Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pepper Pot Day, St. Thomas a' Becket's Day, and another National Chocolate Day, December 29th

Pepper Pot Day

Apparently, Pepper Pot is the name of a traditional Philadelphian soup. The three recipes that I have found, are all very different, but have one thing in common. They all have meats I have never bought, and ingredients that I have never heard of. I think that I am fairly well educated in the culinary arts... but then to come across three recipes in a row with ingredients that I am unfamiliar with... shocking to my psyche. I am not sure when I will recover.

1) Recipe #1 Caribbean
Pepper Pot

2 chickens, cut up in pieces
(2-1/2 pounds each)
1 pig's foot
2 teaspoons salt
3 pounds pork tenderloin,
cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup cassareep
1 lg. onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 chile peppers, seeded, diced
1 2-inch piece stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

(What the hell is cassareep, and does a pigs foot really add that much flavor?)

2) Recipe #2 Lynne's Pepper Pot Soup
1 lb. Ham hock
1 lb. Pumpkin or yellow squash (peel and chop)
1 lb. Calaloo (blended)
6-8 okras
1 large carrot (diced)
1 large cho-cho (choyote) chopped
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
1 scotch bonnet pepper
1 lb. Flour - kneaded
2 lbs. Yellow yam
2 lbs. Cocoa
1 cup coconut milk
Secret Ingredient: (1 packet Cock Soup mix combined with a teaspoon of jerk sauce.)

(Now, what are calaloo, and cho-cho, and I am very afraid to ask what Cock Soup is? If it's chicken, just say Chicken Soup and Jerk Sauce. If Cock Soup is not Chicken soup...what is it? And, why does Cock need to combine with Jerk to create the third entity, the secret ingredient? Okay, that was too much fun :))

3)Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup Recipe

1-1/2 pounds honeycomb tripe
Sprinkles of salt for rubbing
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 whole onion, studded with 3 cloves
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup peeled, quartered and thinly sliced carrots
1 leek (about 1 cup), washed, sliced, including tender green part
1/2 cup diced green pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 small meaty veal knuckle
1 garlic clove, diced
2 to 3 teaspoons dried hot red chilies, crushed, or chili powder to taste
1 bay leaf, crushed
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 cups 1/2-inch-diced potatoes
1 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream
1/3 cup butter for swirling into soup when served
1/2 cup snipped parsley for garnish

(Honeycomb Tripe, and a meaty veal knuckle. I don't really have those things in my freezer.)

I don't think that I will be making any Pepper Pot Soup for today. I have leftover Stroganoff... I'll just sprinkle some extra pepper on it and call it good.

As for St. Thomas a' Becket's Day, I don't have much to say... except he is part of the traditional celebration of the Twelve Days of Christmas. The three websites I visited basically stated that EVERYONE knows what St. Thomas a' Becket did, so there was no reason to discuss it. Unfortunately, I don't know. I have a suspicion that he is an author. And probably also a martyr.

It's another National Chocolate Day today. So, if you missed it yesterday, or were ornery about it yesterday, like me, you will get a second chance to celebrate in full force. Here is a site where you can download M&M screensavers... so you will be surrounded in chocolate whenever you pause during the day. Just do it. You know you want to.


edgy killer bunny said...

December 29, 1170 -- Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket was slain in his own cathedral on orders from Henry II of England due to a conflict over the rights and privileges of the Church. It is because of Becket that we have The Canterbury Tales. And you call yourself an English major. Mercy. ;)

For more information, I recommend the Fount of All Knowledge.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

I freely admit that my pre-Shakespeare English literary/historical knowledge is lacking. I'm an Existentialist and a Semiologist. Existentialists and Semiologists only read Canterbury Tales to pass their Early British Lit requirement.

edgy killer bunny said...

That's a shame. Canterbury Tales is a delightful read. And this is coming from a Northern European focused Art History major.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

And you probably read and appreciated it in old English too... I had to read Le Morte Darthur in Middle English and The Tales in Old English in the same semester. I have a natural affiliation for King Arthur and such stories, but there is a limit to the "and so in alle haste they were maryed in a mornynge with grete myrthe and Ioye" that I can take in one semester.

Speaking of King Arthur... Have you seen the previews for the movie Tristan and Isolde. That is my favorite Arthur story. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!