New England Clam Chowder w/ Ham & Swiss Toasted Sandwich

October 28, 2012 at 5:23 PM | Posted in cheese, Healthy Life Whole Grain Breads, seafood | 2 Comments
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Today’s Menu: New England Clam Chowder w/ Ham & Swiss Toasted Sandwich

 

 

Simple and Hearty Dinner tonight, New England Clam Chowder w/ Ham & Swiss Toasted Sandwich. I wasn’t really feeling up to par today. I’m dealing with those painful Phantom Pains that amputees so commonly have to deal with. Sometimes they aren’t too bad but today’s has been extremely painful and it really just wears you out.

Anyway on to dinner! Dealing with the Phantom Pains I wanted something easy to prepare but I also wanted a hearty and hot meal. I used Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder. Easy to prepare and a nice, thick, and tasty Clam Chowder. Easy to prepare as in open the can, empty into a small pot, and heat! 210 calories and 23 carbs.

For my Toasted Sandwich I used Kroger Private Selection Old fashioned Honey Cured Sliced Ham, Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese, Kraft Reduced Fat Mayo w/ Olive Oil, and Toasted Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert one of my favorite things to make Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread. A slice of the Nut Bread topped with a scoop of Breyer’s Carb Smart Ice Cream.

 
Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder

Also available in a 10.75-oz. can
& a microwavable bowl

Nutrition Facts*
Amount Per Serving (serving size) = 1 cup (240 mL)
Calories 210
Fat Calories 90
Total Fat 10g
Sat. Fat 1.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 890mg
Total Carb. 23g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 1g
Protein 6g

% Daily Values**
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 2%
Iron 8%
* The nutrition information contained in this list of Nutrition Facts is based on our current data. However, because the data may change from time to time, this information may not always be identical to the nutritional label information of products on shelf.
** % Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

http://www.campbellsoup.com/Products/Chunky/Traditional/2418

 

 
Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread Mix

Pillsbury Quick Bread helps you serve home-baked goodness any time – for breakfast, lunch dinner or snacks. Make a delicious snack and bring the goodness of home-baking to your family any time of day! Serve home-baked goodness anytime.

Nutrition Facts

Serv Size 1/14 package (31g)
Servings Per Container 14
Amount Per Serving

Calories 120 Calories from Fat 25
% Daily Value*

Total Fat 3g 4%

Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%

Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 150mg 6%

Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%

Sugars 12g

Protein 2g

Calcium 2%

Iron 4%

http://www.pillsburybaking.com/products/details/754/nutrition-info

Indian summer

October 5, 2012 at 10:13 AM | Posted in cooking, Food, vegetables | 2 Comments
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It’s been beautiful here in the Ohio Valley. Sunny warm days and cool nights. Some say it’s Indian Summer. So here’s a little on Indian Summer and our Fall Harvests.

 

An Indian summer is a heat wave that occurs in the autumn. It refers to a period of considerably above normal temperatures,

A typical day within a period of “Indian Summer”

accompanied by dry and hazy conditions, usually after there has been a killing frost. Depending on latitude and elevation, it can occur in the Northern Hemisphere between late September and mid November.

 

An Indian summer is a period of unseasonably warm, dry weather, occurring after the end of summer proper. The US National Weather Service defines this as where the weather is sunny and clear, and above 21 °C (70 °F), after there has been a sharp frost; a period normally associated with late-October to mid-November.
In some regions of the southwestern United States, ‘Indian summer’ is colloquially used to describe the hottest times of the year, typically in late July or August. But in the South, as elsewhere in the US, this period is more commonly known as the dog days, in reference to the position of Sirius, the ‘Dog Star’ and brightest star in the sky (other than the Sun and the planets). In the desert southwestern United States, where frost is rare, the term is sometimes used to refer to a brief period of hot dry weather which occurs after the hottest months and before the onset of winter cool and/or rain, typically in October or November. It may also be used to refer to any unseasonably warm weather during the first few weeks of the rainy season, before the approach of spring. In the Pacific Northwest, the term can be used to describe a period of warm, dry weather after the first fall rains have occurred. A famous use of the phrase in American literature is Van Wyck BrooksNew England: Indian Summer, a sequel to his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Flowering of New England.
In the United Kingdom an Indian summer is often used to describe warm weather that comes later in the year, after unusually cool summer months.

 

Good Crops for Fall Harvests

Many of the veggies that are harvested in fall—the ones you’re beginning to see in farmers markets now—actually need to be planted in mid- to late-summer. See SparkPeople‘s excellent resource on vegetable gardening for info on when and how to plant these crops.

Crucifers
Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower—those staples of the fall dinner table— thrive in autumn weather, and their flavors benefit from colder temps. They can be planted in fall in more southern zones, but need to be started from seed indoors. Plan now for next summer; start seedlings in midsummer and plant in late summer for a fall harvest.

Squashes
Acorn, butternut, pumpkin and other winter squash varieties are not only delicious, but they’re traditional in fall and holiday decor.

Yellow squash

These, too, must be planted in summer for a fall harvest, as they take up to 100 days to maturity and like lots of sun. And they take up significant growing space, often sending out long vines that need room to move. Plan now for next summer.

Dark Greens
Leafy, hearty, nutrient-packed greens like kale and chard are also commonly found at farmers’ markets in the fall; they, too, need time to reach maturity (about two to two and a half months). While they can tolerate cool fall weather, they require full sun and should be planted in late summer to reach full production.

New England Clam Chowder w/ Oyster Crackers and a Hot Hammy Cheese

July 2, 2012 at 5:42 PM | Posted in Healthy Life Whole Grain Breads, Oscar Mayer, Sargento's Cheese, seafood | 1 Comment
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Today’s Menu: New England Clam Chowder w/ Oyster Crackers and a Hot Hammy Cheese

 

A simple but flat out lip smacking good dinner tonight! New England Clam Chowder w/ Oyster Crackers and a Hot Hammy Cheese, Sounds good but tasted even better! My Clam Chowder wasn’t home made but was every bit as good. I used Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder with Hearty Potatoes. If you have a craving for Clam Chowder but don’t have the time or just want a simple way to prepare it give Campbells a try. Great taste, plenty of Clams and Potatoes, and in a nice thick stock. It has 210 calories and 23 carbs per serving. I topped with just a sprinkle of fresh grated Dutch Smoked Gouda and some Skyline brand Oyster Crackers, I could make a meal out of the Cheese and Crackers!

 

I also prepared a Hot Hammy and Cheese Sandwich. I used Oscar Mayer Carver Board Ham, Sargento Ultra Light Swiss Cheese, and Healthy Life Whole Grain English Muffin. In a small skillet I heated the slices of Ham and while that was heating I split the Muffin in half and toasted it in the toaster. To assemble just put the Ham on one of the Muffin halves and top the Ham with the Sargento Swiss and add the other half of the Muffin, the Swiss will start melting immediately. A simple but quite hearty dinner! For dessert later a fresh baked Pillsbury Apple Turnover, a nice way to end the day.

One of America’s Favorites – Chowder

April 16, 2012 at 8:18 AM | Posted in Food, potatoes, vegetables | 1 Comment
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In North America Chowder is a generic name for a wide variety of seafood or vegetable stews and thickened soups, often with milk or

cream and mostly eaten with saltines. Some varieties are traditionally thickened with crushed ship biscuit instead of flour, which is more usual. New England clam chowder – perhaps the best known chowder – is typically made with chopped clams and diced potatoes, in a mixed cream and milk base, often with a small amount of butter, it. Other common chowders include Manhattan clam chowder, which substitutes tomatoes for the milk and cream, and typically omits potatoes; Corn chowder ; a wide variety of fish chowders; and potato chowder, which is often made with cheese.

Origin of the term is obscure. One possible source is French chaudière, the type of pot in which the first chowders were probably cooked. (This, if true, would be similar to the origin of casserole – a generic name for a set of main courses originally prepared in a dish called a casserole.)

The phonetic variant chowda, found in New England, is believed to have originated in Newfoundland in the days when Breton fisherman would throw portions of the day’s catch into a large pot, along with other available foods.

Fish chowder, corn and clam chowder, continue to enjoy popularity in New England and Atlantic Canada.

Types of chowder:

*Clam chowder – Clam chowder is any of several chowders containing clams and broth. Along with the clams, diced potato is common, as are onions, which are occasionally sauteed in the drippings from salt pork or bacon. Celery is frequently used. Other vegetables are uncommon, but small carrot strips might occasionally be added, primarily for color. A garnish of parsley serves the same purpose. Bay leaves are also sometimes used as a garnish and flavoring. It is believed that clams were added to chowder because of their relative ease to collect.

Clam chowder is often served in restaurants on Fridays in order to provide a seafood option for those who abstain from meat every Friday, which used to be a requirement for Catholics before liturgical changes in Vatican II. Though the period of strict abstinence from meat on Fridays was reduced to Lent, the year-round tradition of serving clam chowder on Fridays remains.

*Corn chowder – Corn chowder is a type of thick soup or chowder similar to New England clam chowder, with corn substituted for

Potato and corn chowder

clams in the recipe.

*Southern Illinois chowder – Southern Illinois Chowder is a thick stew/soup very different from the New England and Manhattan chowders. The term “chowder” is of French-Indian origin. In Edwards County, Illinois, it refers to both the food and to the social gathering at which it is prepared and served. It is believed to have been brought to the area by the earliest settlers, or “backwoodsmen”. Traditionally, the chowder time season commences when the first tomatoes ripen and closes with the first heavy frost.

Chowder is usually cooked outside in large black kettles or cauldrons, ranging in size from 20 to 70 gallons. Invariably prepared according to secret recipes, the ingredients are added to boiling water according to their cooking time, so that all are cooked and ready at the same time. The main ingredients are beef, chicken, tomatoes, cabbage, lima beans, and green beans. Traditionally, squirrel meat was a common addition. Chowder is usually considered ready when the ingredients have amalgamated into a fairly thick soup, usually taking four or more hours. The kettles must be stirred almost continuously so that the chowder does not “catch” on the base and scorch. This is accomplished using a wooden blade known as a “paddle”. Measuring between eighteen to twenty-four inches long and six to eight inches wide, a paddle has had several bored holes through the blade and a handle attached at right angles. One cook will paddle the chowder – causing the bones to rise – and another cook, called “the bone picker,” will use tongs to pick out bones as they separate from the meat.

In 1958, the County Commissioners of Edwards County, Illinois, proclaimed their county the “Chowder Capital of the World.”

*Bermuda Fish Chowder – Bermuda fish chowder is a soup that is considered the national dish of Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its basic ingredients are fish, tomatoes and onions, seasoned with black rum and “Sherry Pepper Sauce”. The recipe is believed to have been developed by the 17th century British colonizers of Bermuda. Bermuda fish chowder is of a much lighter consistency than chowders that are thickened with milk or cream. It is sometimes compared with bouillabaisse.

New England Clam Chowder & Potatoes w/ Griiled Ham & Cheese Sandwich

December 31, 2011 at 6:45 PM | Posted in cheese, diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, Healthy Life Whole Grain Breads, low calorie, low carb | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: New England Clam Chowder & Potatoes w/ Griiled Ham & Cheese Sandwich

I’m ending my year on a comfort food delight dinner! I had New England Clam Chowder w/ Hearty Potatoes along with a Grilled Ham and Cheese. I used Campbell’s New England Clam Chowder. Thick, hearty and tasty and very easily made. Just heat and serve! I used Sara Lee Thin Sliced Honey Ham, Sargento Reduced Fat Colby/Jack Sliced Cheese, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Ham is only 60 calories while the Cheese is only 50 calories a slice, and I used 2 slices for the sandwich. For dessert/snack later a Mini Bag of 100 Calorie Jolly Time Pop Corn.

 

American Cuisine – Part 2

December 9, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Posted in baking, Food | 2 Comments
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20th century—21st century

Some corporate kitchens (for example, General Mills, Campbell’s, Kraft Foods) develop consumer recipes. One characteristic of American cooking is the fusion of multiple ethnic or regional approaches into completely new cooking styles. Asian cooking has played a particularly large role in American fusion cuisine.

Similarly, while some dishes that are typically considered American have their origins in other countries. American cooks and chefs have substantially altered these dishes over the years, to the degree that the dishes now enjoyed the world over are considered to be American. Hot dogs and hamburgers are both based on traditional German dishes, brought over to America by German immigrants to the United States, but in their modern popular form they can be reasonably considered American dishes.

Many companies in the American food industry develop new products requiring minimal preparation, such as frozen entrees. Many of these recipes have become very popular. For example, the General Mills Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, first published in 1950 and currently in its 10th edition, is commonly found in American homes.

Regional cuisine

Given the United States’ large size it has numerous regional variations. The United States’ regional cuisine is characterized by its extreme diversity and style with each region having its own distinctive cuisine.

New England

New England is a northeastern region of the United States, including the six states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The American Indians cuisine became part of the cookery style that the early colonists

New England clam chowder

brought with them. The style of New England cookery originated from its colonial roots, that is to say practical, frugal and willing to eat anything other than what they were used to from their British roots. Much of the cuisine started with one-pot cookery, which resulted in such dishes as succotash, chowder, baked beans, and others.

Lobster is an integral ingredient to the cuisine, indigenous to the shores of the region. Other shellfish of the coastal regions include little neck clams, sea scallops, blue mussels, oysters, soft shell clams and razor shell clams. Much of this shellfish contributes to New England tradition, the clambake. The clambake as known today is a colonial interpretation of an American Indian tradition.

The fruits of the region include the Vitis labrusca grapes used in grape juice made by companies such as Welch’s, along with jelly, Kosher wine by companies like Mogen David and Manischewitz along with other wineries that make higher quality wines. Apples from New England include the original varieties, Baldwin, Lady, Mother, Pomme Grise, Porter, Roxbury Russet, Wright, Sops of Wine, Peck’s Pleasant, Titus Pippin, Westfield-Seek-No-Further, and Duchess of Oldenburg. Cranberries are another fruit indigenous to the region.

Pacific & Hawaiian Cuisine – Hawaiian regional cuisine covers everything from wok-charred ahi tuna, opakapaka (snapper) with passionfruit, to Hawaiian island-raised lamb, beef and aquaculture products such as Molokai shrimp. Includes a broad variety of produce – most notably tomatoes, strawberries, mushrooms, sweet maui onions and tropical fruits such as papayas, mangoes, lilikoi (passionfruit) and lychee.

Midwest – Midwestern cuisine covers everything from barbecue to the Chicago-style hot dog.

The American South– The cuisine of the American South has been influenced by the many diverse inhabitants of the region, including

Fried chicken

Americans of European descent, Native Americans and African Americans.

Cuisine in the West – Cooking in the American West get its influence from Native American and Mexican cultures, and other European settlers into the part of the country. Common dishes vary depending on the area. For instance, the Northwest relies on local seafood, while in the South, Mexican flavors are extremely common.

Ethnic and immigrant influence

The demand for ethnic foods in the United States reflects the nation’s changing diversity as well as its development over time. According to the National Restaurant Association,

Restaurant industry sales are expected to reach a record high of $476 billion in 2005, an increase of 4.9 percent over 2004… Driven by consumer demand, the ethnic food market reached record sales in 2002, and has emerged as the fastest growing category in the food and beverage product sector, according to USBX Advisory Services. Minorities in the U.S. spend a combined $142 billion on food and by 2010, America’s ethnic population is expected to grow by 40 percent.

A movement began during the 1980s among popular leading chefs to reclaim America’s ethnic foods within its regional traditions, where these trends originated. One of the earliest was Paul Prudhomme, who in 1984 began the introduction of his influential cookbook, Paul Prodhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, by describing the over 200 year history of Creole and Cajun cooking; he aims to “preserve and expand the Louisiana tradition.” Prodhomme’s success quickly inspired other chefs. Norman Van Aken embraced a Floridian type cuisine fused with many ethnic and globalized elements in his Feast of Sunlight cookbook in 1988. The movement finally gained fame around the world when California became swept up in the movement, then seemingly started to lead the trend itself, in, for example, the popular restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Examples of the Chez Panisse phenomenon, chefs who embraced a new globalized cuisine, were celebrity chefs like Jeremiah Tower and Wolfgang Puck, both former colleagues at the restaurant. Puck went on to describe his belief in contemporary, new style American cuisine in the introduction to The Wolfgang Puck Cookbook:

Another major breakthrough, whose originators were once thought to be crazy, is the mixing of ethnic cuisines. It is not at all uncommon to find raw fish listed next to tortillas on the same menu. Ethnic crossovers also occur when distinct elements meet in a single recipe. This country is, after all, a huge melting pot. Why should its cooking not illustrate the American transformation of diversity into unity?

Puck’s former colleague, Jeremiah Tower became synonymous with California Cuisine and the overall American culinary revolution. Meanwhile, the restaurant that inspired both Puck and Tower became a distinguished establishment, popularizing its so called “mantra” in its book by Paul Bertolli and owner Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Cooking, in 1988. Published well after the restaurants’ founding in 1971, this new cookbook from the restaurant seemed to perfect the idea and philosophy that had developed over the years. The book embraced America’s natural bounty, specifically that of California, while containing recipes that reflected Bertoli and Waters’ appreciation of both northern Italian and French style foods.

Early ethnic influences

While the earliest cuisine of the United States was influenced by indigenous American Indians, the cuisine of the thirteen colonies or the culture of the antebellum American South; the overall culture of the nation, its gastronomy and the growing culinary arts became ever more influenced by its changing ethnic mix and immigrant patterns from the 18th and 19th centuries unto the present. Some of the ethnic groups that continued to influence the cuisine were here in prior years; while others arrived more numerously during “The Great Transatlantic Migration (of 1870—1914) or other mass migrations.

Some of the ethnic influences could be found in the nation from after the American Civil War and into the History of United States continental expansion during most of the 19th century. Ethnic influences already in the nation at that time would include the following groups and their respective cuisines:

Select nationalities of Europe and the respective developments from early modern European cuisine of the colonial age:
British-Americans and on-going developments in New England cuisine, the national traditions founded in cuisine of the thirteen colonies and some aspects of other regional cuisine.
Spanish Americans and early modern Spanish cuisine, as well as Basque-Americans and Basque cuisine.
Early German-American or Pennsylvania Dutch and Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine
French Americans and their “New World” regional identities such as:
Acadian
Cajun and Cajun cuisine
Louisiana Creole and Louisiana Creole cuisine. Louisiana Creole (also called French Créole) refers to native born people of the New Orleans area who are descended from the Colonial French and/or Spanish settlers of Colonial French Louisiana, before it became part of the United States in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase.
The various ethnicities originating from early social factors of Race in the United States and the gastronomy and cuisines of the “New World,” Latin American cuisine and North American cuisine:
Indigenous American Indians in the United States (Indians) and American Indian cuisine
African-Americans and “Soul food.”
Cuisine of Puerto Rico
Mexican-Americans and Mexican-American cuisine; as well as related regional cuisines:
Tex-Mex (regional Texas and Mexican fusion)
Cal-Mex (regional California and Mexican fusion)
Some aspects of “Southwestern cuisine.”
Cuisine of New Mexico

Later ethnic and immigrant influence

Mass migrations of immigrants to the United States came in several waves. Historians identify several waves of migration to the United States: one from 1815–1860, in which some five million English, Irish, Germanic, Scandinavian, and others from northwestern Europe came to the United States; one from 1865–1890, in which some 10 million immigrants, also mainly from northwestern Europe, settled, and a third from 1890–1914, in which 15 million immigrants, mainly from central, eastern, and southern Europe (many Austrian, Hungarian, Turkish, Lithuanian, Russian, Jewish, Greek, Italian, and Romanian) settled in the United States.

Together with earlier arrivals to the United States (including the indigenous American Indians, Hispanic and Latino Americans, particularly in the West, Southwest, and Texas; African Americans who came to the United States in the Atlantic slave trade; and early colonial migrants from Britain, France, Germany, and elsewhere, these new waves of immigrants had a pro profound impact on national or regional cuisine.

“Italian, Mexican and Chinese (Cantonese) cuisines have indeed joined the mainstream. These three cuisines have become so ingrained in the American culture that they are no longer foreign to the American palate. According to the study, more than nine out of 10 consumers are familiar with and have tried these foods, and about half report eating them frequently. The research also indicates that Italian, Mexican and Chinese (Cantonese) have become so adapted to such an extent that “authenticity” is no longer a concern to customers.”

Contributions from these ethnic foods have become as common as traditional “American” fares such as hot dogs, hamburgers, beef steak, which are derived from German cuisine, (chicken-fried steak, for example, is a variation on German schnitzel), cherry pie, Coca-Cola, milkshakes, fried chicken (Fried chicken is of Scottish and African influence) and so on. Nowadays, Americans also have a ubiquitous consumption of foods like pizza and pasta, tacos and burritos to “General Tso’s chicken” and fortune cookies. Fascination with these and other ethnic foods may also vary with region.

Notable American chefs

American chefs have been influential both in the food industry and in popular culture. An important 19th Century American chef was Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City. American cooking has been exported around the world, both through the global expansion of restaurant chains such as T.G.I. Friday’s and McDonald’s and the efforts of individual restaurateurs such as Bob Payton, credited with bringing American-style pizza to the UK.[36]

The first generation of television chefs such as Robert Carrier and Julia Child tended to concentrate on cooking based primarily on

Fried fish and French fries in San Diego

European, especially French and Italian, cuisines. Only during the 1970s and 1980s did television chefs such as James Beard and Jeff Smith shift the focus towards home-grown cooking styles, particularly those of the different ethnic groups within the nation. Notable American restaurant chefs include Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter, Grant Achatz, Alfred Portale, Paul Prudhomme, Paul Bertolli, Alice Waters, and celebrity chefs like Mario Batali, Alton Brown, Emeril Lagasse, Cat Cora, Michael Symon, Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Todd English, and Paula Deen.

Regional chefs are emerging as localized celebrity chefs with growing broader appeal, such as Peter Merriman (Hawaii Regional Cuisine), Jerry Traunfeld, Alan Wong (Pacific Rim cuisine), Norman Van Aken (New World Cuisine – fusion Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American), and Mark Miller (American Southwest cuisine).

American Cuisine – Part 1

December 8, 2011 at 1:23 PM | Posted in baking, Food | Leave a comment
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American cuisine is a style of food preparation originating from the United States of America. European colonization of the

ingredients and cooking styles to the latter. The various styles continued expanding well in to the 19th and 20th centuries, proportional to the influx of immigrants from many foreign nations; such influx developed a rich diversity in food preparation throughout the country.
Seafood

Saltwater fish eaten by the American Indianswere cod, lemon sole, flounder, herring, halibut, sturgeon, smelt, drum on the East

Fish and chips served with coleslaw in the United States

Coast, and olachen and salmon on the West Coast. Whale was hunted by American Indians off the Northwest coast, especially by the Makah, and used for their meat and oil. Seal and walrus were also utilized. Eel from New York’s Finger Lakes region were eaten. Catfish seemed to be favored by tribes, including the Modocs. Crustacean included shrimp, lobster, crayfish, and dungeness crabs in the Northwest and blue crabs in the East. Other shellfish include abalone and geoduck on the California coast, while on the East Coast the surf clam, quahog, and the soft-shell clam. Oysters were eaten on both shores, as were mussels and periwinkles.

Cooking methods
Blue crab was used on the eastern and southern coast of what is now the U.S. mainland.

Early Native Americans utilized a number of cooking methods in early American Cuisine, that have been blended with early European cooking methods to form the basis of American Cuisine. Grilling meats was common. Spit roasting over a pit fire was common as well. Vegetables, especially root vegetables were often cooked directly in the ashes of the fire. As early American Indians lacked the proper pottery that could be used directly over a fire, they developed a technique which has caused many anthropologists to call them “Stone Boilers”. They would heat rocks directly in a fire and then add the bricks to a pot filled with water until it came to a boil so that it would cook the meat or vegetables in the boiling water. In what is now the Southwestern United States, they also created ovens made of adobe called hornos in which to bake items such as breads made from cornmeal and in other parts of America, made ovens out of dug pits. These pits were also used to steam foods by adding heated rocks or embers and then seaweed or corn husks (or other coverings) placed on top to steam fish and shellfish as well as vegetables; potatoes would be added while still in-skin and corn while in-husk, this would later be referred to as a clambake by the colonists.

Colonial period
When the colonists came to America, their initial attempts at survival included planting crops familiar to them from back home in England. In the same way, they farmed animals for clothing and meat in a similar fashion. Through hardships and eventual establishment of trade with Britain, the West Indies and other regions, the colonists were able to establish themselves in the American colonies with a cuisine similar to their previous British cuisine. There were some exceptions to the diet, such as local vegetation and animals, but the colonists attempted to use these items in the same fashion as they had their equivalents or ignore them if they could. The manner of cooking for the American colonists followed along the line of British cookery up until the Revolution. The British sentiment followed in the cookbooks brought to the New World as well.

There was a general disdain for French cookery, even with the French Huguenots in South Carolina and French-Canadians. One of the cookbooks that proliferated in the colonies was The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy written by Hannah Glasse, wrote of disdain for the French style of cookery, stating “the blind folly of this age that would rather be imposed on by a French booby, than give encouragement to a good English cook!” Of the French recipes, she does add to the text she speaks out flagrantly against the dishes as she “… think it an odd jumble of trash.” Reinforcing the anti-French sentiment was the French and Indian War from 1754-1764. This created a large anxiety against the French, which influenced the English to either deport many of the French, or as in the case of the Acadians, they migrated to Louisiana. The Acadian French did create a large French influence in the diet of those settled in Louisiana, but had little or no influence outside of Louisiana.

Common ingredients

The American colonial diet varied depending on the settled region in which someone lived. Local cuisine patterns had established by the mid 18th century. The New England colonies were extremely similar in their dietary habits to those that many of them had brought from England. A striking difference for the colonists in New England compared to other regions was seasonality. While in the southern colonies, they could farm almost year round, in the northern colonies, the growing seasons were very restricted. In addition, colonists’ close proximity to the ocean gave them a bounty of fresh fish to add to their diet, especially in the northern colonies. Wheat, however, the grain used to bake bread back in England was almost impossible to grow, and imports of wheat were far from cost productive. Substitutes in cases such as this included cornmeal. The Johnnycake was a poor substitute to some for wheaten bread, but acceptance by both the northern and southern colonies seems evident.

As many of the New Englanders were originally from England game hunting was often a pastime from back home that paid off when they immigrated to the New World. Much of the northern colonists depended upon the ability either of themselves to hunt, or for others from which they could purchase game. This was the preferred method for protein consumption over animal husbandry, as it required much more work to defend the kept animals against American Indians or the French.

Commonly hunted and eaten game included deer, bear, buffalo and wild turkey. The larger muscles of the animals were roasted and served with currant sauce, while the other smaller portions went into soups, stews, sausages, pies, and pasties. In addition to game, colonists’ protein intake was supplemented by mutton. The Spanish in Florida originally introduced sheep to the New World, but this development never quite reached the North, and there they were introduced by the Dutch and English. The keeping of sheep was a result of the English non-practice of animal husbandry. The animals provided wool when young and mutton upon maturity after wool production was no longer desirable. The forage-based diet for sheep that prevailed in the Colonies produced a characteristically strong, gamy flavor and a tougher consistency, which required aging and slow cooking to tenderize.

A number of fats and oils made from animals served to cook much of the colonial foods. Many homes had a sack made of deerskin filled with bear oil for cooking, while solidified bear fat resembled shortening. Rendered pork fat made the most popular cooking medium, especially from the cooking of bacon. Pork fat was used more often in the southern colonies than the northern colonies as the Spanish introduced pigs earlier to the South. The colonists enjoyed butter in cooking as well, but it was rare prior to the American Revolution, as cattle were not yet plentiful.

Seafood
Those living near the New England shore often dined on fish, crustaceans, and other animals that originated in the waters. Colonists ate large quantities of turtle, and it was an exportable delicacy for Europe. Cod, in both fresh and salted form was enjoyed, with the salted variation created for long storage. The highest quality cod was usually dried, however, and exported to the Mediterranean in exchange for fruits not available in the American colonies. Lobsters proliferated in the waters as well, and were extremely common in the New England diet.

Prior to the Revolution, New Englanders consumed large quantities of rum and beer, as maritime trade provided them relatively easy access to the goods needed to produce these items: Rum was the distilled spirit of choice, as the main ingredient, molasses, was readily available from trade with the West Indies. Further into the interior, however, one would often find colonists consuming whiskey, as they did not have similar access to sugar cane. They did have ready access to corn and rye, which they used to produce their whiskey. However, until the Revolution, many considered whiskey to be a coarse alcohol unfit for human consumption, as many believed that it caused the poor to become raucous and unkempt drunkards. Yet one item, hops, important for the production of beer, did not grow well in the colonies. Hops only grew wild in the Old World, and as such, importation from England and elsewhere became essential to beer production. In addition to these alcohol-based products produced in America, imports were seen on merchant shelves, including wine and brandy.

In comparison to the northern colonies, the southern colonies were quite diverse in their agricultural diet and did not have a central region of culture. The uplands and the lowlands made up the two main parts of the southern colonies. The slaves and poor of the south often ate a similar diet, which consisted of many of the indigenous New World crops. Salted or smoked pork often supplement the vegetable diet. Rural poor often ate squirrel, possum, rabbit and other woodland animals. Those on the “rice coast” often ate ample amounts of rice, while the grain for the rest of the southern poor and slaves was cornmeal used in breads and porridges. Wheat was not an option for most of those that lived in the southern colonies.

The diet of the uplands often included cabbage, string beans, white potatoes, while most avoided sweet potatoes and peanuts. Non-poor whites in the uplands avoided crops imported from Africa because of the perceived inferiority of crops of the African

Chicken, pork and corn cooking in a barbecue smoker.

slaves. Those who could grow or afford wheat often had biscuits as part of their breakfast, along with healthy portions of pork. Salted pork was a staple of any meal, as it was used in the preparations of vegetables for flavor, in addition to its direct consumption as a protein.

The lowlands, which included much of the Acadian French regions of Louisiana and the surrounding area, included a varied diet heavily influenced by Africans and Caribbeans, rather than just the French. As such, rice played a large part of the diet as it played a large part of the diets of the Africans and Caribbean. In addition, unlike the uplands, the lowlands subsistence of protein came mostly from coastal seafood and game meats. Much of the diet involved the use of peppers, as it still does today. Interestingly, although the English had an inherent disdain for French foodways, as well as many of the native foodstuff of the colonies, the French had no such disdain for the indigenous foodstuffs. In fact, they had a vast appreciation for the native ingredients and dishes.

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