In 1885, a school teacher in Wisconsin named Bernard J. Cigrand encouraged his students to reflect on the real meaning and majesty of this symbol by placing a flag in the inkwell on his desk and asking his students to write an essay about what the flag means to them.
According to History.com, President Woodrow Wilson marked the anniversary of that decree by officially establishing June 14 as Flag Day in 1916. He proclaimed, “the Flag has vindicated its right to be honored by all nations of the world and feared by none who do righteousness.” The day commemorates the adoption of the ‘Stars and Stripes,’ or “Old Glory” as the official flag of the United States in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress.
The National Flag Day Foundation shares that on August 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed an Act of Congress recognizing the holiday of Flag Day and encouraging Americans to celebrate it.
What can you do to recognize Flag Day this year? If you don’t already know how, learn about proper handling of the flag, as well as the etiquette of displaying the flag. Check out Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute on U.S. Codes, specifically 4 U.S. Code, Chapter 1-The Flag. You can also reference the American Legion website, Military.com, or various other sources Google may provide.
In honor of Flag Day 2020, I’ve put together an amalgamation of recipes honoring our long history.
Recipes wanted! Submitted recipes will be accepted at [email protected], or you can stop by the Albion office and drop a copy off up front. If you don’t have a recipe to submit right now, but there is a recipe you’re desperately seeking, feel free to email or drop off a note for a “Recipe Request.” I’m now requesting recipes for your favorite baked beans recipes!
“To fry sliced potatos”
This authentic (also authentically transcribed) recipe might get you as close to Thomas Jefferson’s beloved French fries as you can get today.
Lard or other fat for frying
Salt, to taste
Peel large potatoes, slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, or cut them in shavings round and round, as you would peal a lemon; dry them well in a clean cloth, and fry them in lard or dripping. Take care that your fat and frying-pan are quite clean; put it on a quick fire, watch it, and as soon as the lard boils and is still, put in the slices of potatoes, and keep moving them till they are crisp; take them up and lay them to drain on a sieve; send them up with very little salt sprinkled on them.
***Recipe courtesy of Mrs. Mary Randolph’s “The Virginia House-Wife or Methodical Cook” (1824), via the Journal of the American Revolution website.***
Ship’s biscuit matched criteria needed for bread on the newly authorized naval vessels of the “United Colonies” in 1775.
4C all-purpose flour (some sources suggest using whole wheat or a blend of the two)
1 tsp salt
1 to 1-1/2C water
Stir together flour and salt. Add water to form a very stiff dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface, cover with a damp cloth, and let rest for 10 minutes. Knead until the flour is absorbed, then use a pasta machine or rolling pin to make a flat sheet about 1/2-in. thick. Fold into several layers and repeat, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Roll to a thickness of ½-in. and cut into 2-in. squares, or use a 2-in. biscuit cutter to form rounds. Punch liberally with holes using a carving fork. Bake on a cookie sheet at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours, until dried through.
For additional authenticity, you can let it cool and then bake it again for another hour; biscuits intended for long voyages might be baked as many as four times. However, since this original provisioning was intended for no more than four months at a time, the biscuit for it would probably have been baked no more than twice.
***Recipe courtesy of Anne Chotzinoff Grossman and Lisa Grossman Thomas in “Lobscouse & spotted dog: which it’s a gastronomic companion to the Aubrey/Maturin novels,” (1997) via the Journal of the American Revolution website.***
Naval recipes of the Revolutionary era often had names that strike our ears as being humorous, and indeed, they likely added some levity to the dullness of the dishes. Dandyfunk is slightly sweet boiled pudding, sometimes likened to a seagoing gingerbread.
24 Ship’s biscuits
1/4C rendered beef fat, pork fat or bacon grease
2 tsp powdered allspice
Cover ship’s biscuits and let soak until soft. Pour off any remaining water, mash into a paste and add fat, allspice and molasses.
Tie into a wetted and floured pudding cloth tightly and boil for 2 hours. Remove from water, let cool enough to set, and then unwrap and serve in slices, with more molasses.
***Recipe courtesy of Rudolph Terry Shappee in “Beef stew for 2500: Feeding Our Navy from the Revolutionary War to the Present.” (2007) via the Journal of the American Revolution website.***
Maple Sugar Candy
In the first book of the Little House on the Prairie series, it describes when Laura, Mary, Carrie, Ma and Pa still lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, they traveled by sled through the woods to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to join them in gathering and boiling maple sap to make cakes of brown maple sugar.
2 cups real maple syrup
Heavy stainless steel pot
Plates, muffin liners, baking sheets, or molds in which to cool the candy
Pour the maple syrup into a heavy stainless steel pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Using a candy thermometer, continue to boil the syrup until it reaches a temperature of 235 degrees, stirring occasionally. This step may take about a half hour.
Remove the pot from the heat and let the syrup cool to 175 degrees. Do not stir the syrup during this time. It will take about 5-10 minutes to cool.
When the syrup reaches 175 degrees, begin to stir with a wooden spoon or whisk rapidly for about 3-5 minutes, until the mixture becomes thick and creamy and lightens in color.
Working quickly, pour the thickened syrup into molds, muffin liners, or onto plates to cool. It can be helpful to lightly grease the molds or plates first with butter or coconut oil.
Let the maple sugar candy cool completely. Enjoy as is, or crumble on top of yogurt, oatmeal, or your favorite sweet treat.
***Recipe courtesy of Teri Page for Little House on the Prairie webpage.***
American Flag Berry Slab Pie
4C all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 TBSP sugar
1-1/4 tsp sea salt
1-1/2C cold unsalted butter, cubed (use frozen if using a food processor)
3/4-1C ice cold water
2-lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1-lb. fresh raspberries
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP lemon zest
1-1/4C fresh blueberries
2/3C fresh blackberries
2 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP sparkling sugar
For the pie crust:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add flour, sugar and salt. Turn mixer to low to combine.
Scatter the cold butter over the flour mixture. Turn mixer to medium-low and combine until the butter becomes the size of peas. Then stream in the ice-cold water, mixing just until the dough comes together. If using a food processor, add the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the frozen butter over the flour mixture. Pulse 3-4 times to break up the butter, then stream in the ice cold water through the food tube a couple tablespoons at a time, pulsing after each addition.
Regardless of how you are mixing, be careful to not to overmix! Butter pieces should be visible and about the size of peas to result in the flakiest crust.
Use your hands to remove the dough from the bowl and knead gently to quickly form it into a disk. Put aside one quarter of the dough for the topping, and form both pieces into rounds (it helps to use a scale for this step). Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until cold and firm to the touch.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 13x18-in. rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Remove the larger disc of dough from the refrigerator. Lightly flour your work surface. Use a rolling pin to evenly roll the dough to 14x18-in. and lay over the prepared pan. Fold the dough over along the edges to create an even crust (reserve any scraps and add to remaining dough for the stars and stripes). Prick dough using a fork.
Cover dough with parchment paper and fill with rice, beans or pie weights (blind-baking the crust helps to keep the base from getting soggy). Bake for 30–35 minutes, removing parchment and weights after 25 minutes. Bake until crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the fillings. Turn the oven up to 425 degrees.
For the fillings:
In a medium mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the strawberry-raspberry filling. Use a spoon to toss and combine. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, bowl, add all the ingredients for the blueberry-blackberry filling. Use a spoon to toss and combine. Set aside.
For the top crust/decorations:
Lightly flour your work surface once again and roll out the remaining round of dough to 1/4-in. thick and 17-in. wide.
Use a pizza wheel (or very sharp knife) to cut out the stripes. You will need two strips that are 17x1-in., and two strips that are 10x1-in.
Use a star-shaped 1-in. cookie cutter to cut out 12 stars.
Use the remaining dough to roll a long rope of dough that’s 13-in. long. This will be the barrier for the stars section.
Use the rope of dough to create an 8x6-in. rectangle in the left-hand corner of the base. Crimp the dough a bit to create a barrier. Pour the blueberry-blackberry mixture into the small rectangle.
Evenly spread the strawberry-raspberry mixture into the section where the stripes will go. Arrange the stars and stripes of dough on top of the berries to form the flag.
Make the egg wash by whisking the egg and heavy cream together until loose. Brush the egg wash over the stars, stripes and crust. Sprinkle the entire pie with sparkling sugar.
Place the pie into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden (if the crust begins to look too dark, tent the pie with aluminum foil). Remove pie from oven and place on a baking rack to cool completely before serving. It’s important to let the pie cool for several hours before serving so the fruit sets and doesn’t run when cut.
Note: This pie can be baked a day ahead of serving.
***Recipe courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill.***