LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Eggs, eggs, and more eggs. Since they are the primary symbol of Easter, Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle is ready to show some savory and sweet recipes that can help set the theme for your holiday table.
Washle explains that Easter symbolizes the renewal of the earth after a cold winter. As with most Christian holidays, this one also has pagan roots. Eostre, the pagan springtime goddess, lent her name to the celebration. As with many pagan rituals, specific symbols had particular meanings: Egg symbolized rebirth, lamb symbolized sacrifice, and breads/cakes symbolized fertility. The egg plays an important part in many cultures celebrations of a new season. Pagans actually believed the world arose from a giant egg. As pagan cultures were touched by Christianity, they were allowed to keep their ancient celebrations as long as a biblical reference was included. For example, egg rolling contests symbolize the rolling away of the stone from Christ's tomb.
Eggs play a big part in the foods associated with Easter, too. Pagans celebrated with small wheat cakes that were crossed to keep away evil spirits. The church kept the sweet cakes, but blessed them for each family before they ate them. Even today, cultures will bring their Easter meal to church for a blessing by the priest. The meat on the Easter table is traditionally lamb. The lamb was sacrificed by pagans and the
Christian influence is the reference to Jesus as the lamb of God.
In the U. S., ham is the tradition on many tables. Pork was slaughtered in the fall. What wasn't eaten in the winter was cured for later use. Hams were ready around Easter; therefore, it was a natural fit to be showcased on the Easter table. Still yet, eggs can be found in just about every dish whether savory or sweet no matter if they have one of the other symbolic Easter ingredients.
Many sweet breads incorporate whole eggs into the design. Many times the eggs are dyed red to symbolize Christ's blood. The most popular way to use up those hard boiled eggs is in deviled eggs with egg salad coming in at a close second. Eggs in desserts like custard or a cream pie are very popular. Even Kentucky has a celebrated egg recipe.
Hodgenville cheese pudding, also known as ham pudding, uses hard boiled eggs, and in the case of the latter, diced country ham. More like a casserole than a custard-based bread or corn pudding, this recipe is layered with peppers, saltines, and béchamel. President Eisenhower visited Lincoln's birthplace and the Women's Club of Hodgenville, Kentucky served this to him. He liked it so much, he asked for a second helping and the recipe. Some people refer to this recipe as Eisenhower pudding. The following recipe is the traditional version:
Hodgenville Cheese Pudding
In the 1920's the Lynn Hotel in Hodgenville, Ky., owned and operated by the Wimsetts, was a family-style hotel which drew Sunday dinner crowds from a wide area of Kentucky. In addition to Kentucky country ham with red-eye gravy, fried chicken, fresh vegetables, and homemade ice cream, there was always the traditional Hodgenville casserole known as cheese pudding. When it was served to the late Vice President Alben Barkley, he asked for a second helping. A few years later when President Eisenhower was served cheese pudding, he requested a second helping but the recipe as well.
From: Kentucky Hospitality, a Kentucky Federation of Women's Club Cookbook 1976
1 cup soda cracker crumbs (saltines)
2 cups medium white sauce
4 eggs, hard boiled, grated
1 (7-ounce) can pimientos, grated or finely chopped
1/2 pound American cheese grated
buttered cracker crumbs
Mix cracker crumbs with white sauce; stir well to be sure all are moist. In a buttered casserole place a layer of crumbs, a layer of eggs, a layer of pimientos. and a layer of cheese. Repeat layers. (If crumbs are not well moistened add a little milk). Top with buttered crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
FREE RECIPES (Including one for George Clooney's favorite "transparent pie!":
Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Easter EGGstravaganza Recipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at firstname.lastname@example.org
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CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
About Janine Washle:
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.
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