An Appalachian Country Rag--Larder Arts
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cropA Country Rag Larder Arts

Infant portrait photograph of the publisher's grandmother, Marjorie May Harris, in her family's New Jersey 'gentleman farmer' home c. 1888 "Cooks of any region are bearers of a culture and a tradition; they are oral historians, not to mention sustainers of humanity." -- Novelist Michael Lee West, ETSU 81, Consuming Passions: A Food-Obsessed Life
Cookbooks are traditional fund-raisers collected, collated and published regularly by volunteers for beneficial community organizations. Recipes, including some from A Country Rag and its contributors, by alumni of ETSU, Johnson City TN, have been published in the illustrated and voluminous, 758-page reference Home and Away: A University Brings Food to the Table, as a fundraiser for the local public radio station. For more details contact East Tennessee State University.

(Midi right: Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie)

(Video below: Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran)


Herbs and Sauces

Recipes handed down through generations are frequently learned by sight and doing rather than in discretely measured portions and instructions. Part of the fun of cooking is enjoying that freedom and creativity in experimenting with ingredients and processes -- following, of course, some standard experience in the basics involved. There aren't really many hard and fast rules for every day succulence, so go ahead and use the spices that are your favorites and/or are on hand and similar to ones called for in any particular recipe, e.g. basil or dill for parsley, ginger and/or cloves for allspice, seasalt for salt (or none at all, as foods have naturally-occurring salts in them), fresh-ground mixed peppers for black pepper. Personally, I'm sure that any Italian dish is improved by extra oregano. Fresh spices are fun and beautiful to grow and can also be purchased reasonably in some groceries and fresh-air farmers markets. Add a special sauce that seems compatible. Use brown or natural (unprocessed) or even confectioner's sugars. Various kinds of honey can work well also as a substitute sweetener in some cases and is a traditional healer for sore throats and other discomfitures. Different types of flour do bring different results, so check on packaging for equivalencies before using kinds more esoteric than standard white.

Sumptuous Snacks from

*Fruit Preserve Blintzes*

(makes four blintzes)
4 eggs
1 c pre-sifted flour
1 tblsp sugar
1 c milk
1 tablsp butter
variety of tart and/or tasty fruit preserves (like strawberry and raspberry)
sour cream
sprigs of fresh mint for garnish

Melt butter over medium flame in a non-stick flat skillet.

Mix remaining ingredients in a medium-sized bowl with a wire whisk until very smooth. Pour about cup into center of skillet and tilt to spread thinly over bottom. Turn carefully with non-stick spatula. French pancake will cook through quickly. Flip unto clear plate. Drop a dollop (around a tablespoon) of chosen preserve in the center. Fold sides (four times) of crepe over it and turn with spatula to create blintz package smooth side up. Repeat with remaining batter.

Top with dollop of sour cream and mint sprig.

*Quick and Easy Cheese-Toast Sandwich*

sliced bread
sliced cheeses (like cheddar, provolone and/or mozarella)
soft butter
Preheat toaster oven to broil. Spread bread slice with mayonnaise, another with mustard. Top with cheese and remaining bread slice. Spread around a teaspoon of soft butter on top before placing on tray in oven. Remove, turn and repeat when top has browned.

*Ginger Snap*

chilled ginger ale
banana liquour
Pour soda into tall glass. Add a few jiggers of liquour to taste and drops of grenadine for festive color. Stir, serve and sip.

*Yeasty Beer Bread*

3 c self-rising flour
3 tablsp sugar
1 can or bottle leftover stale beer
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour regular-sized loaf pan. Mix dry ingredients into bowl with wooden spoon. Stir in beer. Batter will be thick and lumpy. Direct it into loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes. Check off and on for rising and browning.

*Rich Stuffed Baked Potatoes*

Idaho-style large, thick-skinned potatoes
cream cheese with chives
Salt, pepper, paprika
shredded cheese (like cheddar, mixed Mexican or Italian)
Preheat oven. Bake potatoes normally. Remove from oven when done, let cool a little bit, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop insides into bowl. Add cream cheese and dry spices, stirring with fork, to taste. Spoon mashed potato mixture into halved skin shells. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of each stuffed half, place on baking sheet, return to oven and brown for about five minutes until cheese melts.

Recipe Rehash (pages from the recent past)

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USDA Local Food Compass

"Want to eat local? The Department of Agriculture put together a fully searchable map of the local food projects, farmers markets, and food hubs in your area."
2013 White House Holiday Fun Page
2013 White House 2013 Year in Review

2012 White House Christmas Cookie Recipe to Print-out

White House Christmas Photo Gallery

USA Agriculture Dept Choose My Plate Kitchen Chemistry Omnibus Guide

USA Epicurious articles, guides and recipes

Kosher Cooking: The Shiksa Blog

**** Spry Healthy Recipes and Nutrition
Recipes from Jonesborough Farmers Market: Locally Grown Network

The Nosher Jewish Learning Recipe Blog

**** D'Artagnan Recipes and Gifts
**** Old Farmers Almanac is a revered icon from our yesteryears as self-sustaining and interdependently independent communities constituting a "brave and free" fledgling Protestant (and deist) nation
**** Farmers Almanac Recipe Collections
**** Humane Society of the United States Meatless Monday Recipe Collection
**** The Food Arts blog is a clearly-organized compilation of temptingly easy home-created recipes
**** The Country Cookbook Historic Wilson Farm's outstanding compilation of classically traditional-to-newly innovative New England tablefare recipes
**** New York Times Farmers Market Recipe Generator
**** Slow-Cooker Recipes is a temptingly-displayed contributor-driven Facebook page compilation
**** The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage an omnibus resource for "traditional knowledge and artistry [of] diverse contemporary cultural communities in the United States and around the world"

The Homestead Survival

White House 2013 Year in Review

Jacquie Lawson e-cards

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Jacquie Lawson e-cards

**** Appalachian Old Fashioned Stack Cake Recipe & The History Behind It ****

One Hundred Dollars a Month cybersite and newsletter is a fabulous resource for healthfully frugal homesteading and kitchen-to-table gardening.

Older Larder (1996 through 2007)

Recipes for Main Courses

buttonRecipes for Side Dishes

Share your favorite country recipe

Funeral Notes (1946)

Were burying part of him today
In Hickory-Grove Church Yard.
We cant put him all here,
For his grave
Spreads over a few rocky acres
That he loved 
Where peach blossoms bloom, and
Cotton stalks speckle the ground
On a Georgia hill.

Forty years hes been digging
And plowing himself under
Along these cotton rows.
Most of my Dad is there
Where the grass grows
And cockle-burrs bristle
Now that hes gone...

Were covering him in March days
When seeds sprout.
And I think next Autumn
At picking time
The white-speckled stalks
Will be my old Dad
Bursting out...
-- Rev. Dr. Don West

Quilted Wallhanging by Margaret Gregg, Abingdon VA

Graphic above: "Summer," quilted wallhanging by Margaret Gregg, Abingdon VA

Adbusters First Things First Campaign

"Last fall, Adbusters and six design magazines printed First Things First 2000. An updated version of a 1964 declaration, FTF 2000 states that too much design energy is being spent to promote pointless consumerism, and too little to helping people understand an increasingly complex and fragile world. It was signed by 33 high-profile designers, and has since been signed by hundreds more." -- Adbusters

Adbusters Aim High Campaign
"In New Jersey, elementary school kids filled out a 27-page booklet called "my all about me journal," basically a marketing survey for a television channel. Students in Massachusetts spent two days tasting cereal and answering an opinion poll. ZapMe! corporation puts "free" computers and internet hookups in schools. Then they monitor your web browsing habits and sell the information, neatly broken down by age, gender and postal code, to their customers." -- Adbusters

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Original material A Country Rag December 2013. All rights reserved.

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