The Art of Cooking Comfort Foods has been celebrated since the beginning of human existence but in our family our ancestor Gr. GrandMother Izzy, according to legend, was born about 1440, married at age 14 to Grierson, and began storytelling recipes each January to celebrate birth’s and marriages. Traditionally,we all have specific favorite family food celebrations to add for each New Year. This article describes examples of celebrating home and family heritage with the Art of Cooking comfort foods, creative writing, and storytelling as hobbies for celebration of family events. January is a month of celebrations of life that focuses on new beginnings, remembering and honoring those that handed down comfort foods recipes, taught us honor our family heritage, and that cooking comfort foods can be a profession, hobby, and traditional family celebrations. Another excellent resource to consider is Miss Helen Louis Johnson’s book “Cooking as an Art ”Publication: Eagle, Mary Kavanaugh Oldham, ed. The Congress of Women: Held in the Woman’s Building, World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, U. S. A., 1893. Chicago, Ill: Monarch Book Company, 1894. pp. 810-812.
January is also National Hobby Month and National Soup Month. So this article combines life celebrations of heritage, hobbies, and soup with storytelling and creative writings. One of the greatest hobby idea sites is on Year Round Hobby Happenings. Copyright Vintage New Media 2009. This website inspires by encouraging all to “jump- start” the New Year off with a brand new hobby”. It is very informative with great new active hobby ideas for exercise, good health practices, to “Read, Read, Read” and “doing what you enjoy”.
Since January is also National Soup Month which reminds us all of the home made comfort foods that have always helped us survive brittle cold wind and feathering snow and ice showers . Nurturing with the warmth of home- made soups, stews, casseroles, and breads is an amazing family heritage tradition. The Art of Cooking is a grand new hobby in the new year for all of us to learn and enjoy. Celebrating life in January means that we can examine old and new home-made recipes, add new hobbies, and remember family and friends in the comfort of our own homes in their honor.
This article combines celebrations of Scotch-Irish heritage and art of cooking and storytelling hobbies handed down from our ancestors with great love. Examples in this article are Scotch Irish Stew storytelling recipe of celebrating family traditions of home-made comfort foods that have been warming our bodies and hearts for well over 10 generations.The family heritage storytelling comfort recipe below was taught to this writer through oral storytelling,( as we were not to write anything down). Similar to show and tell our children and grandchildren how to make January’s food celebrations from our childhoods. However, one of my favorite hobbies is also creative writing so these recipes will be lovingly written as storytelling recipes and with great love and care.
Scotch- Irish Stew: This was Great Granny Kitty’s 1930’s Scotch-Irish Stew handed down from her Grandmother Nannie in aboutt 1850 or so, then it was handed down to Mammaw in the 1960’s, and Mammaw handed it down to her daughter Ruby and then to this writer; Annmarie; Ruby’s daughter:) Family said that this Stew must be called Scotch-Irish in honor of our heritage way back to 1400’s to GrandMother Issy who cooked with secret touches of cooling or chilling stews and soups to “marry all the flavors with the meat and broth” and then heated them in the oven until they were bubblingly celebrations of birth’s and marriages to start each new year. Our Scotch-Irish Stew is served with lots of Irish Soda Bread and Scones or Cornbread.
First, Carefully clean, peel, and cube fresh and bright carrots, celery, and yellow potatoes and place in a buttered baking pan with enough beef stock to cover veggies, bake covered until tender to the taste in oven at 350 degrees.
Second, Heat family iron skillet to medium , mix together a couple of tablespoons of butter and cooking oil,(butter will burn if it is cooking by itself) and heat until it starts to bubble. Next cut beef shank or lamb shank into cubes, pound them to tenderize with the back of a skillet, then rub shank cubes with brown sugar, cinammon stick, and a little paprika, then dip in flour, add salt and pepper to taste and brown meat cubes until tender.
Third, Carefully Chop up peeled, bright, and rinsed small yellow onions and garlic cloves( 2 small onions and a couple cloves of fresh garlic we do just fine), in bite size cubes. Next ,saute onion and garlic pieces in iron skillet with browned meat cubes. After meat cubes are brown and onion garlic pieces are sauted clear- stir in a couple tablespoons of flour into a cup or two of beef stock stir well,( enough to cover browned meat,) cover skillet and let simmer until tender to taste.
Fourth, Mix oven baked veggies with stock together with browned tender meat cubes, sauted onion, garlic pieces and stock into large buttered baking dish. Cool, chill/refrigerate to “marry the flavors” and “celebrate the “ marriages and births of Scotch-Irish ”. Now, bake this Scotch-Irish Stew until good and bubbling hot.
Family Secret-some say a few drops of Scotch-Irish moonshine was added before baking into the broth but was stirred in really good and that it usually was steamed off during the baking. Honestly, I don’t know if that is a tall tale, truth, or just the artful hobby of storytelling in the art of cooking home made comfort foods.