Saturday, May 25, 2013

Osage vs. England Part II

What else is different about England from the Osage?-

No. 1 - We have Mollie Bivins and they don't.  We are blessed she moved to the Osage and built her gardens.  Go visit Bivin's Gardens in Shidler.

Breakfast - They make pretty good jellies and they have this lemon curd which is pretty exciting but they cannot beat Mom's home made jellies.  They do seem to use real butter which I really like and we use to have that all the time but when someone invented STICK butter from the store and then Margarine I don't believe we ever made HOME MADE BUTTER again.  Besides if you have never done it you should try it.  Here are a few methods:
1) just find some whole milk and let it sit for a day until the butter fat rises to the top and then dip it off and put it in a Ball Jar with a lid on it.  Shake it until you can shake it no more then shake it some more and you will get butter.  2) get an old fashioned butter churn and there are several models and put the same whole milk combination as above in it and get after the cranking.  Yes, it is a manual crank and your arms do get tired unless you use the churn where you pump it up and down and then your arms will still get tired.

I would also have to say that they do a nice job with the potatoes but the tomato which they cook just has no appeal to me at all.  Their toast is store bought and when we lived in the the Osage Mom made the bread and it was excellent especially with real butter and home made jam or jelly.

Now here is something that has changed over time about breakfast and that is coffee.  It hard to believe but I think coffee has made more change than anything over the years.  First when I was a kid you would grind up the coffee beans and put them in boiling water after which you would strain the coffee through what we called a cheese cloth to get the grounds out.  Some folks did not strain the grounds out but just let them settle to the bottom of the cup.  I would have to say that was one of my favorite ways of coffee even with the grit in the bottom of the cup and on occasion having a little coffee grounds stuck in your teeth.  The second and way that folks prepared and drank their coffee and which was my Grandpa Olaf Olson's way of drinking coffee was to pour you a cup of coffee made like the first method but then he would pour the coffee out of the cup and into the coffee saucer from which he would tip the saucer toward his mouth and kind of suck it in.  I think the idea was the coffee was too hot (remember it was boiling) and by pouring it in the saucer it cooled faster.  Third was was the new fangled percolator coffee pots.  There were really two styles here and one of them you plugged in to an electric socket and turned it on and the second was you would set the coffee pot on the burner.  The real difference on these is that there was long aluminum tube in the middle of the pot with an aluminum attachment on the top of the stick which held the coffee grounds.  The idea was to keep the coffee grounds contained.  Mom used a new fangled type of pot which came about because of the space industry, Corning Ware.  It was a pretty pot that sat on the burner and it made great coffee.  This was my favorite.

But then something else came from the space industry, INSTANT COFFEE, Folgers instant coffee crystals.  Nice idea but it just ruined coffee for years and Mom liked it and it was easy and convenient. I don't know how long that lasted but I was out of high school before real coffee came back into play.

OK, back to England.  Their coffee was outstanding as they made it the old fashioned way and they brewed it.  Now one problem they do have over there is they load it up with a LOT of milk and sugar. The funny thing is some of you probably agree with it since Starbucks has transformed folks into spending $4 and $5 for some fancy coffee desert and even if you are old fashioned they still got you paying $2 for a cup of coffee WITHOUT free refills.  In fact if you are in London or some of the big cities they are over run with Starbucks.  Are we stupid or what?

Here you can see a typical breakfast except they NEVER cook eggs over hard unless you ask for it.  They were shocked I asked for it.  That black piece of stuff is Pigs blood and I refused to try it.  It cannot be good for you.  And bacon is ham not bacon as we know it and sausage is very good but not sausage like we know it either.

Now here is one last thing about coffee and that is they take a break every day in the afternoon and have coffee or tea and scones with jelly, strawberry jelly and curdled milk which is really just cooked cream but it was pretty good.

So what do you learn in the Osage?
  • Coffee is best the old fashioned way, HOT and black - try drinking it from a saucer
  • Tomatoes are to be cold and sliced not cooked
  • No matter how special anywhere else is, HOME is where the heart is
Thanks for listening,
gary@thepioneerman.com







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