degreesand cook until the consistency is proper for serving. For those who prefer morecontinental flavoring, whole peppercorns can be used in place of ground pepper. Drain off three quarters of the fat. Serves Four."

12 small onions
1/2 pound thinly-sliced salt pork
12 carrots
2 pounds lean chuck beef cut into small cubes
Salt, pepper, bay thyme, garlic salt, celery seed, parsley flakes, freshly-ground pepper or whole peppercorns, green pepper flakes, marjoram
1 cup mushrooms
red wine (cheap)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons tapioca

James Michener black and white photograph by John HoenstineJames Michener (1907-1997) was an American writer known for his sweeping sagas of particular geographic areas. His stories tell the lives of generations of inhabitants and incorporate the history and even pre-history of the region. His major novels include Tales of the South Pacific, Hawaii, The Drifters, Centennial, The Source, Chesapeake, Caribbean, Caravans, Alaska, Texas, and Poland. He is also known for his nonfiction works which include Iberia about his travels in Spain and Portugal, and Havana.

Crackling Bread
by Harper Lee

color drawing of a pig"First, catch your pig. Then ship it to the abattoir nearest you. Bake what they send back. Remove the solid fat and throw the rest away. Fry fat, drain off the liquid grease, and combine the residue (called "cracklings") with:

1 1/2 cups water-ground white meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk

Bake in very hot oven until brown (about 15 minutes).
Result: one pancrackling bread serving six. Total cost: about $250, depending upon size of pig. Some historians say by this recipe alone fell the Confederacy."

A color photograph of Harper Lee.Harper Lee was born in a small southwestern Alabama town in 1926 and is best known for her book To Kill a Mockingbird which, in addition to being enormously successful, was critically well received and won its author a Pulitzer Prize. She had in no way anticipated such a great early success. Though she had written in college, throughout the early 1960s she had only three short magazine articles published. In 1956 a friends' gift of a year's wages given to her specifically to allow her time to concentrate on her writing. Within one year she indeed produced the rough draft of the novel that became To Kill a Mockingbird and, with the aid of the gifted editor Tay Hohoff at the publishing house J.B. Lippincott, the book was completed in 1959 and released in 1960. It became an immediate 'Best Seller' and went on to win the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A film was later made from the book, with a screenplay by Horton Foote. Lee has commented on the fact that she believes Foote was exact in transmitting her intent as the book's author. The movie's success further enhanced Lee's reputation. Unfortunately, the noteriaty it brought was almost overwhelming and brought an unwelcome amount of attention and as a result Harper Lee has been uncommonly careful about protecting her privacy and limiting her time in the public eye. Though she has published only a few short essays over the years, she has continued to write and is still closely associated with American arts and letters. A color photograph of Toby Jones portraying Truman Capote and Sandra Bullock portraying Harper Lee in the film 'Infamous'. Recently, her connection with Truman Capote has been depicted in the films Capote (2005) and Infamous (2006). These portrayals are based on her having accompanied Capote to Holcomb, Kansas shortly after To Kill a Mockingbird was published, to assist Capote's research into how a small town reacted to the murder of a local farmer and his family. The end result of these efforts became Capote's book, In Cold Blood (1966).

Pice Ar Y Maen
(Welsh Cakes by Vernon Watkins)

Pice Ar Y Maen aka Welsh Cakes"Rub the fat into the flour. Add the dry ingredients, then the egg and enough milk to mix into a stiff paste.The dough should be stiff as that for short pastry. Roll out, cut into rounds and bake on a griddle. These small cakes sprinkled with sugar are irresistible and should be servedwhen children's appetites are appeased by heavier things. This recipe will make about two dozen small cakes."

Ingredients list:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup lard
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup currants
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
a pinch of salt
1 egg
milk as needed

Vernon Watkins black and white photographVernon Watkins (1906 to 1967) was a Welsh poet, a major writer of the Anglo-Welsh poetry tradition, and a painter. He was born in Maesteg, a Welsh town located at the northernmost end of the Llynfi Valley in South Wales. Vernon read fluently by the age of four and actually announced that he would be a poet when he was only five years old. He wrote poetry and read widely from about eight or nine years of age. He was educated at a preparatory school in Sussex and then sent to Repton School, a British co-educational public school with an excellent reputation. From there he went on to Magdalene College, Cambridge. After his edcutation ended, he wanted to travel abroad, but family pressure lead him to take a bank job in Cardiff. Business life did suit him though and apparently the stress contributed to a mental breakdown that affected him for the remainder of his life. He became a close friend of Dylan Thomas in 1935. Both he and Thomas were associated with the group of young, bright, artistic men known as The Kardomah Boys, named after the Swansea area cafe where the group always met. Membership included the composer Daniel Jenkyn Jones, the writer Charles Fisher and the artists Alfred Janes and Ceri Richards. During World War II, Watkins worked at Bletchley Park as part of the cryptographic team.

Welsh landscape color panaromic photo

Sevillian Yellow Plum Conserve
by Robert Graves

Robert Graves black and white photograph"Search any cookbook and you are sure to find damsons, greengages and red plums listed in the wel-stained jams, marmalades and conserves section; but yellow plums, never. They are too sweet and delicate except as a dessert fruit. We have tried yellow plum with lemon, but that doesn't help; the result is sickly.

One June, our red plum tree failed, and only the yellow plum bore anything. The children were due for the holidays and in Spain, factory-made jams are poor and marmalades worse. But a Seville orange tree was still full of fruit. Summer visitors often steal them, mistaking them for the sweet oranges which are then out of season. I thought: "The very Thing!" and, finding the kitchen deserted, made this superlative jam. It is a jam with character and not reminiscent of marmalade because only the orange juice is used, not the peel or pips:

Stone yellow plums and put into a preserving pan with the juice of one large Seville orange for every pound of plums. Bring to a boil. Gradually add 2/3 as much sugar by measure, not allowing the mixture to go off the boil. Stir until the sugar disappears. Boil rapidly. When the jelly stage is reached, about 25 minutes, remove the pan from the fire and cool slightly to stiffen the mixture. Fill jam jars, label, eat."

Ingredients list:

Juice of Seville oranges
Yellow plums

Seville oranges

The decision to present the following recipe is inspired by recent viewings of 'Bizarre Foods' and 'No Reservations' on the Discovery Travel Channel.

Les Ioles
(A Sausage Made from a Pig's Stomach by Pierre Soulages)

Ingredients list:

Pig's stomach
Freshly-ground black pepper

"Soak the pig's stomach in water for several hours. Force coursely-ground black pepper into the flesh by pounding it until the meat is blackened. Cure the meat by hanging it to dry for two to three months. When cured, boil in water for three or four hours. Cut as desired and serve with potatoes. This recipe is from Rodez in the Dordogne region of France, region of the Lascaux caves. Serves four."

Pierre Soulages black and white photographPierre Soulages is a noted French abstract expressionist painter known as "the painter of black" because of his interest in the colour. He has developed the ability to manipulate black to reveal it as, in fact, a luminous colour. His notable works also include 104 stained glass windows for the romanesque Abbey church Sainte-Foy in Conques (Aveyron, France). He is a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

A section of Neolithic painting from the Lascaux caves in the Dordogne region of France.

a color photograph of a section of the Lascaux caves from the Dordogne region of France

Artists' and Writers' Recipes
by Steven Williams

Omelette Aurore
(source: Alice B. Toklas from a recipe sent by George Sand to Victor Hugo)
"Beat 8 eggs with a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and 3 tablespoons heavy cream. Prepare the omelet in the usual manner. Before folding it, place on it 1 cup diced candied fruit and small pieces of marrons glacés which have soaked for several hours in 2 tablespoons of curaçao. Fold the omelet to keep the fruit in place, on a fireproof serving dish. Surround with marrons glacés and candied cherries. Cover at once with frangipani cream made by stirring 2 whole eggs and 3 yolks with 3 tablespoons of sugar until they are pale lemon-colored. Then add 1 cup flour and a pinch of salt, stirring until it is perfectly smooth. Add 2 cups of milk and mix well. Put the mixture in a saucepan over the lowest heat and stir until it is quite thick. It must not boil. Be careful that the cream does not become attached to the bottom or sides of the saucepan. When it has thickened remove it from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 powdered macaroons. Stir and mix well. pour the sauce over the omelet and sprinkle 1/4 cup diced angelica over the top. Then sprinkle 6 powdered macaroons on top and, finally, 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Place the omelet in a preheated 550-degree oven only long enough to brown it slightly."

Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas at home, photograph by Man Ray

For additional recipes see also:
Spring Fava Beans, Roman Style; Thursday, February 14, 2008
Aliter Lenticulam (Lentils Another Way aka Lentils with Coriander); Thursday, January 10, 2008
Christmas holiday food and drink from the works of Charles Dickens; Thursday, November 29, 2007

color photograph of a Cornicopia

Newer Article: Christmas holiday food and drink from the works of Charles Dickens


Older Article: Dagoberto Gilb, a voice of the Southwest

Creative Commons License
Beef Burgundy, Crackling Bread, Pice Ar Y Maen, Sevillian Yellow Plum Conserve, and Les Ioles (Writers' and Artists' recipes) by Steven Williams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting Steven Williams through Bookmarc's BookmarcsOnline.

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