Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today In History: You ain't from around here, are you?

On this date in 1921, Congress responded to dangerously high levels of swarthiness and popery in European immigrants by passing the Emergency Quota Act, thereby ensuring that the melting pot retained a strong tang of boiled mutton, sauerkraut, and lutefisk.

(Speaking of which, there're two words you never hear together: "English" and "Cuisine".)


Anonymous said...

In Heaven the English are the police.

In Hell the English are the cooks.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

I grew up with a father of pure English descent and a mother of pure Norwegian origin.

Meals at our house never ceased to be boring.

Ketchup and Miracle Whip were exotic seasonings! Ethnic food? Well, there was French Toast; does that count? Or Lefse.

We had to be careful of the Catholics, too. Associate too closely, and the Pope might try to recruit you to the Dark Side.

B Smith said...

Can't remember right off who said it, but:
"There has always been a sort of gentlemen's agreement among nations to allow the Brits preeminence in the brewing of tea---which, after all amounts to little more than boiling water"

MrWolf. said...

Three words for you:- fish and chips.

Brian Dale said...

Tam, you wrote: "Speaking of which, there're two words you never hear together: "English" and "Cuisine"."

It's been said that that was the reason for building the British Empire: they traveled the globe, looking for a decent meal.

I write that as someone who lives in the middle of an area dominated by the bland and blond school of cooking, where "variety" means meat, potatoes and gravy, white bread and butter, other pale foods and, on holidays and for your own good: lutefisk.

{can't argue with MrWolf's fish and chips, though}

knirirr said...

there're two words you never hear together: "English" and "Cuisine"We prefer the word "cooking."
The stereotype of the unappetising English meal is unfortunately spread (probably by snail-eating foreigners) too wide for me to do much to dispel it.

the pawnbroker said...

that quota act being unlikely to be revisited, and border security being a joke, we might all want to work on developing or increasing our taste for tacos and refried beans. beats mutton, i guess.


wv: dinestiz...don't know what stiz is but probably still better to dine on than that boiled mutton.

fast richard said...

Oof Da, ketchup and Miracle Whip are da seasonings of da Gods, Don'cha know. Compared to Swedish blood bread, Lutefisk ain't so bad. We didn't have any of that fancy English cooking in our house, growing up. Ya, you bet'cha.

Anonymous said...

Shootin' Buddy:

The difference between Heaven and Hell isn't so much where you are, as to who has what jobs:

In Heaven:
The Germans are the engineers.
The French are the cooks.
The English are the police.
The Americans run the labor unions.
And, the Italians are the lovers.

In Hell:
The Italians are the engineers.
The English are the cooks.
The French run the labor unions.
The Germans are the plice.
And, the Americans are the lovers.

Ba-da-boom. I'll be here all week--try the veal!

Old Squid.

Rob K said...

The version I heard has Heaven with English police, French chefs, German mechanics, Italian lovers, and it's all run by the Swiss.

Hell has English chefs, French mechanics, German police, Swiss lovers, and it's all run by the Italians.

Jenny said...

You know... in class I thought that was horrid. Now I understand it - for the same reasons pawnbroker mentioned.

Keeping the immigration limit low enough that we're talking cultural integration as opposed to cultural displacement is just plain civilizational self-preservation.

(I always heard Rob's version... but you ever wonder if after a couple more centuries of an EU if anyone will get the joke? :) )

Sigivald said...

Mmm, steak and kidney pie.

Ed Foster said...

Celtic Chicken? Cut off the legs and save them for the kids, cut out the spine, notch the membrane over the breastbone and pop out said bone, leave the ribs and membrane in place but cut a pocket behind them to hold stuffing.

Cut off the wings and skin (feed to pigs), all while boiling down potato soup (naturally) to a sloppy soft stuffing.

Put lots of butter in a frying pan, saute up leeks and diced bermuda onions, and for the last two or three minutes throw in diced up bell peppers and small cubes of ham. Add all the stuff in the frying pan to the potato soup and thicken to a soft stuffing.

Take a large casserole with about two inches of brown rice in the bottom (barley that's been soaked for at least a day and rinsed until all the starch is gone is traditional, but what the hell), and put the four big breasts in on top of the starchy goodness.

Shovel stuffing in between the ribs/membrane and the breast meat, then take the excess and throw it inside the breast proper. Cover the breasts completely with bacon, preferably fatty, and don't worry about the cholesterol, it goes away.

Now it gets interesting. Put the cover on the casserole dish, but rotate it 45 degrees so the corners are open. Put it in a 425 degree oven for two hours, with a large spoon holding the oven door open a half inch or so.

All the grease boils out the opening, and the smell comeing from the oven the second hour would break far better men then me.

The bacon cooks down into a light pastry-like crust, and keeps the meat dry on the outside. The stuffing in the pockets does the same thing on the inside. The excess stuffing has baked down into an amazing light gravy, now mixed with the barley or rice.

Put the breasts on a plate, push lightly downward with a fork, and the meat pops off the bones, which are discarded. Shovel up the bottom yummy stuff, gravy and brown rice, get some Stout or a decent Irish or Scottish red ale, and writhe in agony when you find there aren't any seconds left.

If you children are nice and play well together, perhaps tomorrow I'll give out the recipe for Kerry Chicken, Grandma O'Connors veal sausage, or even THE WAY to cook Irish style venison that will leave you a drooling wreck until next deer season.
And I called it Celtic Chicken, although I always thought it was from Galway, because I've been told by both a Welshman and a Scot that they grew up on it too.

Tam said...

"Cut off the wings and skin (feed to pigs)..."

See, you lost me there.

All my favorite chicken dishes feature the skin as the best part.

Heck, Shannon the Gunsmith did this awesome Alsatian chicken with wine and butter and Gruyere cheese where you might as well just eat the golden brown, buttery, stinky-cheese slathered skin and toss the actual chicken... :D

Ed Foster said...

But you're replacing the skin with BACON! Lovely, light, delicate crust of baked bacon (see, there's even a symettry) that does wonderful things to the chicken underneath.

Ya' gotta' try something new every now and then. Save the skin and do something different with it.

And had a good talk with those nice people you suggested I chat up. You know, the funny thing on the near end, top side. Another one I owe you. Thanks.

Ed Foster said...

And how did you know about lutefisk?

My buddy Eric the Norske, a long time ago, just slightly post divorce, was reduced to writing fishing articles in New England Saltwater Fisherman to pay the rent, and living on a freezer filled with fresh caught blackfish fillets for an entire winter.

I showed him how to make scones (sorry, but a major improvement over lefse) and he made it through to spring not much the worse for wear except for a touch of scurvy. Which went into remission over Christmas, thanks to all the fruit in his home made Gloog.

His only complaint was that the nice, clean, tasty white fillets of blackfish lacked a certain wholesome taste of lye.

the pawnbroker said...

feed the chicken skin to the pigs? you ain't from the south, huh ed?

and while we're on the subject, that bacon comes wrapped in some might tasty skin, too...i do loves me some pork rinds with ice cold beer.


Rob K said...

Wings and skin are my favorite part of the chicken. Of course, I'm always generous about including breast meat on the wings when I cut them off, too. Maybe he meant to write "(feed to long pigs)"?