Cuisine of the Thirteen Colonies Dinner Party

AMERICA-INNOVATION[1]We’ve been involved in a lot of conflicts since we were founded. Strong debates have torn us apart, but eventually we always work things out. And there have been outside forces too, people who just don’t understand what it is that we’re trying to accomplish.

Oh, I forgot to mention that this isn’t about Silver Spork; this is about America.

September 11th has rolled around again this year and it’s hard to imagine just how long ago the towers really fell. Thirteen years ago I was sitting in an elementary school classroom when we got the announcement. Now, my friends and I are a New York-based brand trying to figure out if the American Dream is still real.

But instead of wallowing in tragedy and all the other junk that comes with it, I’d like to take a look back at America’s history with the kind of dinner party you’d invite a bald eagle to.

And along with colonial recipes, enjoy a look back at some vintage American advertisements. No matter the century, America is America.

Cuisine of the Thirteen Colonies: A Dinner Party

Hard Cider

If you love America, you’re going to be drinking hard cider with this meal. Hard cider was common in colonial America because of the plethora of apples. Even children were getting shwasty at the table, since alcoholic drinks were often much safer to drink than water. I’m still not sure why they didn’t just buy a Brita Filter though.

Since you can’t brew a batch in an evening, we’ve come up with some recommendations for you.

Woodchuck Hard Cider
Harpoon Cider
Johnny Appleseed Cider
Crispin Cider

You’ll be happy with any of these choices. And if you’re not, drink three or four more and then we’ll talk.

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Johnny Cake

This is an early form of cornbread, which means it’s delicious.

Ingredients:
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup white sugar1
1/3 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk

Instructions:
Preheat over to 350°F. Grease thoroughly an 8 inch square cake pan.

Combine cornmeal and milk. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together the egg and milk.

Cream shortening, and blend in sugar. Stir flour mixture and egg mixture alternately into creamed mixture. Blend in cornmeal mixture.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve hot, with maple syrup.

Johnny Cake recipe by Carol on allrecipes.com.

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Venison Steak

Before cows were plentiful in America (and before we were pushing the buffalo toward extinction), deer meat was a popular choice. Though not as popular as beef and pork, venison can be found with a little detective work. And trust me; it’s worth it in the end. This is a delicious meat that needs very little seasoning.

Ingredients:
Venison Steaks
Vegetable Oil
Breadcrumbs (enough to coat the meat)
Garlic Salt
Black Pepper
Meat Tenderizer

Instructions:
Pour canola oil into a shallow bowl. Coat the meat on both sides with oil and then coat each side with breadcrumbs.

Season to taste with garlic salt and pepper.

Place aluminum foil on grill. This helps to keep the breadcrumb topping intact. Bring the grill to medium heat so you don’t risk burning the breadcrumbs. Cook the meat until it’s done to your liking.

This recipe comes courtesy of Marcia Hutson, a member of the Silver Spork Grandparents party.

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Boston Baked Beans

People ate a lot of beans back then. Need I say more?

Oh yeah, prepping beans from scratch takes a little extra time. So you’ll be starting these the night before your meal.

Ingredients:
2 cups navy beans
1/2 pound bacon
1 onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar

Instructions:
Soak beans overnight in cold water. Simmer the beans in the same water until tender, approximately 1 to 2 hours. Drain and preserve the liquid.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Arrange the beans in a 2 quart casserole dish by placing a portion of the beans in the bottom of the dish and then layering them with bacon and onion.

In a saucepan, combine molasses, salt, pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and pour over beans. Pour in just enough of the reserved bean water to cover the beans. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil.

Bake for 3 to 4 hours in the preheated oven until beans are tender. Remove the lid about halfway through cooking, and add more liquid if necessary to prevent the beans from getting too dry.

Recipe by AJRHODES3 on allrecipes.com.

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So we’ve got the bread, meat, and beans. And this is America, God damn it; we’re topping it all off with an apple pie.

Scrumptious Apple Pie

If you’re not feeling up to the challenge, consider buying a pie crust mix or a ready-made crust. Same goes for the apples. It tastes better when you do it yourself. But it might taste just as sweet when you buy some cans of apples and lie to everyone about how long it took to prep the apples.

Ingredients:
Pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water

Filling:
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Instructions:
In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).

Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

Heat oven to 425°F. With floured rolling pin, roll one pastry round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.

Roll other round of pastry into 10-inch round. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm if desired.

Expert tips:

For a pretty glazed top crust, brush this—and any other double crust pie—with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar before baking.

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We snagged this recipe from something almost as American as the pie itself. Head on over to BettyCrocker.com to see the original.

Post by Ian Sims. Photos by the internet (click to view original sources).

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