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    • Post in A short tour of the Ozarks food history
      Later that night we are all feeling pretty full, but I was getting antsy and saw a bowl of poor kumquats sitting around drying out, so i took over the kitchen and made kumquat moonshine marmalade. I used my patented technique of removing seeds (cut, pinch, twist) and then just made a straightforward marmalade finished with the moonshine we were gifted at the talk the night before.

      Then because I was still antsy I made a lemon curd which I worked into an ice cream base, and then we made a fresh bowl of lemon cream ice cream. I finished it by making marshmallow fluff and then topped it with the marmalade. It was pretty good.
      The next day I drove over to Little Rock, which is a gorgeous drive btw, to the Little Rock Central Library which houses a rare documents collection for the Ozarks. My primary goal was to lay hands on the oldest known cookbook from the Ozarks, but the visit turned out to be far better than I imagined. By searching their database for Food, Hunting, Game, Crops, etc, I was brought out all sorts of documents. Here's an old envelop...I love the penmanship of the time.

      And the oldest was this one from 1822. The writer was homesteading in a very rural area. The letter talked about interactions/trading with the indigenous people, and learning to hunt, and such.

      I was amazed that I was allowed to touch the actual documents. They had a person standing behind me the whole time but I was allowed to remove the paper from the sleeves to examine things more closely. This letter talked about the hunting and fishing in the area, which gave me a good sense of what meats they valued.

      and finally they brought me Chicora's Help to the Housekeeper. I was less impressed with the book than I expected but still some important stuff. I've been told this was the last book to use paragraph instructions for recipes instead of list format.

      Here are some standards of Ozark cuisine:

      This page is a bit more intersting

      Two things to point out. First is eel. Yes, we have eel in our state rivers. No one that I've found so far is catching them for food, but they were in the olden days. The second thing to note is halibut. No, there are no halibut in local rivers, but interestingly my historian friend on the first day had already explained this. He said that it was common for immigrants from other areas to come to town and make their favorite recipes using local ingredients, and in many cases the name would stick throughout time. The other thing I learned is that trout, which are raised all over the area, were introduced in the 1950s, but did not exist prior to that. Largemouth, spoonbill, drum, suckers, goggle eye and perch would have been common prior to 1950.
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    • Cheese Fondue
      Around Christmas time, for the past four years, my boyfriend and I have made it a tradition to make a cheese fondue at home. While the fondue always results in something that is quite good, we can never seem to get the consistency right. In the end we usually end up with a pretty soupy concoction and a huge lump of melted cheese at the bottom of our fondue pot. We just can’t get seem to get the liquid ingredients and the cheese to unite and form a wonderful, smooth, creamy mixture. Are we not keeping the fondue on a sufficiently high temperature? Or is it just a matter of not stirring the mixture long enough over a steady heat? Please advise…it has been four years and while our relationship has improved…our fondue has not.
      • 72 replies
    • Post in International Potato Chips
      I hope dredging up an old thread topic is not frowned upon, but I just tried some Quillo Fried Egg flavored Potato Chips, from Spain, so qualifies as international flavor.   Picked them up on whim at World Market.  They taste Just Like fried eggs to my palate.   I like them.  $3.99 a bag, smallish bag.  The other flavors stocked were White Truffle and Spanish Ham.  I'm planning my return trip to grab those for a try.  I still have a coupon. 
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    • Post in Your Daily Sweets: What Are You Making and Baking? (2017 – )
      It was the Old Russian New Year this week, so we celebrated with Russian party food and fortune-telling.
      As I'm forbidden from making the classic dishes, I was relegated to dessert, booze and chiromancie.
      I dug out the old standby, the Medovik I put together a few years ago with help from the many fine minds here at eGullet, but played around with the presentation a little to make it more wintery.

      I used pine honey this time, though, so the honey flavour was a lot more pronounced.  
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    • Post in Trader Joe's Products (2017–)
      Two TJ's items that may be of limited interest

      The 2016 Hillersden New Zealand Pinot Gris is a very acceptable, food-friendly, white wine for $3.99.  It's surely a limited-time offering but worth snagging if you see it and enjoy such wines.
      The Bloom Avocado Honey is a local product to my area and the Bloom website says their honey is being sold at TJ's in Southern California.  The 16 oz jar was $7.99.  The label says it has subtle hints of avocado.  I can't say I can taste avocado specifically but it has a definite savory note and quite a deep color. 
      They also had lots of the Organic Brown Rice Treats that @MelissaH learned were being discontinued.
      I forgot to look for the pancake bread. 
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