Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Missouri Mood.

On this day in 1821, Missouri was admitted as the twenty-fourth state of the Union. The folk of Missouri must take their food seriously, if I am to judge by the twenty-six state symbols given on the state’s official site. Assuming (as I do) that the official state amphibian (the bullfrog) and the official state aquatic animal (the paddlefish) can be eaten, then the eight of the twenty-six symbols could find their way onto your plate. I await correction from readers in Missouri.

The other six edible state symbols are:

State fruit: Norton Cyanthia grape
State tree: The Eastern Black Walnut.
State game bird: The Bobwhite Quail
State fish: Channel catfish.
State dessert: Ice cream cone.
State invertebrate: The crayfish (crawfish or crawdad)

The Norton Cyanthia grape is very important to the Missouri wine industry. It is, I understand, a deep bluish purple colour, which indicates it is stuffed full of acanthocyanins, which we are told are good for the health. I have no idea how useful, or how much used they are as table grapes or for cooking, but feel sure they must have some value. To celebrate the day therefore, I thought a nice grape ice-cream might be in order – although, looking at the list, it looks like an entire meal could be made from state symbols, if that would not be some sort of treasonous or sacrilegious act.

The book Cooking for Profit … (1893), by Jessup Whitehead has a recipe for White Grape Ice Cream, which simply says “Make the same as for white cherries”. The book however also gives a recipe for Red Cherry Ice-Cream, and it seems more sensible to use this with the Norton Cyanthia grape.

Red Cherry Ice-Cream
4 cups cream
2 cups sugar
5 cups red cherries
½ cup water
Use only the light red cherries for this purpose, for the dark kinds make an unpleasant color.
Boil the water and sugar together and drops the cherries in. Let simmer at the side of the range a few minutes without stirring or breaking them. Then strain the syrup into the freezer and set the fruit on ice to be mixed in at last. Add the quart of cream to the syrup in the freezer, freeze and beat up well, then add the cherries and cover down until needed.

Quotation for the Day.
Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice-cream fall from the cone.
Jim Fiebig.


Marcia said...

Hello Janet,
This is Marcia, in São Paulo. I tried to reach you trough e-mail but it was sent back.
Can you send me the new one?

Fay said...

Now, y'see, I'm a little concerned about the concept of State Dessert...
Well in fact with the thought of 26 symbols. Seems to smack a bit of indecision.
65% of Missouri's population in 2009 were overweight or obese. Perhaps they could swap Dessert for a Vegetable?