Friday, July 17, 2009

Meeting July 11, 2009

ANCESTRAL POTLUCK was the the subject of the July 2009 meeting of the Honolulu County Genealogical Society. After a general meeting with announcements the members each told about the food that they brought to the meeting to share. Each item had a cultural and family connection. Some stories reflected a food that is common to people of a certain country and some food reflected the favorites that were eaten in their home as they grew up. I should have taken notes, but I'll list a few of the foods we enjoyed as best as I can.

Alan Toft had quite a story about the common "Ploughman's Lunch" in his home of England. He brought a selection of excellent cheeses, something about pickles, a long french bread (we're short on English bread in Hawaii) and three bottles of bottled beer that would be eargerly consumed in any English pub.

Although Louise Chung could not attend, she sent a dish reflecting her German heritage: home made saurkraut and pork chops in a bake dish. Harriet Hoffman impersonated a french person and brought a fine tasting quiche.
Donna Wendt (me) pulled out all the stops at home and actually created something from "scratch." I found an online recipe for Welsh Cookies, then bought the required currants (and the other basic ingrediants like flour, vegetable shortening, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, and sugar). The cookies or "Welsh Tea Cakes" are a bit like scones and are cooked in a frying pan after the ingredients are mixed and refrigerated for a couple hours. My Rees cousins in Wales would be proud!

Jeane Neuer brought a tasty tuna spread and crackers that reminded her of her parents favorite after work snack. She said they always had a "Manhatten" drink to go with the snack, but she didn't bring any of those drinks along to the meeting.

Kennydene, a new member, of Hawaiian descent, didn't know it was a pot luck until the morning of the meeting. Not to worry, she stopped by the Liliha Bakery and brought the modern Hawaiian favorite treat of "Coco Puffs" - a delicious special type of chocolate-filled creme puff, buttery and with chantilly frosting. Absolutely my favorite! Maybe next year she'll bring the other Hawaiian favorite (of Portuguese roots) hot "Malasades" from Leonard's Bakery.

Jan Everly Williams brought a specially prepared greens salad with toasted tofu to reflect a bit of Japanese culture. Very healthy! Christine Absher brought a nice selection of cut tropical fruits, reminescent of favorite family foods on these tropical islands.

Jim Deutch brought "Gefilte Fish" and flat bread, traditional with the Jewish culture. Carp or Pike fish is chopped into small pieces, mixed with onions and some other vegetables (carrot, celery, parsley). The mixture is held together as a ball with eggs and matzah meal. It is then boiled in broth for a while. It can be served warm or cold, though it is usually served cold with red horseradish and garnished with carrot shavings.

Ann Sloat brought a big jug of tasty apple juice which brought me memories of pressing apples to make cider. Claudette Derricotte made delicious little flaky kind of cookie bar dessert. I can't exactly describe it, but she used fresh oranges from Jim's trees and the flavor of the filling was absolutely amazing - a bit tart, a bit sweet.
I think Bobby Stevens brought a hot dish, kind of a stew with corn and perhaps pork in it, which was excellent. Lots of ingredients which I can't list now. I think the connecting ancestry was from the English and early Virginia colonial settlers. Other members attended and enjoyed the food, as bringing a dish was not mandatory since there is always so much to go around. The main focus of the meeting was getting together in a social atmosphere and sharing stories of food, while getting to taste some of the delicious creations.

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