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Wed Nov 30, 2016, 09:39 AM

Happy Birthday Mark Twain, food in "A Tramp Abroad"

"A man accustomed to American food and American domestic cookery would not starve to death suddenly in Europe, but I think he would gradually waste away, and eventually die.

"Then there is the beefsteak. They have it in Europe, but they don't know how it cook it. Neither will they cut it right. It comes to the table on a small round pewter platter. It lies in the center of this platter in a bordering bed of grease-soaked potatoes; it is the size, shape, and thickness of a man's hand with the thumb and fingers cut off. It is a little overdone, is rather dry ... . Imagine a poor exile contemplating that inert thing; and imagine an angel suddenly sweeping down out of a better land and setting before them a mighty porterhouse steak an inch and a half thick, hot and sputtering from the griddle; dusted with a fragrant pepper; enriched with little melting bits of butter of the most impeachable freshness and genuiness; the precious juices of the meat trickling out and joining the gravy, archipelagoed with mushrooms; a township of this ample county of beefsteak; the long white bone which divides the sirloin from the tenderloin still in its place; and imagine that the angel also adds a great cup of American home-made coffee, with cream a-froth on the top, some real butter, firm and yellow and fresh, some smoking hot biscuits and a plate of hot buckwheat cakes, with transparent syrup -- could words describe the gratitude of the exile?

"It has now been many months ... since I have have had a nourishing meal, but I ... have made out a little bill of fare as follows:
Radishes. Baked apples, with cream.
Fried oysters; stewed oysters.
American coffee, with real cream.
American butter.
Fried chicken, Southern style.
Porter-house steak.
Saratoga potatoes.
Broiled chicken, American style.
Hot biscuits, Southern style.
Hot buckwheat cakes.
American toast. Clear maple syrup.
Virginia ham, broiled.
Blue points, on the half shell.
Cherry-stone clams.
San Francisco mussels, steamed.
Oyster soup. Clam soup.
Oysters roasted in the shell -- Northern style.
Soft-shell crabs. Connecticut shad.
Roast turkey, Thanksgiving style.
Cranberry sauce. Celery.
'Possum. Coon.
Boston bacon and beans.
Bacon and greens, Southern style.
Hominy. Boiled onions. Turnips.
Pumpkin. Squash. Asparagus.
Lettuce. Succotash. String beans.
Butter beans. Sweet potatoes.
Mashed potatoes. Catsup.
Sliced tomatoes with sugar or vinegar. Stewed tomatoes.
Green corn, on the ear.
Apple dumplings, with real cream.
Apple pie. Apple fritters.
Pumpkin pie. Squash pie.
Fresh American fruits of all sorts, including strawberries which are not to be doled out as if they were jewelry, but in a more liberal way.

"Foreigners cannot enjoy our food, I suppose, any more than we can enjoy theirs. It is not strange; for tastes are made, not born."

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Reply Happy Birthday Mark Twain, food in "A Tramp Abroad" (Original post)
betsuni Nov 2016 OP
pscot Nov 2016 #1

Response to betsuni (Original post)

Wed Nov 30, 2016, 10:31 AM

1. how to cook a 'possum

1 opossum

1 cup salt
Opossum Stuffing
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fat
opossum liver (optional)
1 cup breadcrumbs
chopped red pepper
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped fine
salt, to taste


Roast Opossum:.
The opossum is a very fat animal with a peculiarly flavored meat.
It is dressed much as one would dress a suckling pig, removing the entrails, and if desired, the head and tail.
After it is dressed, wash thoroughly inside and out with hot water.
Cover with cold water to which has been added 1 cup of salt.
Allow to stand overnight. In morning, drain off the salted water and rinse well with clear water.
Stuff opossum with opossum stuffing (stuffing recipes next); sew opening or fasten with skewers.
Place in roaster, add 2 tablespoons water and roast in moderate oven (350F) until tender and richly browned, about one and one half hours.
Baste every 15 minutes with drippings.
Remove skewers or stitches, and place on heated platter.
Skim fat from gravy remaining in pan.
Opossum Stuffing:.
Brown onion in fat.
Add finely chopped opossum liver and cook until liver is tender.
Add crumbs, a little red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, egg, salt and water to moisten.

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