As happened with many of us, Chez Nicky and Nora (I mean let’s call a spade a spade, it’s their house we just live there) the first few months of the pandemic led to a flurry of cooking, baking, roasting, basting, sauteing, and all the other “ings” involved in the kitchen.* With the advent of warm weather – or boiling heat the last three weeks – less is being done in the kitchen. Or if it is being done there is a certain resignation about the doing. That hasn’t stopped me from watching a few favourite cooking shows on YouTube.
While searching for a bread recipe I came across Glen & Friends and a rather unusual Peanut Butter Bread from a depression era cookbook. Turns out that every Sunday Glen posts a video using a recipe from an early cookbook that has been sent to him by viewers. He experiments, makes substitutions, and sometimes when he and his wife Jul taste the results they admit that they don’t like something or that it was less than successful. Here’s the Peanut Butter Bread video – it was unusual but made for a nice change for toast bread:
Glen’s observations and sidebar facts are interesting and informative as indeed are some of the comments from viewers:
– I didn’t know that before we converted to metric in 1970 a cup in Canada was 227ml and that today it is 250ml. Or that the American cup is 236.588ml except in places where it’s 240ml!!!!!! Even though they are on the Commonwealth standard cup New Zealand and Australia have a different measurements from Canada for their 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 cup!!!!
– For some reason American viewers seem to be obsessed with the milk here in Canada – particularly when it comes in bags! I’m not sure what exactly is so upsetting about it but sorry folks that’s one of the ways it’s sold here in civilization! Then several people were offended by Glen referring to “Homo milk” but for different reasons. One because it was offensive to gays and another before it was part of the “gay agenda”. I just sent Laurent out to get “homo” milk and not because he’s buying for our household but because that’s what we call “whole milk” in Canada.
Glen does all manner of recipes not just of a historical nature, Max Miller over at Tasting History specializes in a wide range of foods from the past – most often the long ago past. From that infamous Roman condiment Garum to a 1920s Birthday cake Max cooks up the goodies and, even better, gives us a history lesson the way history should be taught – with humour and wit.
Max only started the channel at the beginning of the lock-down when he was put on “furlough” and played around with his love of cooking and history, and his video expertise. In the last seven months he’s landed well over 227k subscribers and growing. Now it doesn’t hurt that Max is a bit of eye candy – as one commentor mentioned it’s a bit like having Captain America teach you history and cooking! Just another super power!
Also a bit on the historic side is Whipperwill Holler but more from the point of view of a 20th century rural community. Lori Brown and her husband Mr. Brown, I’m sure he does have a first name but I don’t recall her using it, live on a homestead near Imboden, Arkansas. Lori often reaches back to her time as a “lunch lady” in a local school for recipes, sometimes it’s old recipes from their families or simply food that anyone born during the Depression, the Second World War or the two decades after saw on the table at home. Of course there are canning recipes and despite Arkansas being considered the MidWest a few with a Southern bent. From what I can gather the farm that has been in Mr Brown’s family for several generations. Miss Lori’s kitchen is large and an Ali Baba’s cave of the old and the new.
Given that it has cooled down for Sunday dinner I’m going to take that pork tenderloin we bought two months ago out of the freezer and use Miss Lori’s one dish recipe she posted for their Valentine’s Day dinner. It was a great success the last time I tried it. I’ll give the desert a pass: I just made a batch of pistacchio** ice cream with that “gay milk” that Laurent bought.
Yes, Whipperwill Holler is “folksy”, unfortunately “folksy” is one of those words that started life as a positive statement but in recent years has taken a pejorative turn. In the case of Lori and Mr. Brown, and their Homestead I am going with the positive definitions in the word for today.
*That was one hefty run-on sentence!!!! My old English teacher Miss Firth would at it with her red pencil and mark it up with MEs. And this one too I suspect.
**Spellcheck tells me it should be pistachio but don’t believe everything Spellcheck tells you. I use the Italian spelling and that “cc” is pronounced “K” like in Pinocchio.
The word for August 22nd is:
Folksy /ˈfōksē/: [adjective]
1.1 Having the characteristics of traditional culture and customs.
1.2 Of a person: informal and unpretentious.
Old English folc “common people, laity; men; people, nation, tribe; multitude; troop, army,” Middle English folk; 1914 + y “characteristic of the common people.” Old English had folcisc “popular, secular, common.”