Sunday, November 24, 2019

Along the Mississippi: The Culinary Historians' Dinner

The Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor (CHAA) held their winter theme meal on November 24. The theme was foods from states along the Mississippi River. As we have done many times before, members contribute one or more dishes that follow the theme. We present our dishes and a bit of history or background about what we cooked and how we made our choices and then we eat! 

Here are pictures of a number of the very interesting selections of dishes that came from the whole length of the river from Minneapolis to New Orleans --

Wild rice with several types of mushrooms from the cookbook of the Sioux Chef.
The Native Americans of Minnesota gather wild rice from canoes in the north of the state.
Wild rice with hazel nuts -- another of the several wild rice
dishes on the menu.
Wild Rice and chicken salad.
Our contribution: sauerbraten. It was tasty but not very photogenic.
Where along the Mississippi does it originate? It's from the German
community of St. Louis, via the one great culinary contribution of
our native city, namely, the book The Joy of Cooking, which was
written in St. Louis by Irma Rombauer in 1931.
Iowa ham balls.

My friend Sherry with a Mississippi cookbook, one of several that she consulted. And my friend Randy,
editor of the CHAA newsletter, taking notes on what everyone said. He will correct me if I got any of this wrong!
Southern-style greenbeans.
Louisiana beef stew.
Kentucky corn pudding.
Cajun cornbread with ham, cheese, scallions and jalapeno.
Bread pudding -- whiskey sauce was in a separate dish. 
Minnesota Best Bars: the classic, made with sweetened condensed milk!
Pecan Pie. The baker told us that pecans were used by native Americans
for thousands of years. French settlers in New Orleans began to make pecan pies
soon after arrival, but the most-used current recipe comes from the makers of
Karo Syrup, who published it in the 1920s.

Here is a list of most of the contributions in geographic order. Sherry said "It's a long river," and I think we showed that she was right!

From Minnesota:
  • Favorite Tuna Hot Dish
  • Hazelnut Wild Rice & Passion Fruit Foam Salad
  • Wild Rice Pilaf with Wild Mushrooms, etc.
  • Wild Rice and Chicken Salad
  • Amaranth Bites from the Sioux Chef
  • Very Good Bars
More from the Midwest:
  • Karl Ratzsch’s Burgundy Red Cabbage from Wisconsin
  • Ham Balls appetizer, Iowa
  • Blue Cheese Spaghetti, Illinois
  • Sauerbraten from The Joy of Cooking, St. Louis, Mo.
Going South:
  • Rice Salad, Arkansas
  • Corn Pudding, Kentucky
  • Southern Style Green Beans
  • Cajun Cornbread, Louisiana
  • Jambalaya with Sausage, Shrimp, & Ham, Louisiana
  • Louisiana Beef Stew
  • Shrimp Dip with Crackers & Chips, Louisiana
  • Roselawn Plantation Punch, Louisiana
  • Bread Pudding with whiskey sauce, Louisiana
  • Pecan Pie
This post and photos © 2019 by mae sander.


Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

I have only had sauerbraten once in a restaurant - and it tastes so good so never mind the look. What an interesting collection of dishes :)

Angie's Recipes said...

So many amazing foods! I haven't had any sauerbraten in a long while..yours looks great, though very different from the one I see here in Germany.

Jeanie said...

This just looks like LOADS of fun and so delicious, too. What a creative and delicious sounding potluck. Great idea.

Pam said...

What a great fun time, and a wide variety of dishes! They all look good and I really love sauerbraten. Haven't had it in a long time. LA beef stew sounds good too, bet it's spicy!

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, that sounds awesome!
Sauerbraten was the least to expect, though!!! (In Northern Germany it looks much better, too. A lot of work and smell, so last one was pre blogger, but it was YUM).
Oh, my goodness, you make me a tad jealous ;-) And hungry!!

Wow. A wonderful idea!
Sadly I´ve never been to the US (yet), and know some of the places only from movies, reckon not very reliable...

Kitchen Riffs said...

Sauerbraten is good stuff -- it's been a long, long time since I've had it. Used to be a special one day every week (Wednesday? Thursday?) at the Mayfair Hotel in downtown St. Louis. This sounds like a fun event -- certainly everyone ate well!

jama said...

Wow, what an amazing selection of dishes. Such an interesting event.

Beth F said...

Another great dinner!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

You always seem to have so much fun with this group!