Historical Food Fortnightly 2016 Challenge 20
Foods Mentioned in Songs
The Challenge: Foods Mentioned in Songs (September 23 - October 6) Find a historic song that mentions a food - and then cook a historic recipe around that food and the time of the song. Whether it’s Yankee Doodle’s macaroni, mussels a la Molly Malone, or the Muffin Man’s muffins, make sure it’s documented!
The song: "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With anyone else but me)" made famous by Glenn Miller
This song was popular during World War II with young couples like my grandparents. The song originally debuted on Broadway in 1939 in the musical Yokel Boy. The lyrics were changed when the U.S. entered World War II in 1941. It was a top hit from October 1942-January 1943. Glenn Miller recorded the song in 1942. The song was featured in the film Private Buckaroo as a performance by the Andrews Sisters with the Harry James orchestra and featuring a tap dancing routine by The Jivin' Jacks and Jills. The Andrews Sisters then released the song on Decca Records. It remained a popular song in movies through the 40s and even appears in films today. (Wikipedia)
The Recipe: Baked Apple Dumpling
Kitchen-Clatter Magazine October 1949
Dumplings, dough filled with grain, meat, vegetables or fruit date back to ancient times. They were first described in print in the early 17th century. Dumplings can be steamed, fried or baked. Apple orchards were first planted in Jamestown, Virginia by the early English colonists. It took several years before the trees were mature enough to bear fruit and the apples were too tart to eat. These apples were used for cider. By the end of the 18th century, America boasted a wide variety of apples for various uses.
Cookbooks featured recipes for apple dumplings as early as 1765. Susannah Carter’s The Frugal Housewife includes a recipe for peeled, cored apples wrapped in thick butter pastry, boiled in a cloth until soft, and served with melted butter, white wine, and grated sugar. American cookbook author Eliza Leslie featured a boiled apple dumpling recipe in her 1840 Directions for Cookery, in Its Various Branches. Baked apple dumplings started to appear in cookbooks by the mid-19th century.
Baked apple dumpling recipes appear frequently in cookbooks of the 1930s, 1940s and 50s.
sources: The apple in North America
Date and Region: 1949 Iowa, midwestern United States
How did you make it: The directions were a little vague but I gathered from the ingredients the dough appeared to be a biscuit dough. I measured and sifted the dry ingredients and then lightly stirred in the milk. I rolled the dough and cut into circles.
After paring and halving the apples, I realized they apples I had were way too big for my dough. I solved the problem by chopping the apples into chunks. I added a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon and a tiny pat of butter. Then I wet my finger and ran it around the edge of the circle of dough, added another circle on top and pinched together.
The sauce recipe was vague as to cooking time. I boiled it on the stove until it boiled over and my mom yelled at me. I just poured it over the apple dumplings which were in a buttered casserole dish.
I baked for 40 minutes until brown and smelling delicious instead of the hour the recipe called for.
A few days later I baked the leftovers for 35 minutes until the sauce caramelized.
How Successful Was It?: Very successful, aside from the sauce. The sauce in the first batch was kind of weird- like applesauce texture. In the second batch the sauce caramelized. Either way they tasted delicious! My brother-in-law said I could open a restaurant with these dumplings. My sister-in-law said they were sooo good. The rest of the family liked them but were not quite as enthusiastic. I enjoyed them with whipped cream.
Time to Complete: an hour total
Total Cost: My mom bought the apples at a local orchard. I don't know how much she paid. I had everything else on hand. The Ceylon cinnamon was probably the most expensive item but I only used a little bit.
How Accurate Is It?: I don't think late 40s housewives used Ceylon cinnamon but other than that, it's 100% accurate except for using an electric stove and oven.