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Why are foodways important?

Foodways is the study of what people eat and why. Why we procure, prepare and serve the food we do has cultural, sociological, geographical, financial and political influences.

 

 

Why is recognition of diverse foodways valuable?

Preserving our past and present for the future by research, documentation and oral histories. It is culinary anthropology on the hoof, paw, root and leaf.

 

 

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Contestant, Wisconsin State Fair, 2013

 

Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance

FAMILY HEIRLOOM RECIPES

 

Wisconsin State Fair

August 4, 2013

 

 

Contestant:

Heritage Mincemeat Pie

Beth Campbell, Belleville, Wisconsin

 

 

THE HISTORY OF MINCEMEAT

 

 

Mincement developed as a way of preserving meat without salting or smoking some 500 years ago in England, where mince pies are still considered an essential accompaniment to holiday dinnerjust like the traditional plum pudding. This pie is a remnant of a medieval tradition of spiced meat dishes that have survived because of its association with Christmas. This pies have also been known as Christmas Pie. Mince pie as part of the Christmas table had long been an English custom.

 

Today, we are accustomed to eating mince pie as a dessert, but actually "minced' pie and its follow-up "mincemeat pie" began as a main course dish with more meat than fruit (a mixture of meat, dried fruits, and spices). As fruits and spices became more Pientiful in the 17th century, the spiciness of the pies increased accordingly. I I

 

11th Century - The Christmas pie came about at the time when the Crusaders ere returning from the Holy Land. They brought home a variety of oriental spices. It was Important to add three spices (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg) for the three gifts given to the Christ child by the Magi. In honor of the birth of the Savior, the mince pie was originally made in an oblong casings (coffin or cradle shaped), with a place for the Christ Child to be placed on top. The baby was removed by the children and the manger (pie) as eaten in celebration. These pies were not very large, and it was thought Iucky to eat one mince pie on each of the twelve days of Christmas (ending with Epiphany, the 6th of January).

 

Over the years, the pies grew smaller, the shape of the pie was gradually changed from oblong to round, and the meat content was gradually reduced until the pies were simply filled with a mixture of suet, spices and dried fruit, previously steeped in brandy. This filling was put into little pastry cases that were covered with pastry lids and then baked in an oven. Essentially, this is today's English mince pie.

 

1413 - King Henry V of England served a mincemeat pie at his coronation in 1413. King Henry VIII liked his Christmas pie to be a main-dish pie filled with mincemeat.

 

1657 - Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), the self-proclaimed Lord Protector of England from 1649 until 1658, detested Christmas as a pagan holiday and his council abolished Christmas on December 22, 1657. In London, soldiers were ordered to go round the streets land take, by force if necessary, food being cooked for a Christmas . celebration. Cromwell considered pies as a guIlty, forbidden pleasure. Those celebrating it were fined. The traditional mincemeat pie was banned. King Charles II (1630-1685) restored Christmas when he ascended the throne in 1660.

 

1853 - Quaker Elizabeth Ellicott Lea explained in her book called Domestic Cookery that was published in 1853: "Where persons have a large family, and workmen on a farm, these pies are very useful."   By useful, she meant that the pies could be baked in large numbers, and more importantly during cold weather, they could be kept for as long as two months. The mincemeat could be made ahead and kept even longer.

 

 

Mince Pie Traditions

 

- Mince pie is a favorite of Father Christmas (Santa), so children should leave a plate f pie at the foot of the chimney.

 

- Only stir the mincemeat mixture clockwise because stirring it counterclockwise is bad luck for the upcoming year.

 

- While eating the first mince pie of the season, it is traditional to make a wish.

 

- Always eat mince pies in silence.

 

- Eating a mince pie each day of the 12 days of Christmas is good luck for the upcoming year.

 

- Mince pies should have a star on top, depicting the Christmas star that led the Magi and Shepherds to baby Jesus.

 

 

 

Contestant:

Heritage Mincemeat Pie

Beth Campbell, Belleville, Wisconsin

 

PIE CRUST

1 C. FLOUR

1/2 C. SHORTENING

1/4 C. COLD WATER

1/8 tsp. SALT

 

 

MINCEMEAT FILLING:

1 PINT OF CANNED MINCEMEAT

3 MEDIUM APPLES (1 COPPED AND THE OTHER TWO SLICED THINLY)

1/2 CUP OF GOLDEN PLUMPED RAISINS

 

CUT THE SHORTENING INTO THE FLOUR UNTIL PEA SIZE AND THEN ADD THE COLD WATER (that you have dissolved the salt in for even distribution) UNTIL THE DOUGH FORMS A BALL. REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT OR UNTIL COLD.


ROLL THE CHILLED CRUST OUT ON A FLOURED SURFACE INTO A 10 INCH DIAMETER AND PLACE IN THE 9 INCH PIE PAN.

 

Combine the pint of canned mincemeat and add 3 medlum apples (1 apple chopped and the other two sliced) along with 1/2 cup of plumped golden raisins. (To plump raisins let 1/2 cup of raisins sit in 1/4 cup of hot water and microwave for about 3-4 minutes. Pour off any excess water and add to your recipe). Pour into pie pan lined with unbaked crust, cover with second lattice crust of if using a complete crust, seal and cut a couple of vents In the top crust.

 

BAKE YOUR PIE AT 350 DEGREES FOR 60 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE CRUST GETS LIGHTLY BROWNED.

 


VERY OLD MINCEMEAT RECIPE INGREDIENTS

Beth Campbell, Belleville, Wisconsin

 

 

3 LBS GREEN TOMATOES

3 LBS APPLES

2 LBS RAISINS

8 CUPS BROWN SUGAR

2 TBS. SALT

1 CUP SUET

1 CUP VINEGAR

2 TBS. CINNAMON

2 tsp. GROUND CLOVES

1 tsp. NUTMEG


 

Grind green tomatoes. Pour boiling water over them twice, draining each time. Grind apples and suet. Mix all the rest of the ingredients and boil until thick. Takes about an hour. Seal in sterilized jars while still hot and process in hot water bath for at least 30 minutes.

 

The above recipe comes from the 1907 Ladies Aid Cookbook.

 

I was in charge of our annual church bazaar for over 30 years and our church members still make and can this mincemeat and sell it at that bazaar. My own family canned this mincemeat for over 75 years. I remember as a child on the farm, my mom and Grandma making the mincemeat recipe, grinding the tomatoes, plumping the raisins and canning the mincemeat so that we would have it for pies throughout the year. This recipe was a good way to use up the end of the garden green tomatoes and it was my job to turn the hand grinder to get those tomatoes into the mincemeat recipe. I also remember my Grandma making mincemeat filled cookies from that same canned mincemeat. The smell of those spices combined with the rest of the ingredients filled the whole house with a wonderful scent and I can still remember the smell when I think of my childhood.