Lila Perl 1975
drawings by Richard Cuffari
We learned that sukquttahash (succotash) was an Indian dish of corn and beans. It was one of the first, the simplest, and the most directly adopted recipes taken from the Indians by the colonists.
I like the story of Anadama bread: A cornmeal and wheat bread that actually had enough wheat flour in it to be raised by yeast. The story behind anadama bread is that there was once a New England fisherman who grew exceedingly tired of the cornmeal mush served up for dinner day after day by his unimaginative wife, Anna. Adding several fistfuls of wheat flour, some yeast, and some molasses to Anna's mush, he set the entire mess to rise, baked it, and ate the hot delicious loaf, while muttering angrily to himself between satisfying mouthfuls, "Anna, damn her!"
Though this new world had plenty of wild fruits and berries, they were all sour and tart. So the colonists concocted "slumps" and "grunts"- a way to steam the fruit with a cakelike dumpling dough on top. Or even better, a "flummery", which was fruit stewed and sweetened and served thick with a bit of cream.
This Thanksgiving holiday I think I'll be thankful for green bean casserole, the sweet light white bread I'll be baking, fat non-gamey turkey and pumpkin pie!