If you were lucky enough to hang out with me on a regular basis — insert sympathy for my husband here — you would know that I’m always pontificating about the downfall of America. I believe this mostly because of reality TV, but also because I am routinely subjected to witnesses that obliterate the English language. And, yes, I know I’m not perfect when it comes to grammar, but you would be surprised at what I run into.
Another thing I criticize whenever I get the chance is how children are raised these days. The lack of respect for elders exhibited by my nieces and nephews is astonishing. I don’t necessarily mean that they are rude or fresh, as my cousin would say, but just a simple lack of regard. They just aren’t interested. When I was 12 years old I couldn’t wait to go to my grandparents’ house on a Saturday night. I was so honored that I was allowed to play cards with the grownups and drink coffee with Entenmann’s. On the rare instance that I didn’t play, I was more than happy to sit around and listen to the adults tell stories.
As a court reporter, I think that has paid off when it comes to hearing phrases like vim and vigor and knowing how to spell Durante, as in Jimmy. I love to tell the story of a younger reporter friend that was forced to put suptanuts in her transcript, because she was not familiar with the phrase soup to nuts.
My point is just that I fear that the younger generation does not respect the one that came before it. In the interest of practicing what I preach, I recently picked up The Great American Cookbook. Apparently it was originally called How America Eats, by Clementine Paddleford. Yeah, I’ve never heard of her either. From what I can gather, Julia Child led the way for television chefs, but Mrs. Paddleford has been around longer. In the 1930s she was the first American food journalist. Her book was first published in the ’60s and it was a result of her travels around the country.
Switching gears, I barely left Franklin County, Ohio, for the first twelve years of my life. Well, technically I lived on the line in Fairfield County. I think in the fourth grade we had to do a report on another state. I chose Massachusetts because my cousins lived there. Around that time I think is when I decided that I wanted to travel to every state in America. At this point I’ve lived in at least half a dozen and traveled to probably double that. In fact, when I travel, my souvenir of choice is a regional cookbook. I know, no one is shocked by that.
Essentially, this book is going to serve two purposes: respect for the past and exploring our country. On a side note, if you’re interested in the latter, I highly recommend Aerial America on the Smithsonian Channel. It’s a show that focuses on each state from the air. Along with amazing views, you get a little history lesson.
Here’s the scoop on Admiral’s Golden Buck: It’s from Louisiana and it’s basically cheese on toast. I couldn’t find any other definitive reference. The book actually says it’s an appetizer, to be served with cocktails, but it could go with coffee or a salad. We had red wine.
It’s cheddar cheese, egg, butter, Worcestershire. My husband loved it. I thought it was cute that it specified to cut your toast in half. Blend until smooth, spread on toast, and put it under the broiler.
There were two slices left last night and as much as I hate to throw food away, I just didn’t think it would keep very well, so I left it on the cookie sheet. Unbeknownst to me, my husband stuck it in the fridge, and then had it for breakfast.
Eat Well and Savor, and then call your grandparents.