Regional food talk
Author Edie Clark: We are what we eat
Author and editor Edie Clark will be speaking on regional foods in a New Hampshire Humanities Council program at locations around the state this fall. (Lisa Nugent/UNH)
Around the state
Edie Clark will be giving a talk on regional foods — “Baked Beans and Fried Clams: How Food Defines a Region” — around the state later this fall for the New Hampshire Humanities Council. Dates and venues include:Nov. 3: 2 p.m., Hampton Falls Town Hall, 1 Drinkwater Road, Hampton Falls
Nov. 16: 2:30 p.m., Boscawen Public Library, 116 N. Main St., Boscawen
Nov. 25: 7 p.m., Historical Society of Cheshire County, 246 Main St., Keene
“Our table is where we come together for our most pleasant times of the day,” said Edie Clark, who in her 30 years of New England travels as a writer and editor for Yankee Magazine has developed a sense of regional foods and how they define that region. She will be giving several talks on the topic this fall through the New Hampshire Humanities Council.
“Basically regional food starts with something simple and available — ‘You know, we have these beans and these clams,’” she said. “And it ends with a deeply felt emotional bond.”
“He said, ‘It’s what connects me to home,’” Clark said. “This man in San Diego has a fried clam and he’s got sand under his feet all of a sudden.
Arguably one of the most comforting regional foods tugging at those heart strings is a bubbling crock of beans. It used to be, and in some places still is the case, that Saturday night meant baked-bean suppers, whether it was at the local church or just the kitchen table.
“That’s a standard baked bean supper,” she said. “I don’t think it’s as popular now as it used to be. But it was always such a mainstay for all the little towns and the people in it.”
“Again (the ingredients) are very available,” Clark said. “Fish, if you live near the sea, you could practically get it for free or could get it for free. Milk, again, you know, very available. And you know maybe an onion or potatoes or corn, there are various recipes. But very simple, very good.”
“No, no, no. You want to a milk chowder. That’s the standard chowder. And you don’t want a Manhattan chowder, that’s made with tomatoes. Excuse me!” she said with a hearty laugh.
6 cups of milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter1/2 cup yellow cornmeal1/4 cup flour1 teaspoon salt1/2 cup molasses3 eggs, beaten1/3 cup of granulated sugar1 teaspoon of cinnamon1 teaspoon of nutmeg1 cup golden raisins (optional)Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
New England Fish Chowder
1/2 cup butter, divided
3 medium onions, sliced
5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups boiling water
4 cups milk
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
Additional salt and pepper, optional
In a soup kettle, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Saute onions until tender but not browned. Add the potatoes, salt, pepper and water. Top with fish. Simmer, covered, 25 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
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