Subject: Re Hilltop Steakhouse Salad Dressing
Date: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 5:39 PM
I was just reading the line of inquiry into the above-referenced salad dressing recipe and
believe I have found a dressing on Food Network’s site that comes very close to what I
remember at the Hilltop Steakhouse. It’s a creamy mustard vinaigrette – I just made a
batch and simply added ˝ tsp sugar to mellow it out a bit. The key is the addition of
the egg yolk. This might be of interest to those who were seeking the recipe.
Here’s a link to Ina’s Green Salad with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette:
Ina’s Green Salad with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette
I am looking for school lunch recipes from Whitworth Elementary
during 1960- 1966. Whitworth was located in Spokane, WA. Would you be able
to locate a cook book? I remember helping serve when I was in [...]
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I cannot find any recipes or any mention of a cookbook from that school.
Reading Mark Twain's list of American foods that he craved while he was in Europe - his "little bill
of fare" - foods that he wanted to be hot and waiting for him when he returned to America, made me
think about the foods that I have missed from days gone by, and particularly since moving from
Mississippi to Maine. So, I made myself a list, my "little bill of fare." Here it is with comments.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and it makes me think of Mom's turkey and cornbread dressing with
oysters. At Thanksgiving, my Mom would usually cook a "hen" instead of a turkey. Not too much
difference, although a hen is more moist. She would make a big pan of cornbread dressing to go with it,
and she'd add oysters to one corner of the dressing pan. Her dressing was fantastic, but the part with
oysters was outrageously delicious. We have stuffing at Thanksgiving now, but stuffing, even cornbread
stuffing, just isn't the same as Southern cornbread dressing.
Which brings me to the cornbread that she would use to make that dressing...
Mark Twain said in his "Chapters from my Autobiography,":
The North thinks it knows how to make cornbread, but this is a gross superstition. Perhaps no bread
in the world is quite so good as Southern corn bread, and perhaps no bread in the world is quite so bad
as the Northern imitation of it.
I'm afraid that I must agree with Twain, for the most part. Although what Northerners call cornbread
isn't as awful as he makes it sound, it's not a good substitute for Southern cornbread. I have tried, and
continue to try, cornbread at various New England restaurants, and I am invariably disappointed. What they
serve is more like corn cake than cornbread. They put too much sugar in it. As far as I'm concerned, any
sugar at all in cornbread is too much, but even in the South some cooks put a teaspoon or more of sugar in
their cornbread. There's this idea that sugar makes everything taste better. I guess I don't have the
DNA for sugar-craving. I prefer savory foods. Oddly enough, I recently read that most African-Americans prefer
cornbread made with yellow cornmeal and with sugar in it. I never knew that, and I'm surprised by it. Mom
made her cornbread with white cornmeal or cornmeal mix (Martha White is a good one.), with a smaller
amount of flour added, bacon grease (Which she kept in a little metal container on the stove to keep it
warm so it wouldn't solidify.), and buttermilk. No egg - "egg-bread" is a different thing. Sometimes Mom
made a skillet of cornbread, sometimes she made cornbread muffins, and sometimes she made cornbread sticks.
All good! Thankfully, we have a "Cracker Barrel" reasonably close by. That's the only place so far that
I've found Southern-style cornbread in Maine, although "Moe's BBQ" cornbread isn't bad, even if it is sweet.
One of the best uses of Mom's Southern cornbread was with her potato soup: I'm not sure of her recipe, just
that it involved potatoes and milk and just a little onion(not much!). No ham and no celery. I'm not sure
what else was in it besides potatoes and milk and onion. I wish I could ask her for her recipe, but that's
not possible. She used to make a big pot of potato soup and a pan of cornbread and have it all hot on the
stove. I'd get myself a bowl and crumble cornbread into the potato soup and mix it up. A meal in itself,
although it was usually served as a side-dish.
I wonder if you'll notice that most of the foods on my list would be not only be found on lists of
"Southern Food," but would also be found on lists of "Soul Food." There's a great deal of similarity
between the two.
Remember, if you want recipes for any of these things, just e-mail me.
To be continued.