Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"The Saturday Evening Post All American Cookbook" & "Blueberry Hill Cookbook" & "Food in Good Season" - shrimp, salad & dessert

Date I made these recipes: Saturday and Sunday, July 12th and 13th 2008

The Saturday Evening Post All American Cookbook by Charlotte Turgeon and Frederick A. Birmingham
Published by: Thomas Nelson Inc. & Curtis Publishing Company
© 1976
Recipe: Blueberry Buckle – p. 222

Blueberry Hill Cookbook by Elsie Masterton
Published by: Thomas Y. Crowell Company
© 1959
Recipe: Shrimps Steamed in Beer – p. 84-85

Food in Good Season – A Month-by-Month Harvest of Country Recipes for Cooks Everywhere by Betty Fussell
Published by: Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN 0-394-57117-7
© 1988
Recipe: Italian Corn Salad – p. 153

So here’s how this went down: I mentioned in my last blog that I didn’t have time to make one of the recipes from one of my “All-American” cookbooks so I scheduled it for this weekend. And since I was making Blueberry Buckle, I thought I should see if I could find something from the Blueberry Hill Cookbook. And then, for whatever reason, after I found the shrimp recipe, I started to salivate for some sweet corn and that lead me to Betty Fussell who wrote The Story of Corn as well as Crazy for Corn (sad to say, neither are in my collection right now). And sure enough, Betty had this nice recipe for Italian Corn Salad to bring the menu full circle.

Now some of you might be a little young to remember artist Norman Rockwell, but he became famous for his wonderful drawings of everyday people and everyday life in The Saturday Evening Post. This cookbook is fun because it contains reprints of many of his culinary-related drawings. The recipe is fun as well and I was lucky enough to find some enormous blueberries for the buckle. They sure didn’t resemble anything I picked as a child!

Even though the Blueberry Hill Cookbook had blueberry recipes, I was really after something more main dish and the steamed shrimp seemed perfect. This cookbook was one of the first in my collection, purchased at The Strand in New York and I remember that it seemed to be in every used bookstore I went to on that trip. Blueberry Hill is an inn in Vermont and although I’ve never been, I certainly could make reservations and visit: http://www.blueberryhillinn.com/index.htm Sounds like ski season might be the perfect time.

Last, but not least, is the Italian Corn Salad. It was the perfect accompaniment to the shrimp and the blueberry buckle. If that menu didn’t scream “summer” I don’t know what did! Eat, enjoy and stock up on the napkins because you’ll need them for the shrimp!

Blueberry Buckle
¼ pound soft margarine (I used butter)\
½ cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
2 cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
1 pint fresh blueberries

4 tablespoons white sugar
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease well an 8-by-8-inch baking/serving dish.

Beat the margarine (butter) together until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg and when well mixed, add the flour sifted with the baking powder alternately with the milk. Place in the dish and cover with the blueberries.

Note: the sentence above “flour sifted with the baking powder” really threw me. The recipe called for “2 cups sifted flour” but didn’t say to sift in the baking powder until further down. Now I’m no baker but I’ve certainly read that sifting or not sifting properly can make a difference; luckily things worked out fine. But oh how I longed for clearer instructions!

Put all the ingredients for the topping in a bowl and work them together with your fingertips until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top. Bake 1 hour.

Shrimps Steamed in Beer – Serves 4

To be honest with you, the beer/spice combination that the shrimps were boiled in was okay but the butter sauce? Now that’s another story! Just be sure to have extra napkins ready!

1 can beer
1 ½ pounds shrimps in their shells
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon chopped chives or onions

Dunk Sauce for Shrimps in Beer
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon salt

To make the shrimp, in a large saucepan, combine and bring to a boil the beer, unshelled shrimps, thyme, dry mustard, bay leaf, chopped garlic, salt, chopped parsley, pepper and chopped chives or onion. As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat and start timing. Let shrimp simmer 3 minutes. They should get pink, no more.

Serve at once, with the following sauce, prepared while you are preparing the shrimps.

To make the sauce, melt the butter, add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Italian Corn Salad – Serves 4
2 cups fresh corn kernels
3 large tomatoes, sliced thin
¼ pound mozzarella, cut in strips
1 small bunch basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Heap uncooked corn kernels in center of a salad platter. Encircle with overlapping slices of tomato. Arrange mozzarella strips like spokes of a wheel radiating from the corn. Make an outside border of basil leaves. (Or just dump all the ingredients in a bowl like I did and call it a day!). Beat oil, vinegar, and seasoning together, and pour over the whole.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blueberry Hill Cookbook was one my mother loved...! She loved it and Elsie...! They retired in Maine. I have mine and I'm looking for her baked bean recipe since I'm away from home in Atlanta. I've made the shrimp steamed in beer years ago in the past and will have to reinvent it again for my grandchildren!