America

A Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Dish

March 17, 2018

It’s that time of year again, in America, when the beer turns green and the aroma of corned beef and cabbage fills the air. The dish is so comforting, but just what is corned beef? The term has nothing to do with corn, but was the English term for a small granule, such as a grain of salt. In days before modern refrigeration, salting meat was a way to preserve it and keep it from spoiling.

Corned beef is an Americanized addition to the traditional Irish diet. While colcannon (boiled potatoes, cabbage, and leeks in buttermilk flavored with wild garlic) was a common Irish dish, as was brown soda bread, corned beef was produced primarily for export to England. Upon arriving in America, however, it’s thought the Irish chose to celebrate their holiday with food that was typically not available to them in their home country, so corned beef was added to the menu, as was white soda bread studded with currants and caraway.

Corned beef is typically made from beef brisket, which is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest, but the rump, bottom round, and even tongue, can be used. In America, the term “corned beef” is used to describe both the cured meat and the canned stuff found on grocery store shelves. In Britain, they call the canned stuff “salt beef.”

To make corned beef the meat is simmered in a blend of corned beef spices that usually include peppercorns, garlic, mustard, tarragon, thyme, parsley, cloves, and nutmeg.

In New England, you most often see corned beef served as a St. Patrick’s Day main dish or in a sandwich. As the main ingredient in New England Boiled Dinner, corned beef often pairs with potatoes, carrots, turnips, and cabbage in a hearty, savory, brothy bowl of goodness. When used in a sandwich, the most popular corned beef sandwich is the Reuben. Considered the quintessential Jewish deli sandwich, a Reuben is toasted rye bread stuffed with hot slices of corned beef, usually piled high, and topped with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and either Russian or Thousand Island dressing.

In New England, a frequent point of interest is also whether you prefer red vs. gray corned beef. The difference is “Red” brisket is cured with nitrite, which gives the meat its signature color. “Gray” corned beef, which is considered the authentic New England variety, is not cured with nitrate, so color forms naturally as it brines.

If you have corned beef leftovers a New England favorite is corned beef hash, which is typically served for breakfast.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

100 Years Ago In America

February 17, 2017

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years old.
Americans spent 1/3 of their income on food.
Children remained under their parents’ roofs until they were married.
Fuel for cars was only sold in drug stores.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
Ten percent of infants died in their first year.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Men wore blue serge suits at work.
The tallest structure in the world was not in the U.S., but was France’s Eiffel Tower.
The average U.S. wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year.
A dentist could make $2,500 per year.
A veterinarian could make between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.
A mechanical engineer could make about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all doctors had no college education. Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and the government as “substandard.”
Sugar cost 4 cents per pound.
Eggs were 14 cents per dozen.
Coffee was 15 cents per pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month. They used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
The five leading causes of death were: Pneumonia and Influenza, Tuberculosis, Diarrhea, Heart Disease, and Stroke.
The American flag had 45 stars.
The population in Law Vegas, Nevada was only 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.
There was neither a Mother’s Day nor a Father’s Day.
Two out of every 10 adults could not read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at local drug stores. Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a guardian of health.”
18 percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE United States.

It’s amazing how fast everything has changed and it’s impossible to imagine what it will be like in another 100 years!

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Happy July 4th

July 4, 2016

Have A Wonderful July 4th!

Every Memorial Day

May 28, 2016

Each Memorial Day I am reminded of all of my relatives who started this country and fought in the Revolutionary War. I come from a long line of military service. Many family members survived war and some did not. I am forever grateful to all of the men and women who have given their lives to preserve our freedom. Blessings on those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.

Photo: Abraham Windsor’s Grave, Revolutionary War, Foster Rhode Island

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo‏

May 5, 2016

Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) has become a lively and fun commemoration of Mexican culture. The history behind Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war (1861-1867). Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. In the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Honoring All Veterans On This Veterans Day

November 11, 2015

HONORING ALL VETERANS ON THIS VETERANS DAY 2015 Today, and every day, we thank you. I honor my father, who was in the Air Force stationed in Morocco, which is where my parents met and my life began. I honor all of those who have served (and continue to serve) our nation and my Revolutionary War ancestors, who helped create this great nation.

Thank you all!”Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

America Was Built On Courage

September 11, 2015

America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. – Harry S Truman

Flag Day

June 14, 2015

Flag Day

In America, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th. It commemorates the adoption of the United States flag, which happened on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on this date. Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14th as Flag Day. In August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress, however Flag Day is not an official federal holiday.

On June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday, beginning in the town of Rennerdate.

New York Statutes designate the second Sunday in June as Flag Day, a state holiday.

Possibly the oldest continuing Flag Day parade is in Fairfield, Washington. Beginning in 1909 or 1910, Fairfield has held a parade every year since, with the possible exception of 1918, and celebrated the “Centennial” parade in 2010, along with some other commemorative events.

Quincy, Massachusetts has had an annual Flag Day parade since 1952, and claims it “is the longest-running parade of its kind in the nation.”

The largest Flag Day parade is held annually in Troy, New York, which bases its parade on the Quincy parade and typically draws at least 50,000 spectators.

The Three Oaks, Michigan Flag Day parade is held annually on the weekend of Flag Day and is a three-day event. They claim to have the largest Flag Day parade in the nation as well as the oldest.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part III

September 19, 2013

MayflowerConstitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part III

The abundance of meat in America was a major change in the diet of the early settlers.  Rabbits and squirrels were available year-round nearly everywhere, plus deer and other large game in many regions.  As settlers moved west, buffalo gained importance in the diet.  Fish, shellfish and wild fowl became common food, and they were all essentially “free.”  The existence of these various forms of game was a literal life saver in times of uncertain crops and unbroken land.  The game gradually diminished, of course, as the population expanded and settlers pushed west, but it provided a large share of the diet in early and frontier days. 

Ham, of course, appeared on almost every settler’s table, rich or poor.  It might be the only meat served at a meal or it might appear in company with more exotic roasts and fowl, but it was always there – breakfast, dinner and supper. 

Corn was also a staple of the colonists, either fresh in summer, or as hominy or corn meal all year.  Corn was also put to another use by an early Virginian, Captain George Thorpe, who may have been the first food technologist in America as he invented Bourbon whiskey shortly before he was massacred by the Indians in 1622.

Meal patterns for working people in rural early America were very different from those common today.  Breakfast was usually early and light which consisted of bread, hominy grits, and sometimes fruit in season.  Coffee, which was a new beverage at the time, was popular that is if it was available.  A drink made from caramelized grain was sometimes substituted.  Chicory was popular in the South, either alone or used to stretch the coffee.  Tea was often made from local leaves such as sage, raspberry or dittany.  Alcohol in some form was often served. 

Breakfast in more elegant homes or large plantations might be later in the morning, and include thinly sliced roast and ham. 

Dinner was served somewhere between midday and midafternoon, depending on the family’s circumstances, and was the big meal of the day.  There was almost always ham, as well as greens (called sallat), cabbage and other vegetables.  In the proper season, special dainties would appear – fresh fruits and berries, or fresh meat at appropriate butchering times. 

Desserts could be simple such as a scooped out pumpkin, baked until done and then filled with milk, to be eaten right out of the shell.  Or dessert could be more complex such as ice cream or other fruit flavored frozen pudding or a blanc mange.  Blanc mange was prepared from milk and loaf sugar, flavored with a tablespoon or two of rosewater, thickened with a solution of isinglass (derived from fish bladder, soaked overnight in boiling water).  This mixture was boiled for 15 to 20 minutes, then poured into molds to set. 

If isinglass was not available (most was imported from England), homemade calves foot jelly could be substituted, but eh dessert was not as fine. 

Various alcoholic beverages, including wines, applejack, “perry” (hard cider made from pears), or beer were commonly consumed. 

In winter, peaches and other fruit disappeared from the dinner table, to be replaced by dishes made from stored apples and dried fruit of various sorts.  Soups or broths also took their place.  Milk grew scarce as cows “dried up” in the short days.  Vegetables gradually decreased in variety as stored crops wilted. 

Apples quickly became a staple in early America.  Orchards were easy to start, required a minimum of care, and apples stored well.  Housewives devised a multitude of “receipts,” including sauces and butters for off-season, as well as many using dried apples. 

Supper was late and a light bread and butter, some of the left-over roast from dinner, fruit (fresh if in season, pickled and spiced otherwise), and coffee or tea.  

To Be Continued…

 

Tiny New York Kitchen Wishes You & Your Family A Very Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2013

FlagTiny New York Kitchen Wishes You & Your Family A Very Happy 4th of July! We Also Thank Those Men & Women, Past & Present, For Protecting Our Freedoms!

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