Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Foundation In Fact, and Sweet Potato Pone

I've just finished up a plate of leftover Mulatto Rice, which tastes great, cold, right from the fridge. So far, out of The Savannah Cook Book, we've had a punch, a stew, a meat dish, and a side dish (though Mulatto Rice could stand as a main course). Must be time for a vegetable dish or two.
A newcomer to our shores is often a little surprised at the names to which some of our old vegetables answer. For instance, when we say "Guinea squash," egg plant makes its appearance, and squashes are apt to be listed at "Cimlins." When we say artichokes, we mean, of course, the Jerusalem variety -- unless it be a party -- then we have "Burr artichokes," meaning the other and more stylish branch of the family, though I have never seen that name in any of the cook books. The colored people are apt to call butter beans "see-wee" or "civvy" beans, but this seems to have a foundation in fact, since the dictionary opines that a lima bean (which is a large variety of our butter bean) is also known as the Siveau or Civet Bean.

Aaaah, Ms. Colquitt! We share a love of language, it seems. (Some might say we both also take too much pleasure in the describing "naive" and "quaint" lives and thoughts of our subjects.) I wonder if eggplant (now one word) is still called Guinea squash in regular use; any readers have it in their normal lexicon? I also wonder if Georgians today would still consider a sunchoke the default when hearing "artichoke."

The "foundation in fact" bit gets me all cranky again -- seems I can dish out the superior cultured tone, but rankle at the same in the text. Something to work on another day. Back to the fun stuff.

There's a large collection of potato and sweet potato recipes in The Savannah Cook Book. You have to be careful and read closely, though, because there are several sweet potato recipes that are really sweet recipes using potatoes.
Sweet Potato Pone

1 quart grated potato
3/4 pound butter
3/4 pound sugar
1/2 pint milk
1 tablespoon powdered ginger
grated peel of one sweet orange

Rub ingredients well together and bake in a shallow plate in a slow over. A little molasses may be added.

In the northern part of the state, where the frost sweetens the persimmons in the fall, a delicious touch is given the potato pone by adding a cup or more of persimmons before cooking.

I've never used white potatoes in a sweet dish, and I'll admit, it intrigues me. Another recipe in the book calls for wrapping marshmallows in mashed potatoes, rolling the resulting balls in coconut ("cocoanut," if you want to be book-accurate), and then baking them to get Sweet Potato Snow Balls. I'm entranced!

Fair warning: the part of me that thinks that mashed potatoes, marshmallows, and coconut all together sounds like a good idea is the same part of me that will be bringing you gelatin salads of all varieties.

1 comment:

  1. I find it interesting to see the dry pint and quart make an appearance as units of measure in a recipe. Now, you only see them in the grocery store -- and even then, I can't really think of anything but berries I've seen in a dry pint or quart. It's a little jarring to read "1 quart grated potato."