Little known fact:
I love old cookbooks. And new cookbooks. So I'm an eclectic collector, but some of my old cookbooks...
Really old!!!! ;)
Are a hoot.
So today we're going to play with Americana recipes from America Cooks, the 1940 edition by Cora, Rose and Bob Brown
POSSUM STUFFED WITH CHINQUAPINS
Here is the famous pic of our resident possum's son or daughter. I did not attempt to get close enough to discern gender:
Skin possum, remove glands called "musk" from small of back and beneath front legs, slit down the breast, remove entrails, scald in boiling water and scrape clean. Rub inside and out with salt and pepper and hang in a cool spot.
(Okay, right here I realize how stinkin' spoiled we are because the majority of us grab skinless, boneless chicken breasts and call it a day... Already this is NOT BODING WELL.)
When ready for the pan, stuff with equal parts boiled chinquapins (or chestnuts), applesauce and bread crumbs. Sew up, (Get those needles ready, gals...) surround with small peeled sweet potatoes, cover with 1 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup vinegar (or juice of 2 lemons), dot with 1 tablespoon butter, and baste often, until tender and golden.
The sweet potatoes absorb a good deal of the fat, which improves their own flavor,. Some people remove excess outside fat before dressing. (Of course they do. Because why wouldn't they????)
Possum skins have a market value of 6 bits or more, so you can eat your possum and have a profit too.
So there you have it, a meal in a pan, a true one-dish celebration listed in the "Arkansas" section of the regional cookbook.
What about dessert, you ask?
RICE ICE CREAM
2 Tablespoons Arkansas Rice
1 quart milk
4 tablespoons sugar
1 inch length of vanilla bean
2 ouces blanched chopped almonds
3 cups whipped cream
2 egg whites, beaten stiff
Boil rice with sugar and vanilla bean in milk for two hours. (Simmer, maybe? I would vote yes on simmer as opposed to boiling because two hours of boiling milk will result in some heavy duty pan scrubbing. I think.) Cool, then stir in almonds, whipped cream, beaten egg and more sugar if necessary. Freeze lightly and serve in punch glasses with a tablespoon of Cointreau or your favorite liqueur poured over. Or cover slices of mulberry pie with it.
Author's note: "Arkansas stands second to Loouisiana in the production of rice, and whre there is such close rivalry each state claims the best. We've tried both, however, and can't find a grain of difference."
Get it? A GRAIN of difference????? Cook book humor!!! :)
Note the eggs are raw... I'm proud of them already! I use Basmati rice for everything, with no insult to Arkansas or Louisiana intended. You are BOTH GREAT STATES. Really. I mean that.
But what a lovely way to finish off your meal of fresh-baked possum and sweet taters with a little boiled and frozen rice cream.
The "Rice Cream" I would try....
The possum? In all honesty??? I'd probably stop by Chick fil A first. And for this Yankee, Chick Fil A is a treat. ;)
Interestingly, I found various forms of Rice Ice Cream with multiple ethnic derivations. Here's a link to a Jewish website in Tel Aviv and her recipe and explanation sound lovely:
I love rice pudding and I love ice cream, but I'm going to have to play to see if I like the two together...
Even if I'm not from Arkansas!