We're firing up the grill for fourth of July. Janine Washle with Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen is showing us some grilling alternatives to get around the high cost of beef. And she has some ideas for lightening up some classic side dishes.
Cookouts and the military go hand in hand. The returning GIs from WW II brought their newly acquired tastes for foreign fare to their respective kitchens. When soldiers returned from tours of duty they brought back stories of exotic ingredients and grilled foods. And they brought back practical experience with elliptical ceramic cookers (the forerunner of The Green Egg) and cast iron hibachis. Americans got in on the outdoor cooking bandwagon when the kettle cooker was invented in 1951 by a worker from Weber Metal Works, Weber primarily constructed buoys and this kettle cooker started as half of a buoy. The rounded kettle shape is a truly American design. A few years later the gas grill came on the scene. The American backyard cookout was officially an event.
The rise of suburban neighborhoods when soldiers returned from military service provided opportunity for family and friends to gather for patio parties and cookouts. Food companies were quick to capitalize on the international tastes of the military veteran bringing in the flavors of the South Pacific with Americanized Polynesian flavors and Asian accents in sukiyaki, tiki bar cocktails and pineapple boats.
The 50s brought time saving appliances and convenience foods which impacted the way Americans entertained. Prepackaged foods were plentiful and helped erase recent memories of government rations and soldier's rations on the front.
Grills, which were the man of the house's domain, were primarily used for cooking beef cuts. Side dishes featured the new casserole that used convenience foods with abandon as well as sweet and sour sauces over vegetables. Fruit salads became very popular especially gelatin molds and frozen salads that were more dessert than salad with their sugary fruits, cream cheese, and whipped cream focus. Refrigerator/freezer companies marketed the convenience aspect of these appliances and offered recipe pamphlets to highlight ease of preparation for chiffon pies, refrigerator cakes, ice creams, and those dessert-y fruit salads.
While international influences are acknowledged, the backyard cookout is a quintessential American pastime even today. This Independence Day, head outside and celebrate American-style by prepping the grill, and inviting friends and family to celebrate the land of the free and home of the brave.
Light Rye Burger Buns
Makes: 12 regular buns
3/4 cup lukewarm water
¼ cup sour cream
1 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
3 cups all purpose flour
½ cup rye flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
1-1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp caraway seed, optional
1 TB active dry yeast
2 TB melted butter, brush on tops after baking
Add all ingredients in order listed above to a bread machine container. Select dough cycle. After cycle is completed, remove and gently deflate dough on a lightly floured surface.
Divide into 12 pieces and shape each into a round ball, Flatten slightly. Place bus on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with a lint-free cloth and let rise about an hour, or until noticeably puffy.
Bake the buns in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush tops with butter. This will give buns a soft crust. Cool completely.
The addition of rye flour to baked goods keeps home baked bread from going stale as quickly.
Frozen Fruit Salad in Citrus Cups
Makes: 8 servings
4 large oranges
2 8-oz pkgs low fat cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup greek yogurt or low fat mayonnaise
4 cups diced mixed fresh fruit (mandarin oranges, pineapple bits, mango, berries)
2 cups mini marshmallows, optional
1 cup low fat non dairy whipped topping
Prepare citrus cups by halving oranges and squeezing juice. Reserve juice for other use. Pull out excess orange membrane (do not remove pith) with fingers or a spoon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese and yogurt. Stir in fruit and mini marshmallows. Fold in whipped topping. Divide mixture between the 8 citrus cups.
Place cups on a baking sheet and place in freezer. Freeze until firm, 6 hours or overnight. Before serving, remove from freezer about 15 minutes to soften.
Note: Can be spooned into popsicle molds. Remove from freezer and run hot water from faucet over top of each popsicle mold for a few seconds to help remove molds.
Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Fourth of July Recipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at firstname.lastname@example.org
To find Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen on Facebook: click here.
CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
3720 Mt. Olive Rd.
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.
CloverFields Farm is dedicated to the preservation of southern, especially Kentucky, food traditions. The kitchen is commercially-outfitted compliant with Health Department standards. In this kitchen I develop new recipes based on original ideas, inspirations from my culinary research, and most often according to what is in season.
On the farm, they make many gifts and specialty items. She is currently working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.