Sunday, July 11, 2010

No Nutritionists Were Harmed In the Making Of This Cookbook


“Whence cometh the strength, physical and intellectual, of New Englanders? It has come, along with their famous conscience, from the natural and sane diet which, except for the first hard years at Plymouth, has contained all the vitamins essential to sound bodies and sound minds three centuries before vitamins had been discovered. They found their main sustenance in what their Lord God of Heaven would let grow on the land and in the waters of this paradise of the New World.”

So wrote Wilbur L. Cross, governor of Connecticut, in the introduction to the New England Yankee Cookbook, written by Imogene Wolcott and published in 1939. Governor Cross goes on to wax lyrical over corned beef, salt pork, maple syrup, fried mush, and traditional breakfast foods such as baked beans, apple pie and doughnuts.

“The way to the finest plain cooking in the world lies all before you in this book so that you may learn what to eat so as to live long lives in the joy of perfect health.”

The following recipe (“eating fish balls for Sunday morning breakfast is part of Boston’s tradition…”) is on page 29. It is not recommended for anyone with hypertension, kidney disease, or a family history of congestive heart failure.

Codfish Balls

1 ½ cups salt cod
3 cups potatoes, diced
1 ½ tablespoons butter
pepper
1 egg

“Soak codfish in cold water ½ hour; drain and “pick up” (flake); boil fish and potatoes together until potatoes are tender; drain and shake over fire to dry. Mash, being sure there are no lumps; add butter and pepper and beat until mixture is fluffy. Add egg and continue beating. Shape in a tablespoon and drop by spoonfuls in hot deep fat and fry not more than 4 or 5 at a time until a golden brown. Drain. Serves 6. Serve with gherkins or sliced green tomato pickles.”

6 comments:

Andrea R said...

A variation I actually eat - cook up new fish or use leftover fish with leftover mashed potatoes. Do the rest like the recipe, except make patties and fry in a pan with loads of butter.

Hubby likes these, thinks he's spoiled when I make them. :D

(disclaimer: Eastern Canadian)

Pat aka Posh said...

Interesting because I too have made similar but in patty form. but I doubt I'd ever eat it for breakfast.. my tummy doesn't care to break fast with fish.

Sam said...

Excuse me! As a native New Englander in Ct, Cod Fish balls and cakes (actually patties) are considered "Brain Food". At least that is what my mom said. So, try it. It is tastier than it seems but subsitute kechup for the relish.

Shay said...

But Sam...all that salt!

Sam said...

Shay, a little salt ONCE in a while is fine. A daily diet of this? No. Use the canned cod, rinse then bread and fry. Bet the spousal unit & Funny Face would eat it.

Shay said...

Sam: the things the spousal unit will not eat outnumber the things he will eat by a factor of about...seven?

(thanks to the DOD's habit of lacing military chow with garlic, he came back from the first Gulf War weighing maybe 160 lbs, and that would be with his boots on).

Funnyface, on the other hand, is a German Shepherd and will eat anything that stands still long enough.