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Monday, June 22, 2009

Picnic Game Recipes

Picnic Day Logo

Have you ever played the Picnic Game? We're playing the Picnic Game, virtual style, where Everyone, Everywhere can connect, yet, come as they are. Food, we need food. You certainly can't go on a picnic without any food. Here's what we brought...

I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...


A-Apple Pie with Dutch Crumb Topping


B-Buttermilk Spice Cake

C-Chocolate Cherry Pie

D-Dilly Potato Salad

E-Election Day Cake

F-Fruit Cocktail Meringue Pie

G-Gluten Free Upside Down Cake

H-Hangar Steak

I-Ice Cream in a Bag

J-Jell-O a la Haute

K-Kue Pukis

L-Lotek Salad

M-Margarita

N-Nectarines Grilled & Glazed

O-Oysters (no pic, just shuck:)

P-Potato Balls (Cynthia can't "play" but she's here in soul:)

Q-Quesadilla (Elise is "swamped" right now. She sends picnic greetings)

R-Redneck Gazpacho
 
S-Shook-Bag Chicken
 
T-Tzimmes

U-Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork

V-Vinegary Potato Salad

W-Warm Sweet Potato Biscuits

X-XXX Pizza

What a wonderful time we've had playing the Picnic Game. There are just a few late comers but hey, this is a picnic and the comings and goings that go on at a picnic are all part of the fun. 

We had a few people who couldn't make it to play the game. They sent their good wishes and some goodies for us to enjoy in their absence. (Thanks Cynthia & Elise. We appreciate it:) 

I want to thank everyone for joining in on the festivities. I don't know about you but, I've had a ball! I've "met" new people, drooled over enticing dishes, and discovered so many new places to visit. We've "chatted" back and forth planning and juggling dishes around (thanks Mary:) and shared diverse dishes from around the globe. (thank you Selba:) Best of all IMHO, like girlchef said, we now have an "excuse" to all meet and have some picnic fun in person! (get that Hangar Steak ready Stacey. July is around the corner)

That reminds me, July is National Picnic Month. Why not have a picnic? Anywhere, anytime you can fill up that picnic basket and frolic under the sun. Schedules collide? Have an online picnic and play the picnic game with your family and friends! Perhaps, make some new ones. Louise

Y-The Alphabet Picnic Game basket is full.
I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...YOU!

Zee Zipped up the leftovers and ran. A fun time was had by all...Cheers! (We just couldn't have a picnic without Courtney:)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Picnic Day, Picnic Game Update

Update: (June 23rd) The Alphabet Picnic Game basket is full.
I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing... YOU!

I've been frolicking around the blogosphere with such excitement, I thought I would never get to tell you how the Picnic Game is coming along. Wait! ...I'm back. That was Julie from Noshtalgia. She has "T" covered! And, she added a sense of mystery to her RSVP. She said, 

"this is a great ethnic recipe perfect for a picnic."

Hmmm...I wonder what Julie is bringing.

"Then from his knapsack very calmly and contently he takes cold chicken and golden encrusted rolls, packed for him perchance by loving hands, and lays conveniently by the wedge of Gruyere or Roquefort which is to be his whole dessert."-Brillat Savarin (The Physiology of Taste: Gastronomical Meditation)

It has been said, "a picnic is a form of a moveable feast." I tell ya, the Picnic Game sure does have me moving!!! Request for letters that are already taken have forced me to request picnickers to recheck their pantry archives. I do believe there are the beginnings of another Picnic Game, with double letters. Excuse me a moment. Okay, I'm back. I had to break the news to Marjie over @ Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet that the letter "C" was taken. Her picnic dish is the perfect example of where double letters would have worked just fine. Now, I'm not going to tell you because who knows maybe she wants to save it for Picnic Month in July. I will tell you though, "CC" would have been spoken for:)

Before I go on with this and that, let me tell you what 4 letters are still available for the Picnic Game.

O, P, Q, Y 

If you're ready to "bring your dish" to the picnic and you have a letter beginning from A-Z, let me know when you post it by sending me the link. Don't worry about sending me the link for the picture, I'll download it and send it to whoever needs it for their post. This way I can rename it in order to keep track of everyones picture. (I'm going to assign them by letter to avoid confusion:) If you have already done the Picnic Game post and your not in that group of first letters, you can still send me the link, as Mary from One Perfect Bite has done. I'll save them until I get the next string of letters.

I realize in the first post I did for International Picnic Day, where I attempted to explain the "rules," I said that the time to have all of the dishes in was by June 22, at midnight. That is still the time I need for the letters and dishes to be chosen because just in case all of the letters are not taken, I'm ready to come up with SOMETHING!!! (I do have a few ideas) If you're just joining us, there's still time to choose a letter and play, I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing... Just a reminder, if you would like to take another letter which is not already taken, that would be AWESOME too!!! Just let me know.

...But I wish that fate had left me free
To wander these quiet haunts with thee,
Till the eating cares of earth should depart,
And the peace of the scene pass into my heart;
And I envy thy stream, as it glides along
Through its beautiful banks in a trance of song...

The Picnic Game Menu

Perhaps, the most invigorating aspect of preparing for a picnic is the anticipation of what dish to bring. The Picnic Game has energized a sprinkled menu of distinct picnic dishes. Each one I've seen so far compliments the creators personality as well as their blog's. Some with such vim, vigor and vinegar (literally:) they completely take your breath away. Wait till you see! Oh no, I'm not giving any hints. I want you all to be pleasantly surprised!

Tomorrow is the first day of summer. Rain or Shine, summer skies will be smiling as we prepare to play the Picnic Game and feast our eyes on the dishes who beckon us to be enjoyed. I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing... Welcome all...Louise

Resources
1. What is a Picnic? (The Food Time Line has a basket full of picnic history, menus and recipes)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An International Picnic Day Invitation

Picnic Day LogoUpdate: The Alphabet Picnic Game basket is full. I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing... YOU!

Today is International Picnic Day and I thought it would be fun to invite everyone to join in to play an online Picnic Game. What? You've never played the Picnic Game. It was one of my very best favorite alphabet travel games to play when I was a child. Almost every Sunday, after church, my mother and father would pack us in the car for the long ride to Grandma's house. Grandma lived in the city (Manhattan) and we lived in the suburbs (Long Island.) In retrospect, I guess the ride wasn't really that long. It took a little over an hour, I think. Anyway, it seemed like forever then. My sister and I saved the Picnic Game for those "highly anticipated" trips to grandma's apartment in the projects. We would pass the time away dreaming up items to bring to our fantasy picnic. Want to Play? I hope so because it would be so much more fun if we had twenty-six blogging friends to tote a goodie along.

Since I've never played the Picnic Game online before, I'm not quite sure what the rules should be. Below, I've done my best to make up a set of rules (all games need rules, you know:) However, if there's anything I've missed, or, you have any suggestion, I'm all ears. Let's go over the basic rules for the traditional Alphabet Picnic Game first.

The traditional memory game starts when one player recites:
"I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an ___." (some word(s) that start with an A; for instance Apple Pie)

The second player says, "I'm going on a picnic, and I'm bringing an Apple Pie. (the same "A" word(s) the first player used, in this case an Apple Pie) and ___." they add a "B" word. (for instance, Blueberry Muffins)

Now, if the second player said they were going to bring a Hula Hoop, they wouldn't be able to come:( You see, although the Picnic Game is played various ways, since today is International Picnic Day, I thought it best to stick with the alphabet version, that's the game I am most familiar with. (We are also going to concentrate on picnic recipes too, but we'll get to that later:) So the full sentence would be:

I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an Apple Pie and Blueberry Muffins.

Let's do one more the traditional way just to make sure I know what I'm doing:)
I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an Apple Pie, Blueberry Muffins and Candy. (I added a "C" word; Candy)

Sometimes, the picnic game is played and the words can be anything; people, places, or things. Although that's fun too, I thought it would be more exciting to add a bit of zip by offering a previously posted recipe. (or a new one if you prefer) Plus, it would give everyone a chance to go back over their blogs and highlight a recipe that has gotten lost in the archives. For those visitors who haven't joined the blogosphere yet, an exception can always be made:) Just remember, the recipe must begin with your letter of the alphabet, which leads me to the rules for the Online International Picnic Day Game.

Online Picnic Day Game Rules

Update: June 20, 2009-Picnic Day Picnic Game. Only nine (9) letters left.

Once again, I've tried to make the "rules" as easy and fair as possible. I am open to suggestions.

1. Since this is a virtual picnic day celebration, that means Anyone, Anywhere can play. It doesn't matter if you live in Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, India...or the USA. If you have a suitable picnic recipe you're welcome to play.

2. Leave a comment below with the recipe dish or letter you would like to bring on the picnic and I will let you know if you can join. Recipes will be chosen by alphabet letter only. For instance, if you want to bring a dish to the picnic, that begins with the letter "A," your comment must be left before another person's letter "A" dish. We can only have one letter of the alphabet for each dish. Note: If you would like to choose a backup letter just in case your chosen letter is taken, that would be GREAT too!!! If you would rather I suggest a letter from those letters that are left or you just LOVE surprise, let me know and I will "assign" you a letter and you can create the dish.

3. I will let you know if you can bring your dish to the picnic by leaving a You're Invited! comment on your blog. (for those with no blog, please leave an email address) "You're Invited" will be your signal to prepare a post for the Picnic Day Round-Up. Now, here's the confusing part. Your post can be your usual post but at the beginning of the post, you should mention something about the Picnic Game and a link list of the dishes that are being brought before yours. For example:

Let's say my dish begins with the letter "F" and I'm bringing Foolproof Dark Chocolate Fudge. After a short introduction to the game, my post would look something like this:

I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...
A-Apple Raspberry Turnovers
B-Blondies
C-Cilantro & Lime Chicken Breasts
D-Double Good Macaroni & Cheese
E-Edamame & Violet Risotto
F-Foolproof Dark Chocolate Fudge.

Naturally, it will look much more appetizing with fetching photographs between each dish:) UPDATE: Gloria over @ Cookbook Cuisine is coming on the picnic she posted her dish today. She chose the letter "D" You can look at her post to get a better idea. 

In its traditional form, the Picnic Game is not written down, or in this case posted. Memory is of the utmost importance. As items are "brought" to the picnic, the list becomes longer and longer finally concluding at the letter "Z." As the picnic goodies are recited, it becomes more difficult to remember who is bringing what. That's usually the times players choose to "change" the rules. Just like there are different ways of playing Monopoly, (free space money, or NOT) Players can agree beforehand if they choose to leave out the more difficult letters such as X, Q and Z. We won't be eliminating any letters. In our game, the list will continue from blog to blog with each blogger adding an alphabetical link for each item being brought on the picnic. They will also include their dish in their post whether it be by posting the recipe or by linking to a recipe previously posted on their blog.

In the above example, I did a quick search focusing on the first letter. As most of my regular visitors know, I don't usually post scrumptious looking pictures, precise cooking directions or tempting accompaniments. Many of the recipes I include are scanned or offered from one of the many cookbooks in my collection. (like the recipe for Blondies above) Quite frankly, I don't cook as often as I should. (Hint: That will be changing when I get to PA:) However, my plan is to actually include a recipe for the International Picnic Day Picnic Game. We'll see:) At first, I was going to start things off by filling the picnic basket with the first item. I have decided against that for the time being. Many people are on a blog hiatus since the nice weather is upon us. (will it ever stop raining on the east coast?) I'm going to leave the letter choosing all up to YOU! I will whip up something with the leftovers:)

Well, I think I've covered all the bases. If I've missed anything, please feel free to let me know by leaving a comment or dropping me an email. (acalenda {at} gmail {dot} com) IMHO, I think this is going to be fun, inexpensive and a wonderful opportunity to revisit some of the posts many have buried in their archives. You might be surprised to realize the difficulty in choosing a dish when alphabet letters are involved so may I suggest, that you choose a letter quick! 

I was trying to come up with an appropriate time-line for the picking and posting. I've decided on Monday, June 22nd. It just happens to be this bloggers birthday and I've been wanting to go on a picnic so badly; I can taste it. So, please email me your picnic day link, by midnight, June 22, 2009 (the sooner the better so I can pass it along) and I will post the complete Picnic Basket of goodies on Tuesday, June 23rd which just happens to be National Peaches & Cream Day:) If the majority of contributors don't mind, I will also revisit the Picnic Basket of goodies in July for National Picnic Month and include a list of the links and images on that post also.

Summary


1. Choose a recipe with your chosen letter and write a post about it on your blog. (see #5 below) If the recipe is from your archives, link to it from the post or just repost it.

2. If you would like to include the Picnic Day Logo I "designed" above, (no easy task for this blogger. I used a vintage die-cut recipe book:) be my guest. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a dish from every letter of the alphabet. The more the merrier, they say...

3. Email me at acalenda {at} gmail {dot} com (it would be really nice of you to include Picnic Day in the subject line) In the email please include the following.

a. Your name
b. Your blog's name
c. Your post URL
d. The name of your recipe
e. A description (optional)
f. An image of your dish (250 pixels wide sounds good) Also let me know if you give me permission to pass the image along to another picnicker. (see #5 below)

4. If you would like to bring more than one dish to the picnic, you are more than welcome. Just note it in the email and include items c-f for each additional dish.

5. You must list what the people before you are bringing. That's why it's called the Picnic Game! I will email you with those links and images, if permitted, (see f above) as soon as they are emailed to me.

6. Please email me as soon as you know what you are bringing. No later than Monday, June 22, midnight EST. The sooner the better so I can forward your link to the other picnickers.

7. I will be posting the entire list of Picnic Day recipes by midnight June 23, 2009. If for some reason, there are not enough entries by that time, I may have to delay the posting until Wednesday, June 24th. (I may be going to PA for my birthday:)

8. If you would like to participate in the Picnic Day Game, and you don't have any available recipes or, just aren't up to creating a dish to bring on the picnic, get creative and find other non-food items to bring along. (take a picture of some silverware or anything picnic like:)

9. If for some reason, there are not more than 16 entries for the Picnic Day Game, I will announce it on my blog on Sunday, June 21st. In that case, I will more than likely wait until the end of June and do the complete list posting for National Picnic Month in July. At that time, I will ferret out dishes to bring with my Hospitality search engine and include those you have sent me. Like I mentioned before, many people are away. However, if you have been lurking @ Months of Edible Celebrations, now would be the perfect time to introduce yourself and your blog if you have one. If you don't have a blog, introduce yourself anyway. Picnics are always more enjoyable when there are new people to meet and greet!

10. Most important of all, Have FUN!

Do you want to go on a picnic with me for my birthday? Oh goodie, then just pick a letter and let's get toting!!!

Update: 2009 Picnic Game final list. So many goodies:)

Resources
1. Picnic Recipes and Tips (food network)
2. Picnic Recipes @ Epicurious
3. Stalking Wonder: The Picnic (I was blog hopping late the other night and ran across this inspiring picnic post:)
4. Warm Fingerling Potato Salad ( This one also. I suppose I was in a picnic state of mind:)
5. National Picnic Month (my Picnics for Motorist post last year)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Madame Schumann-Heink "Anybody Can Make Jell-O"


It is said, there is always room for Jell-O. So, I'm sure, one more post which includes a Jell-O recipe isn't going to bother anyone especially if it includes cherries.

Today I want to share a Jell-O recipe endorsed by one of San Diego's most beloved opera singers; (and mother of eight) Madame Ernestine Schumann-Heink. Did you know that in 1915, San Diego officials were so taken with Madame's profound effect on their city that they proclaimed March 22nd as "Schumann-Heink Day." Since Ernestine Rössler was born on June 15th in 1861, I thought I would share a few biographical clips with you and also a couple of recipes in her honor.

In the early 1900s, Mme. Schumann-Heink was San Diego's most famous and best-beloved citizen, a legendary figure. She was considered the world's greatest contralto singer. Her records sold by the thousands. And like Babe Ruth and Mary Pickford, her fame was so great that her name became a household word. source
Mme. Schumann-Heink made her American debut in Chicago in 1898, and first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as Ortrud on January 9, 1899 a few weeks after giving birth to her seventh child. So happy was she with the enthusiasm of American audiences that she bought out her contract from Berlin and continued to perform regularly at the Met until 1932. Schumann-Heink's first commercial records appeared as part of Columbia's Grand Opera Series of 1903. That year, Schumann-Heink shocked the opera world by appearing in a Broadway revue, Love's Lottery; the show was followed by a highly profitable tour. During the tour, Paul Schumann died; Schumann-Heink then married her American manager and moved her family from "Villa Tini" in Dresden to an estate in New Jersey. She became an American citizen in 1908. source

For years the annual Christmas Eve radio broadcast of ‘Silent Night', sung by Madame Schumann-Heink, was an American tradition.

In 1926 Schumann-Heink first sang “Silent Night” in English and German on the radio at Christmas. This became an annual tradition that continued until 1935. On March 11, 1932 she bade farewell to the stage, singing Erda at the Metropolitan Opera, but she continued to perform in weekly radio programs sponsored by a manufacturer of baby foods, which led to her being termed “The Nation’s Beloved Mother.” Though not beautiful, Schumann-Heink turned her plainness into an asset by playing the part of an ideal, self-sacrificing mother who loved her children (that is, everybody) yet scolded them when they did not come up to expectations. She once said that her lack of good looks enabled her to avoid temptations that might have proved enjoyable. source

Before I share the Cherry-Strawberry Jell-O recipe with you, I'd like to point you in the direction of another recipe attributed to Madame Schumann-Heink; Madame Schumann-Heink Cookies. It is at the Yahoo World Opera Group and also includes a short biography.

The following Cherry-Strawberry Jell-O recipe was featured in the Jell-O cookbook All Doors Open to Jell-O Other celebrity recipes in this booklet published in 1917 include, stage actress; Ethel Barrymore, cookbook author; Marion Harland, Kewpie artist; Rose O"Neill and the most famous contralto of her generation; Madame Ernestine Schumann-Heink.


Ernestine Schumann-Heink had the remarkable gifts of great musical talent, survival, and an enormous sense of humour. Once, when she was in a New York restaurant, about to tackle a huge T-Bone steak, Caruso walked in. On seeing the size of the steak, he said, "Ernestine, you're not going to eat that all alone?" She replied, "No, mit Pomme Frittes!" source
What is Home? A roof to keep out the rain. Four walls to keep out the wind. Floors to keep out the cold. Yes, but home is more than that. It is the laugh of a baby, the song of a mother, the strength of a father. Warmth of loving hearts, light from happy eyes, kindess, loyalty, comradeship. Home is the first school and first church for young ones, where they learn what is right, what is good, and what is kind. Where they go for comfort when they are hurt or sick. Where joy is shared and sorrow eased. Where fathers and mothers are respected and loved. Where children are wanted. Where the simplest food is good enough for kings because it is earned. Where money is not so important as loving-kindness. Where even the teakettle sings from happiness. That is home. God bless it.-Ernestine Schumann-Heink

revised June 2013

Resources
1. Rose O'Neill's Birthday
2. Journal of San Diego History
3. Madame Schumann-Heink Cookies (another location)
4. Jewish Women's Archive-Ernestine Schumann-Heink
5. Is there Always Room for Jell-O?
6. Jell-O Website

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's Donald Duck Day!

I'm like a duck out of water here in Pennsylvania. Everyone is celebrating Donald Duck's birthday except me. Why? My flower garden is in deep trouble and I must keep working to bring it back to life. Wish me luck!

In the mean time, I didn't want you to miss Donald Duck's 75th birthday today. So, stop by Disney and catch up on Donald Fauntleroy Duck's "biography." I know there is somewhat of a discrepancy as to whether Donald Duck's birthday is in March or June. It is definitely June 9, 1934 as per this Disney website. May I suggest that you pop on over to Baking Bites where you can find Donald's original waffle recipe and an eatable adaption that looks yummy. Here are some Fun Donald Duck Facts to keep you entertained while you watch Chef Donald at work @ You Tube.

P.S. I celebrated Mickey Mouse's birthday back in November when he turned 80. Here's a recipe for Vegetable Lasagna from Boulangerie Patisserie @ Epcot and Chocolate Mousse Cake from Tony's Town Square Restaurant @ the Magic Kingdom both from the cookbook Cooking with Mickey Around the World. You might want to visit the Mickey Turns Eighty post I did also. Have a Ducky Day!

Disney LasagnaChocolate Mousse Cake

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Have a Strawberry Thanksgiving

strawberries

Run outside and Look up! in the sky. It's the Strawberry Moonbeam and it's coming to take you away to the land of Cockaigne where the streets are paved with pastry ... and no one ever gets old.

Cockaigne was the Big Rock Candy Mountain of medieval Europe, where the living was easy and the land flowed with milk and honey. This mythical country had houses of barley sugar, roofs of cakes, rivers of wine, and streets paved with pastry; buttered larks (a delicacy of the period) fell instead of rain; roast geese passed slowly down the streets, begging to be eaten; even better, shops provided goods without asking for payment. (source)

Such lunacy, what can I tell you? I'm a moon girl and the full moon of June is my favorite full moon of all. What's not to love about June in the land of plenty? So what if the sky isn't raining cheese. Food is plentiful and the Strawberry Moon is on the rise. Oh, you may not be able to see it right now because in North America it is beneath the horizon. Take my word for it. At precisely 2:12 PM, in New York and Pennsylvania, the Strawberry Moon will begins its sail across the sky. When will you be able to feast your eye on the glistening Strawberry Moon? Well, you can check right here, however, remember, if you live in China, June is the month of the Lotus Moon. European visitors will be in search of the Rose Moon.

The sixth moon of the Chinese lunar calendar is called the Lotus moon. In Peking, the birthday of the lotus is celebrated on the 24th day of the sixth month, according to Burkhardt. People flock to see the pink lotuses blooming in the lakes around the Winter Palace with the same enthusiasm the Japanese bring to cherry-blossom viewing. The sight of the lotus blooming in ponds and moats signifies that prayers to the Dragon-Prince have been answered and there will be sufficient moisture for an abundant harvest.(source)

When Berries Were Gathered

Strawberry Moon

The unique seasonal names for the full moons were entrusted to us by the Native Americans of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The indigenous American natives kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Names were given to the entire month in which each full moon occurred. There were some variations in the moon names, but in general the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England on west to Lake Superior.

Long before the arrival of Colonists, multi-tribal celebrations took place at particular times of the year. Native people celebrated as many as thirteen thanksgivings throughout the year including "Strawberry Thanksgiving" and the "Green Corn Thanksgiving" festivals. These summertime gatherings drew Native people together after having been separated by a long winter. On Strawberry Thanksgiving the bounties of the harvest were shared while songs, dances and stories were celebrated as a reminder to all, of the generosity of the Creator's gift of food. Since the first fruit of of the new growing season is the wild strawberry, the natives adopted it as a symbol of the Creator's renewed promise of provisions. This was their way of showing appreciation to mother earth and their creator. Each tribe had its own music and dance to coincide with the thanksgiving celebration.

The Great Law of the Iroquois:
...The recognized festivals of Thanksgiving shall be the Midwinter Thanksgiving, the Maple or Sugar-making Thanksgiving, the Raspberry Thanksgiving, the Strawberry Thanksgiving, the Cornplanting Thanksgiving, the Corn Hoeing Thanksgiving, the Little Festival of Green Corn, the Great Festival of Ripe Corn and the complete Thanksgiving for the Harvest. Each nation's festivals shall be held in their Long Houses.
...When the Thanksgiving for the Green Corn comes the special managers, both the men and women, shall give it careful attention and do their duties properly.
...When the Ripe Corn Thanksgiving is celebrated the Lords of the Nation must give it the same attention as they give to the Midwinter Thanksgiving. (source)

Iroquois Uses of Maize and Other Food Plants: (1910)
Fragaria was so appreciated by the Iroquois that the fruits were considered symbolic of their deities' beneficence and used in the Strawberry Thanksgiving. Strawberries are eagerly gathered in the spring and eaten by every one as a spring medicine. Handsome Lake, the prophet, commands their use for this purpose in his code...Quantities are gathered and brought to the feast- makers at the Long House for the Strawberry Thanksgiving. This is an annual ceremony of importance though it lasts but a day. 
source
"We waited to drink the red strawberry juice and to confess our sins. The Iroquois believe the strawberry plant came directly from Heaven.  When someone almost dies they say, “I almost ate strawberries.”  Strawberries grow on the path to the Creator’s house.  Strawberries are special to my people.  They are used in this forgiveness ceremony every year in the ancestral religion of my Iroquoian people."

The constitution of the Five Nations: (1916)
...The recognized festivals of Thanksgiving shall be the Midwinter Thanksgiving, the Maple or Sugar-making Thanksgiving, the Raspberry Thanksgiving, the Strawberry Thanksgiving, the Corn- planting Thanksgiving, the Corn Hoeing Thanksgiving, the Little Festival of Green Corn, the Great Festival of Ripe Corn and the complete Thanksgiving for the Harvest. source

The Strawberry Moon of early summer is celebrated wherever strawberries are grown. Strawberry Thanksgiving plays an important role in the reaffirmation of cultures, traditions and communities both in the past and present. The Thanksgiving address is included in the Oneida Nation Opening Prayer:

Time of Abundance - Ceremonies: This ceremony has to do with giving thanks, honoring and acknowledging the wild strawberry as well as all other berries.  The wild strawberry is the first fruit to ripen...In our Creation Story, it says that this berry originally came from the Creators world. This day is set aside to make a strawberry to be used as a medicine. Prior to drinking it we are to give thanks to our Creator for all the things he has given to us...A boy is chosen to pass it out to the men and a girl for the women. During this ceremony, two Great Feather Dances are done, one before we drink the medicine and one after. source

And a message from Snow Owl and the The Moon of Ripening Berries from the Manataka America Indian Council.

The Algonkian tribes held six thanksgiving festivals during the year. The beginning of the Algonkian year was marked by the Maple Dance which gave thanks to the Creator for the maple tree and its syrup. This ceremony occurred when the weather was warm enough for the sap to run in the maple trees, sometimes as early as February. Second was the planting feast, where the seeds were blessed. The strawberry festival was next, celebrating the first fruits of the season. Summer brought the green corn festival to give thanks for the ripening corn. In late fall, the harvest festival gave thanks for the food they had grown. Mid-winter was the last ceremony of the old year. When the Indians sat down to the "first Thanksgiving" with the Pilgrims, it was really the fifth thanksgiving of the year for them!

One of the many traditional Thanksgiving celebrations held by the Wampanoag, the natives who shared bounty with the English colonists in the autumn of 1621, is still celebrated at the Plimoth Plantation the last Saturday in June. It includes singing, dancing, mishoon (boat) races, and traditional football. (I've left a few resources for Strawberry Thanksgiving celebrations in 2009 below.)

The Strawberry Thanksgiving Ceremony involves an Native American legend of the strawberry as a symbol of friendship. In honor of the first berry of the year, it also impresses upon the acts of forgiving and forgetting. The Cherokee Indian Strawberry Legend is yet another lesson.

The legend of Strawberry Thanksgiving teaches about relationships and forgiveness. "A Native American girl and her brother were best friends and enjoyed playing together. On a walk in the woods one day, they disagreed on which path to follow. The girl angrily went her own way. She soon realized that she was lonely without the companionship of her brother and started to weep. Her tears fell on small bushes in straw. Strawberries grew where her tears landed. She gathered them to share with her brother. Now whenever people eat strawberries, they must forgive those with whom they have disagreed."
The rose is a rose,

And was always a rose.

But the theory now goes

That the apple’s a rose
The Rose Family 
~Robert Frost~

Astronomy, religion, and timekeeping have always been closely entwined. Since the lunar month is about 29.5 days, the dates of the full moon change from year to year. In the calendar of some Native Americans, Strawberry Moon is the European month of June. European settlers followed their own customs and created some of their own full moon names. The French call this moon la lune rose, which translates into English as "the rose moon." Ironically, like apple and cherry trees, the strawberry is a member of the rose family. And, June, dear visitors, is National Rose Month. In Roman mythology, the rose has a legend of its own:

The story goes that during the Roman empire, there was an incredibly beautiful maiden named Rhodanthe. Her beauty drew many zealous suitors who pursued her relentlessly. Exhausted by their pursuit, Rhodanthe was forced to take refuge from her suitors in the temple of her friend Diana. Unfortunately, Diana became jealous. And, when the suitors broke down her temple gates to get near their beloved Rhodanthe, she also became angry, turning Rhodanthe into a rose and her suitors into thorns. source

Recipe of Friendship

Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, knew the indigenous people well, noted a recipe for Wuttáhimneash Strawberries “This Berry is the wonder of all Fruits growing naturally in these parts: It is of it selfe excellent: so that one of the chiefest Doctors of England was wont to say, that God never did make a better Berry: In some parts where the Natives have planted, I have many times seen as many as would fill a good ship within few miles compasse: The Indians bruise them in a Mortar, and mixe them with meale and make Strawberry bread.” The colonists took note of this recipe and developed their own which is the supposed origin of strawberry shortcake.

From Roger Williams Key Into the Language of America (1642), describing the Wampanoag's mixing of cornmeal with dried or fresh berries:

Sautaash are these currants [huckleberries] dried by the natives, and so preserved all the year, which they beat to powder, and mingle it with their parched meal [cornmeal], and make a delicate dish which they call sautauthig; which is as sweet to them as plum or spice cake to the English.  They also make great use of their strawberries having such abundance of them, making strawberry bread, and having no other food for many days. source

The floral moon of June is time for strawberry gathering and the focus of a Strawberry Thanksgiving Festival is naturally the strawberry and all it's luscious splendor. The wild berries that were harvested by Native Americans were not the same berries as we now grow. What we grow is a cross between American strawberries and European alpine strawberries. Native Americans believed the "nourishing essence" should be drunk especially by children and the elderly as it is said to be a powerful medicine.

According to the Wisconsin Berry Association, the flavor of strawberries are influenced by the weather and the state of ripeness when harvested. When you pick strawberries, you should pinch the stem between your thumb and forefinger and pull with a twisting motion leaving the stem on the fruit. They also recommend not washing strawberries until you are ready to eat them and a bit of strawberry trivia. Did you know, there are 200 seeds in a strawberry and they are the only fruit with their seeds on the outside! Get your fresh strawberry primer over @ the Luna Cafe

Public suppers are a New England tradition that some believe were inspired by many of these seasonal festivals. Maple sugaring parties and strawberry suppers, spaghetti dinners and wine suppers were a very fashionable means of entertainment that are anchored in the many local fund raising suppers still enjoyed throughout the US. I've chosen to share a few strawberry beverages with you in celebration of the sweet nectar of strawberries. I hope you don't mind. First, how could I resist this vintage recipe for Strawberries à la "Bridge" which includes champagne and marshmallows? I'm trading in my winter Mojito for this spring gem, Strawberry Mojito Okay, so I found it difficult to turn my back on the Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Cream Cheese Pound Cake and Strawberry Coulis. I mean really, can you? I got the biggest kick out of Sara's Dirty Little Secret so I grabbed her recipe link for Strawberry Bellini a new favorite of mine. It seems she's a fan of the show The Real Housewives of New York so I told her about the cocktail contest over @ Coco Cooks. Personally, I've never seen the show. My contribution to this line of fresh strawberry beverages is not a drink recipe at all. It comes from a cookbook titled A Cookbook for Lovers. The suggested menu appeals to the radiance of moonlight observed during the Strawberry Moon, another culinary enticement this moon girl just can't endure. From the book: (click to enlarge)

Menu
Chicken Mollina
April Peas
Croissants
Strawberry Rum Flame
Wine: Pinot Chardonney
If you and your afficionado share a passion for blazing desserts, this dinner should light up your souls. You can warm up first with spicy Chicken Mollina and then fan the flames with Pinot Chardonney. The finale is a blaze of glory--Strawberry Rum Flame.

So, if you look at the moon and it's huge and pink, you might just be looking at the Strawberry Moon or the Honey Moon or the Planting Moon...a vine of moons for the month of June taking you off to Candyland or the Garden of Paradise in the land of Cockaigne! Yes, I'm a mystical moon girl enchanted by the magic of June’s full moon. Perhaps, it's because my birthday is in JUNE!!! Have a Strawberry of a Thanksgiving

If the Earth were the size of an orange, how far away would a strawberry moon be?

Tidbit: The authors of the famous Joy of Cooking cookbook named their country home near Cincinnati, Ohio, "Cockaigne." They included the term on many of their "old family favorites" included in the cookbook. It is explained in the foreword of the 1975 edition of the cookbook which I don't happen to own, yet!

...The house has many rooms and halls;
Pies and pasties form the walls,
Made with rich fillings, fish and meat,
The tastiest a man could eat.
Flour-cakes are the shingles all
Of cloister, chamber, church, and hall.
The nails are puddings, rich and fat---
Kings and princes might dine on that.
There you can come and eat your fill,
And not be blamed for your self-will...

Strawberry Thanksgiving Resources
Strawberry Thanksgiving Ceremony The Tomaquag Museum in Rhode Island (June 14, 2009)
Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center-Strawberry Thanksgiving, CT (June 12, 2009)
Patuxet Strawberry Thanksgiving Plymouth, MA (June 20, 2009)

Note on images: After a beautiful Saturday afternoon of taking many many pictures of store bought strawberries, I placed some of them in a teeny tiny wild strawberry patch on my front lawn here in Westhampton. Instead of me watching everyone on the tennis courts each weekend, this weekend they got to see me do all kinds of poses to get the "right" picture. Oh, okay, so I'm no photographer:) My rendition of the strawberry moon took a few more hours with an abundance of help from the Make Your Own Kaleidoscope site. Very Cool!

Additional Resources
1. Cockaigne @ wiki
2. Full Moons: What's in a Name? (from National Geographic)
3. This Month in Astronomy
4. Full Moon Names and Their Meanings (Farmer's Almanac)
5. Strawberry Thanksgiving (a teacher's resource)
6. The Rose Family by Robert Frost
7. This Garden is Illegal
8. Taming the Wild Strawberry (history, trivia, recipes ets.)
9. Native American Recipes
10. "Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks in New England"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"The Mozart of the Kitchen"

French Chefs are like courtesans
They produce devilish enjoyments at a price!

On June 7th, 1867 the Café Anglais in Paris hosted one of the most historical banquets ever recorded, "Le Dîner des Trois Empereurs" or "The Dinner of the Three Emperors." Why do I mention this extraordinary affair? Because, the esteemed chef, Adolphe Dugléré was born today, June 3, 1805. Hmmm...you might ask what does Adolphe Dugléré have to do with the grand "Dinner of the Three Emperors." In 1866, Adolphe Dugléré became head chef at the Café Anglais and it was he (or is it him:) who presided over the serving of the elaborate "Dinner of the Three Emperors."

Among other historical banquets which took place in the nineteenth century, was one given on 7 June, 1867, at the Café Anglais in Paris. This was in honour of three Emperors, the French Emperor, Napoleon III, the German Emperor, William I and the Czar of Russia, Alexander II. This dinner cost four hundred francs per head. (For Epicureans Only by Jean Conil pg. 47)

Le Menu

I'm not quite sure what 400 francs equalled in 1867, however, I do just happen to have a scanned image of the menu also from For Epicureans Only. I suppose this is a good time to mention, there seems to be a few variations to this menu. I found one at the Old Foodie which is, might I say, an interesting read and, also includes a recipe for Potage Fontanges from Larousse Gastronomique. There's another one here just in case you plan on entertaining three Emperors in the near future:) That last one has a brief bio about Adolphe Dugléré but, you must scroll down. If you are real curious about "Le Dîner des Trois Empereurs," may I suggest you visit the website of the oldest existing restaurant in Paris, "the tower of silver" La Tour d'Argent. There you will not only find an interesting footnote about one Czars complaint in reference to the menu, if you learn how to navigate the site, they too have the infamous menu posted. It is said, the table service for that occasion is still on display there too. Oh yes, choose English "s'il vous plaît."

Adolphe Dugléré

Today, must really be your lucky day. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, not so for Le Mozart de la cuisine. I have had quite the flight gleaning information about the chef who created a fifteen course banquet on that infamous day in 1867. I learned he was a pupil of [Marie Antoine LENT] Carême at wikipedia and that apparently the recipe for Tournedo Rossini was not composed by him but rather a gratuity given to him by Rossini himself. It seems Rossini also gave Chef Dugléré the measured title The Mozart of the Kitchen. I suppose the most appreciated tribute I could find about today's "birthday boy" is at a French website, which I have linked in English with google's translator, aptly named, Who was Adolphe Duglere?

Tournedos Rossini- It was composer and gourmand Gioachino Rossini who dubbed Dugléré Le Mozart de la cuisine (The Mozart of the Kitchen). Legend has it that on one occasion Rossini was in the restaurant and asked that Dugléré prepare his filet at his table in a chafing dish. Dugléré made some excuse and Rossini is reported to have said, "Eh bien, faites-le tourné de l'autre coté, tournez-moi le dos!" ("Alright, do it somewhere else. Turn your back on me!") source
Careme found refuge in Paris, with Baron de Rothschild, and there formed his most famous pupil, the great Duglere. Quitting Baron de Rothschild, Duglere became chef at the Cafe Anglais, where he invented the potage Germiny, dedicated to the eminent financier, Comte de Germiny, the barbue (brill) a la Duglere, the pommes Anna, the poulet a la d'Albufera, dishes now celebrated through-out the world-Sensations of Paris (1912)

What a sumptuous feast of dishes credited to the renowned chef. Potage Germiny or Cream of Sorrel Soup, which history tells us was created for Comte de Germiny, former Minister of Finance and Governor of the Bank of France, is illustrated by author James Peterson in his book Glorious French Food as "drinking satin." It can be served hot in the winter and sinfully enjoyed cold in the summer sprinkled delicately with chervil.

...It may seem odd that such an august figure should have a soup based on a few straggly hedgerow leaves to commemorate his memory but Potage Germiny was no ordinary soup. It was flavoured with sorrel leaves, but made with a triple consommé. A triple consommé is achieved by poaching a piece of beef in a consommé in which a piece of beef has been poached in a consommé, the original consommé having been concocted with the help of a chunk of beef, a boiling fowl and any other bits and pieces that the cook might have had to hand...source

Regular visitors to this blog may be surprised to learn that I pride myself in the creation of Pommes Anna. However, I have not prepared the delectable treat for you today. Perhaps, next year. I don't even own one of those Pommes Anna Pans. I've been "flipping" omelet like dishes since I was about 9 years old so inverting the buttered coated layers of finely sliced potatoes is the least of my problems. I do sometimes have a dilemma when it comes to paring the potatoes ever so thin which IMHO is the most important and tedious part in the preparation of this alluring casserole. I'm not pleased with the image I harvested over at wiki. So, I took a dash over to the online edition of The Epicurean by Charles Ranhofer with hopes of finding an illustration for Pommes Anna which would tantalized your curiosity but, alas, the only online recipes I could find were Stewed lamb, Dugléré and Lobster à la Dugléré. Not quite the symphony I had hope for.

Oh, I almost forgot. I haven't told you about the legend of Pommes (pom) Anna. Yes, it seems many dishes are bestowed with the honor of being named after dignitaries, actors, and a whole host of others. Sometimes, even the court mistress. Such is the legend of Pommes de Terre Anna.

Anna Deslions, nicknamed the Lioness of the Boulevards for her beauty and certain talents, became a famous artist.

Émile Zola used her as the basis for his work Nana... and in fact, Potatoes Nana are simply potatoes Anna made in little dariole molds. (source & recipe))

"If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, I will answer you: 
I am here to live out loud." 
~Émile Zola~

In order to really mix things up a bit, Potatoes Annette is another version of Potatoes Anna. When preparing Potatoes Annette, the potatoes are julienned rather than sliced into layered rounds. As you might expect, there are those who have questioned who the real Anna is. I uncovered this tidbit of an explanation over at recipezaar which of course includes another recipe. It's cited from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 2

"It was created during the era of Napoleon III and named, as were many culinary triumphs in those days, after one of the grandes cocottes of the period. Whether it was an Anna Deslions, an Anna Judic, or simply Anna Untel, she has also immortalized the special double baking dish itself, la cocotte a pommes Anna, which is still made and which you can still buy at a fancy price".

Note: I prepare Anna Potatoes in my favorite cast iron pan. I have recently graduated to using a mandoline for slicing the potatoes which I'm still a bit clumsy with however, it spares these old tired wrists of mine and does seem to make the potatoes more uniform:) (Not really, I've had surgery in both of my wrists and darn them they still don't work right!) It's important to remember, whatever kind of pan you use it will eventually be put in the oven to finish off the dish so, "act accordingly." There is a pan that you might be able to find on line whose sole purpose is for the preparation of Potatoes Anna. And guess what, it's called the Pomme Anna Pan. It usually comes with a lid and is made of copper. The lid is convenient for turning the finished dish. I have found them to be much to expensive for my taste. Keep it simple I always say! That's pretty much it. I've left you an assortment of links which will guide you. Figure it this way, if I can flip a Mille-feuille of classic butter soaked potatoes, (no cream please) so can you! P.S. Don't be too afraid of the amount of butter used. It is eventually discarded:)

Updates

I thought I would point you in the direction of a rather humorous post I did a while back on my other blog  concerning the invention of the shopping cart, which was introduced on June 4, 1937. I don't know about you but I happen to have quite an aversion to grocery shopping and shopping carts. (Oh admit it, you do too:) I'm sure the inventor Sylvan Goldman would not be too happy about it.

FYI: In 2010, June 4th is National Donut Day! (always on the first Friday in June) If you are really interested in recipes and the history of the doughnut, pop on over to a post I did a while back. I shared from the Donut Book by Sally Levitt Steinberg the grand-daughter of the man who invented the coolest looking doughnut machine. (I warn you, the post is a bit long, however it's filled with tidbits, images and a few recipes too!) Here's the link. Enjoy Donut Day and don't forget to get your free donut!

Resources
1. Adolphe Dugléré (1805-1884) (another French site translated)
2. Lunch at the Tower of Silver (Translated blog link an experience at the La Tour d' Argent and the PRICE!!!)
3. Anna’s Foodie Reviews La Tour D’Argent
4. Sensations of Paris (text file)
5. Larousse Gastronomique @ wiki
6. Tournedos Rossini
7. Dugléré Brill Fillet
8. Filet de Sole Duglere (Baked Filet of Dover Sole Duglere)
9. Les pommes Anna (French Recipes in French)
10. "Le Pan" (in case you want to comparison shop:)
11. The Dinner of the Three Emperors (also linked above)
12. La Tour d'Argent (also linked above)

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Mayberry Holiday


We New Yorkers can sure be sarcastic sometimes. That's what I've recently been told anyway. It happened on my return trip from Idaho. The plane was full. Passengers were shoulder to shoulder and quite frankly, I was in a "Mayberry" state of mind. My day started at 3AM with a shuttle to Salt Lake City. Did you know it takes more than 3 hours to get from Blackfoot Idaho to Salt Lake City, Utah by shuttle? I'm one of those people who can't sleep in moving vehicles; cars, planes, boats or shuttles. Listening to others snore just happened to be the distraction I needed to remind me of how fortunate I am to have a wonderful daughter and son-in-law and two blessed grand children. Yes, dear visitors, I had a memorable stay!


I never think of myself as being a smart aleck. Nor do I consider myself to be "saucy." However, I am quite capable of being ornery especially when I haven't gotten enough sleep and I'm already missing the kids. As I said, the plane was full and I was boarding as a "C" passenger on Southwest. Southwest has what they call "first come first serve seating" or "open seating" which is kind of confusing since they also have A, B and C boarding lines. Needless to say, I wound up in between two nestled in travelers returning from Hawaii. The choice was completely mine. Once I realized I wasn't going to get the seat of my choosing, I decided I was going to sit in the front of the plane. "I may as well be able to get off the plane more comfortably," I thought to myself. "Well, at least you're not 300 pounds," the Hawaiian tourist said as I gracefully tried to center myself. Obviously, the words I thought I had spoken under my breath, weren't. I grinned, shoved my carry on under the seat, crossed my arms, took in some air and sat. It was 9AM and I didn't have to change planes until we landed in Chicago at 1PM. I can do this, I thought, quietly. The Southwest hostesses went through their safety routine and prepared for their last check.
"You can't keep that luggage under the seat" one commanded at me.
"It must go in the over head bin" she reaffirmed.
I really hadn't thought about it since it wasn't actually luggage. Just a canvas bag with some reading material. A few gardening magazines, hastily bought at the airport news-stand. I thanked her and handed her the bag. I figured it was easier than me standing up in the front of the man who had just "congratulated" me for not being what he must have considered "over-weight."
"You must be from New York" were the next words out of his mouth.
"As a matter of fact I am" I answered, a bit surprised.
"I knew it" he said slapping his knee. "I just knew it!" "You can always spot a New Yorker" he continued.
"How's that," I asked inquisitively.
"It's all in the attitude" he went on. He continued to spew about his trip to Hawaii. It seems the other half of the "sandwich" by the window, was his son and they had been snorkeling on Maui. They were from Boise, Idaho. However, they were musicians and their next "gig" was in Buffalo, New York. "I'm ready for you New Yorkers" he said. "I've been warned about that sarcasm."
Had I been in a "sarcastic" state of mind, I would have advised him of how to choke on a buffalo wing at the Anchor Bar. Instead, I found myself telling him about the history of Buffalo Wings and suggested he visit the Anchor Bar if he had the opportunity. Always the blogger I suppose:)

Chock Full of Hospitality


Andy Griffith was born on June 1, 1926. Since today is his birthday, I thought it might be fun to share a few recipes from Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook (1991) by Ken Beck and Jim Clark. I guess I would prefer to stay in a "Mayberry" state of mind. You see, Blackfoot is really an amicable place to visit. Not only are the people friendly, they are awfully polite and hospitable. Sure, they poked fun at my New York accent but that's not unusual. If people aren't prodding about my accent, they are usually teasing me about my Betty Boop like voice. I'm use to it. Actually, Betty Boop was an alias of mine at one time. Although, personally, I do believe my voice is a few octaves lower:)
Okay, so finding a decent cup of coffee was not an easy task. No "Aunt Bee" brewing a hot cup of coffee on the Mayberry kitchen stove in Blackfoot, Idaho. However, the bakers who contributed their masterpieces for the mother and daughter church tea offered some stirring memories. Tabi adored the tiny petits fours:) And, the homemade chocolate chip cookies at Noah's preschool graduation ceremony, did not suffer with the blue juice drink provided. Sure, I would have preferred milk but it was a blistering day in Idaho that afternoon. Sure, Aunt Bee may have won blue ribbons at the county fair for her rhubarb pie, but I must tell you, the peanut butter frosted chocolate cupcakes my daughter Michele made for her "momma" from scratch, while the kids and I watched Singing in the Rain the one and only rainy afternoon, were pure delight!!! I wish I would have taken a picture. Boy oh boy were they good!!! I do believe Michele brought a bit of Pennsylvania to Idaho with her. How thoughtful, she remembered how much I enjoyed them in PA.
"Any month of the year may be good for a pig pickin' in North Carolina," not so in Blackfoot. Lots of cows and horses. I must say, I had a mighty fine bowl of Buffalo Stew at the Fort Hall Indian Reservation Cafe too. Accompanied with a "hunk" of Native American Fry Bread, it was warmly served. Yum!
Rodney Darling's Blackened Pig
1 medium to large pig
1 medium-size house
Sauce (optional)
Run the pig into the house. Shut all the doors. Set the house afire. Return in three days with oven mitts. Search and serve. Serve with sauce if desired. Serves the entire Darling family. (Mayberry cast member Rodney Dillard)
Are you a Mayberry fan? Try this quiz from Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook. Leave your answers in the comment section and I'll let you know how you did later this week:)
1. Who in Mayberry (besides Aunt Bee) makes intoxicating preserves?
2. In what two cities does Andy have the opportunity to eat escargots?
3. What flavor was Aunt Bee's ice cream that inspired Cousin Bradford J. Taylor?
4. Who in Mayberry has the nickname "cream puff"?
5. According to Goober, where can you get the best mashed potatoes in Mayberry?

Mayberry Recipes

Mayberry may be a fictional place to those who now view the reruns of the Andy Griffith Show. However, to my mind's eye, the Mayberry of 1960 was indubitably real. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way. As a matter of fact, Andy Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina will be holding their annual Mayberry Days festival from September 24-27, in 2009. Gee, I sure would like to visit.
The menu for Aunt Bee's Birthday Bash includes a recipe for Hope for More Chocolate Cake or Andy's Chocolate-filled Angel Food Cake, which I'm sure Andy found, "outstandin"!

Andy's Chocolate-filled Angel Food Cake
6 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pints whipping cream
1 large angel food cake
1 cup blanched almonds, slivered & toasted
Combine the cocoa, sugar, salt, and cream. Chill for 1 hour. Whipp the chilled mixture. Cut a 1-inch layer from the top of the angel food cake. Cut out the middle of the cake, leaving walls and bottom about 1-inch thick. Fill the cavity with one-third of the cream mixture and one-third of the almonds. Replace the top of the cake. Frost with the remaining cream mixture and sprinkle the remaining almonds over the top and sides. Chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Serves 6. (contributed by John Faulkner, Greenboro, NC)
Resources
1. Charlie Lee's Chicken Chow Mein Casserole (Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook online recipe)
2. Tea Time Petit Fours (Diane's Desserts website)