Eating around the world

The 60’s were coming to an end, and the 70’s were a time of many life changes. One significant change was that I married and by the mid 70’s had fathered my first child, Eric.

Prior to that, I was in the California National Guard for six years and five years of that as a cook.

I wasn’t formally trained as a cook. I was trained as a Combat Engineer. It may seem a bit strange going from being an engineer to a cook but once you understand that as a combat engineer I was trained to build roads and bridges, which generally were built between our front lines and enemy’s front lines. Or I was to proceed slowly across an open field sliding a bayonet into the soil looking for land mines to defuse. I wasn’t really into that.

They say to never volunteer, but out of boredom I did. Twice. First time was when asked if I would like to help out in the kitchen. I said yes. The second time, a couple of years later, I was asked if I would like to cook for the California Military Academy. I said yes again. It helps to understand that if I went on maneuvers with my company I would cook in the California desert and sleep under a truck, or I could go to Camp San Louis Obispo on the California coast, cook in a mess hall, and sleep in a four-man hut that was never full. And if that wasn’t sufficient motivation, with my company I could travel to the desert sitting on a wood bench in a two and a half ton truck, ride back in said truck and spend many, many hours cleaning our equipment. Or drive my 48 MG TC and later my 68 Plymouth GTX to camp and back home. A no brainier.

 

Bill and Sally on a drive to Santa Barbara, 1970.
My last national Guard summer camp, Camp San Luis Obispo, CA. 1969. I was a cook and for summer camps I went to San Luis Obispo to cook for the Officers Candidate School.
My last national Guard summer camp, Camp San Luis Obispo, CA. 1969. I was a cook and for summer camps I went to San Luis Obispo to cook for the Officers Candidate School.

This pretty well started my journey into cooking. After getting married I wanted to cook in the home, not be the grill chef, but cook some of our meals. Here is when I discovered and joined the Time-Life Foods of the World Cookbook club.

Once a month they would send me a new set consisting of a Storybook with some recipes, as well as a spiral bound recipe book. Talk about an eye-opener, as well as trouble for the waist. I was a big reader and
every month I delved into the stories. The stories were as tasty as the food you created from the recipe book.

The really wonderful thing about the recipes is that most were from local regions. There weren’t any Celebrity Chefs or Signature dishes, just instructions on to how to cook and to eat some might fine food.

I will admit that there were regions that didn’t interest me but others got me salivating just looking at the covers. (Regions??? From different areas of the world?)

I have all 27 sets and since starting Jonesing Food, they have caught my eye again. I am thinking about traveling the world on a weekly basis, choosing a dish and preparing it along with a description of the cook as well as a taster’s critique. Don’t worry about honesty, there have been many dishes I have made I will never make again and I am not afraid to
tell you why they are ghastly.

Foods of the World

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about The cookbook “Foods of the World”. For World cuisines, see Global cuisines. Foods of the World was a series of 27 cookbooks published by Time-Life, beginning in 1968 and extending through the late 1970s, that provided a broad survey of many of the world’s major cuisines. The individual volumes were written by well-known experts on the various cuisines and included significant contemporary food writers, including Craig Claiborne, Pierre Franey, James Beard, Julia Child, and M.F.K. Fisher, and was overseen by food writer Michael Field who died before the series was complete. The series combined recipes with food-themed travelogues in an attempt to show the cultural context from which each recipe sprang. Each volume came in two parts — the main book was a large-format, photograph-heavy hardcover book, while extra recipes were presented in a spiral bound booklet with cover artwork to complement the main book. The individual volumes remain collector’s items and are widely available on the secondhand market. The 27 volumes (in alphabetical, not chronological order) include:

1. American Cooking;
ISBN-10: 0809400332
ISBN-13: 978-0809400331
American Cooking by Dale Brown 1968 

2. American Cooking: Creole and Acadian;
ISBN-10: 0809400545
ISBN-13: 978-0809400546
American cooking: Creole and Acadian by Peter S Feibleman 1971

3. American Cooking: The Eastern Heartland;
ISBN 10: 0809400529
ISBN 13: 9780809400529
American Cooking : The Eastern Heartland by Jose Wilson 1971

4. American Cooking: The Great West;
ISBN-10: 0809400537
ISBN-13: 978-0809400539
American Cooking : The Great West by Jonathan N. Leonard 1971 

5. American Cooking: The Melting Pot;
ISBN-10: 0809400553
ISBN-13: 978-0809400553
American Cooking : The Melting Pot by Dale Brown 1971

6. American Cooking: New England;
ISBN-10: 0809400499
ISBN-13: 978-0809400492
American Cooking : New England by Jonathan N. Leonard 1970

7. American Cooking: The Northwest;
ISBN-10: 0809400774
ISBN-13: 978-0809400775
American Cooking: The Northwest by Dale Brown 1971 

8. American Cooking: Southern Style;
ISBN-10: 0809400510
ISBN-13: 978-0809400515
American Cooking : Southern Style by Eugene Walter 1971

9. The Cooking of the British Isles;
ISBN-10: 0809400383
ISBN-13: 978-0809400386
The Cooking of the British Isles by Adrian Bailey 1971

10. The Cooking of the Caribbean Islands;
ISBN-10: 0809400448
ISBN-13: 978-0809400447
The Cooking of the Caribbean Islands by Linda Wolfe 1970

11. The Cooking of China;
ISBN-10: 0809400359
ISBN-13: 978-0809400355
The Cooking of China by Emily Hahn 1968

12. The Cooking of Germany;
ISBN 10: 0809400375
ISBN 13: 9780890400379
The Cooking of Germany by Nika Standen Hazelton 1969

13. The Cooking of India;
ISBN-10: 0809400421
ISBN-13: 978-0809400423
Cooking of India by Santha Rama Rau 1969

14. The Cooking of Italy;
ISBN-10: 0809400855
ISBN-13: 978-0809400850
The Cooking of Italy by Waverley Root 1968 

15. The Cooking of Japan;
ISBN-10: 0809400405
ISBN-13: 978-0809400409
The Cooking of Japan by Rafael Steinberg 1969

16. The Cooking of Provincial France;
ISBN-10: 0809400294
ISBN-13: 978-0809400294
The Cooking of Provincial France by M.F.K. Fisher 1968

17. The Cooking of Scandinavia;
ISBN-10: 0809400316
ISBN-13: 978-0809400317
The Cooking of Scandinavia by Dale Brown 1968

18. The Cooking of Spain & Portugal;
ISBN-10: 0809400391
ISBN-13: 978-0809400393
The Cooking of Spain and Portugal by Peter S. Feibleman 1969 

19. The Cooking of Vienna’s Empire;
ISBN 10: 0809400324
ISBN 13: 9780809400324
The Cooking of Vienna’s Empire by Joseph Wechsberg 1968 

20. African Cooking;
ISBN-10: 0809400464
ISBN-13: 978-0809400461
African Cooking by Laurens Van der Post 1968

21. Classic French Cooking;
ISBN 10: 080940074x
ISBN 13: 9780809400744
Classic French Cooking by Craig Claiborne 1970 

22. Russian Cooking;
ISBN 10: 080940043x
ISBN 13: 9780809400430
Russian Cooking by Helen and George Papashvily 1969 

23. Latin American Cooking;
ISBN-10: 0809400367
ISBN-13: 978-0809400362
Latin American cooking by J. N. Leonard 1968 

24. Middle Eastern Cooking;
ISBN-10: 0809400413
ISBN-13: 978-0809400416
Middle Eastern Cooking by Harry G. Nickles 1969

25. Pacific & Southeast Asian Cooking;
ISBN-10: 0809400456
ISBN-13: 978-0809400454
Pacific and Southeast Asian Cooking by Rafael Steinberg 1970

26. Quintet of Cuisines;
ISBN-10: 0809400480
ISBN-13: 978-0809400485
Quintet of Cuisines by Michael Field 1970

27. Wines and Spirits;
ISBN-10: 0809400340
ISBN-13: 978-0809400348
Wines and spirits, by Alec Waugh 

Supplements:

1. Menu Guide & Recipe Index
stapled Pamphlet

2. Supplement Number One
stapled Pamphlet

3. Supplement Number Two
stapled Pamphlet

4. Kitchen Guide
stapled Pamphlet

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Red Beans and Rice, beans are beans and rice is rice, right?

Red Beans and Rice is not made from a can or box of seasoning.

I was 20 years old and visiting one of my friends and his Mother when the conversation turned to food.   Jim's mother told me she was from the south.  To me it was the 'south of what'? But she continued with stories about some great foods, and Red Beans and Rice in particular. Probably because that was what was on the table before us.

Now to me, beans were beans and rice was rice, but what I was eating sure didn't stop there as it was just something new and wonderful.  I never did get a recipe from Doris, and didn't really give a lot more thought to the subject, I just remembered how good it was.

A few years later after subscribing to the Time-Life Foods of the World cookbook series, the Creole-Acadian issue showed up and like fate it seemed to drop open to Red Beans and Rice. Oh ya, my interest was on high.

Now I can tell you that there is no short cuts to this meal. It takes forever to cook and tastes like heaven when you scoop a mouthful.

I see recipes for all kinds of short cuts from our Southern Celebrity Chefs and wonder how they can refer to a few cans of red beans and some andouille from a supermarket as Red Beans and Rice.

Now when put down some store bought sausage I need for you to understand that I live in Oregon. You may find some great Andouille in a southern supermarket; I mean you have Trappy's down there. We don't.

I think the major sausage makers in our stores make one sausage, a form of kielbasa and then change the label if they include some liquid smoke, oh the shame of it.

So why this recipe is so great, time and ham hocks. Lots of ham hocks with lots of marrow and the time to cook it out of the bone and into the dish, then at the end you take the back of a serving spoon and mash some of the beans to create a fantastic gravy.

Go for it, you will not be disappointed. Please don't take any shortcuts.

This recipe is straight out of the Creole and Acadian Time-Life Foods of the World series of cook books.

RED BEANS AND RICE
Serves 4-6

6 cups water
1 pound dried small red beans or 1 pound dried red kidney beans
4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup finely chopped scallions, including 3-inches of the green tops, divided use
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
4 cups water
1 (1 pound) smoked ham hock
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 to 8 cups freshly cooked long-grained rice (for serving)

In a heavy 3-4 quart saucepan, bring 6 cups water to a boil over high heat. Drop in the beans and boil briskly, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the beans soak for 1 hour. (Alternatively, you can soak the beans over night in water.) In either case, drain and rinse the beans in a sieve set over a large bowl. Set the beans aside.

Melt the butter in a heavy 4 or 5 quart casserole or stockpot. When the foam begins to subside, add 1/2 cup of the scallions, the onions and the garlic and, stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent but not brown.

Stir in the beans and 4 cups water, the ham hocks, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the beans are quite soft. Check the pot from time to time and, if the beans seem dry, add up to 1 cup more water, a few tablespoons at a time. During the last 30 minutes or so of cooking, stir frequently and mash some of the softest beans against the side of the pan to form a thick sauce for the remaining beans.

With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the ham hocks to a plate. Cut the meat away from the bones and remove and discard the skin, fat and gristle. Cut the meat into 1/4-inch dice and return it to the beans.

Taste the beans for seasoning and serve at once, directly from a large heated tureen. Place the rice and remaining 1/2 cup of scallions in separate bowls and present them with the beans.

Note: In Louisiana, red beans and rice are traditionally made with a leftover ham bone and you may substitute a ham bone for the ham hocks in this recipe. Without trimming off the meat, cut the bone into 2 or 3 inch pieces with a hacksaw, so that the marrow inside the pieces will melt and flavor the beans. Add the pieces of bone to the soaked beans and water and pour in enough additional water to cover then completely. When the beans are cooked, remove the bones from the pot, trim off and dice the meat, and return it to the beans. Discard the bones.

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