Monday, January 18, 2010

"Atlanta Cooks for Company" - Green Rice

Date I made this recipe: January 17, 2010

Atlanta Cooks for Company by The Junior Associates of The Atlanta Music Club (spiral-bound)
Published by: Conger Printing Company
© 1968
Recipe: Green Rice – submitted by Mrs. Harry G. Haisten, Jr. – p. 229

Tomorrow the nation observes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and since he was born in Atlanta, GA, I searched through my cookbooks to find some from that area. Of the two I found, one is going to be a challenge for me – it’s a reprint of recipes from the Atlanta Exposition held in 1895. The recipes give no oven temperatures, no cooking time and rather interesting ingredient measurements: “lump of butter the size of an egg.” And so I passed on making something from that book for the time being and went with the cookbook written in 1968. Nineteen sixty eight I can do, 1895 not so much!

But even though I got myself into the modern age, finding something that seemed to fit what MLK would have eaten was another story. Not that I want to speculate, but music associations of any type seem to be mighty white and pretty monied and that didn’t fit the profile of MLK at all, at all, at all.

So I was getting rather discouraged when I spied this recipe for Green Rice and determined that this one would fit the bill. Rice and cotton were huge money-makers for the South, especially during the Civil War (or “that unpleasantness” as some Southerners say), and some friends who are from the south mentioned that rice is still pretty much a staple of every meal so perhaps Martin Luther King, Jr. ate a lot of rice as well.

And so green rice it was. This recipe is easy and tasty and healthy (if you leave out the cheese). I was going to pare it with some chicken breasts but alas, it was only after I came home from the grocery store that I discovered that I had used up my chicken breasts a few weeks ago and that nothing currently in the freezer (such as Trader Joe’s froze appetizers) would work very well so we went totally vegetarian and it was fine.

Back to Martin Luther King, Jr…had he lived he would be 81 years old and one just has to wonder what he would have thought of life today with a black president in office and many blacks in leadership positions throughout the south. I was only 9 years old when he (and later Bobby Kennedy) were killed and the images of that awful day in Memphis still come back to haunt me. And so as per usual, I turned to the thing that brings me the most comfort – cooking…and food - and for one brief moment life was good again.

Green Rice – yield: 6 servings (Note: the owner of this cookbook liked this dish a lot because she wrote “Very Good” in the margin. I like that about a cookbook!)
2 ½ cups rice, cooked
¾ cup milk
3 tablespoons cheddar cheese, grated
¼ cup parsley, minced
¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs, well-beaten
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ teaspoons onion, grated
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach
1 ½ teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease casserole or ring mould. Cook and drain frozen spinach. Blend together all ingredients. Turn into greased casserole or ring mould. Bake at 325 degrees for forty-five minutes.

Note: I used a microplane grater for the onion and it worked out much better than using a regular grater although be warned that it does make your onion somewhat watery.

1 comment:

~~louise~~ said...

I love little notes in the margin! I think you chose a perfect dish to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.

Thanks for sharing, Ann...