Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Pork Rind Cranberry Sauce And Other Traditions

Developing a New Tradition

Several years ago my hair stylist (OK, it was really just the woman who cuts my hair…but hair stylist sounds better) and I were talking about traditional recipes for holiday dinners.  She said: “I always made traditional cranberry sauce until I found a recipe that sounded really weird but good, and tried it on my family. They loved it and never guessed what was in it!”

I asked her what it was and she said, “It’s Pork Rind Cranberry Sauce. And, before you say you wouldn’t like it, let me tell you it’s different but really delicious.”

I was somewhat incredulous and asked about the recipe. She said, “You cook cranberry sauce just like always. Then, you add pork rinds, stir, and let it set until it cools. It gives it a different taste, but nothing you can quite identify. My kids absolutely loved it.”

I asked if it gave it a different texture and she said no, that the pork rinds mix right in and don’t change the cranberry sauce texture at all. She made me promise I would try it some time, even though it didn’t sound like something I would like. I said I would try it, but would probably make the regular kind too. She said, “You wait, people will eat more of this kind.”

I had already walked out of the beauty shop, but the recipe was on my mind and I turned back and interrupted her while she was cutting someone else’s hair. I asked her how much of the pork rinds she put in the sauce. She said,  “Not a lot, just enough for flavor. About a fourth cup for a regular recipe, but you can adjust that to taste. I just buy those little bottles of port wine at the liquor store.”

That was the first time I heard her clearly–and also the first time I realized the recipe she gave me was not for Pork Rind Cranberry Sauce, but for Port Wine Cranberry Sauce. Big difference.

Now you see why I stick to traditional recipes.

December 20th, 2008 Posted by | Food, Fitness, Fun, Life and Work | 9 comments

Cooking and Cleaning — Could It Improve Your Life?

I was reading about the lack of education in both the home and school on the “domestic arts and sciences” the other day. Read this quote, because it certainly makes a point. (Then, check out the source for these thoughts, immediately following the quote.)

“Many household duties are becoming lost arts. Young women are not trained in the home or at school and have no time or inclination for such things, and in many cases their mothers have no more interest than they do. Besides, conditions have changed so that such home education is considered unimportant.

Everything can be bought and nothing needs to be sewn, cooked, baked or prepared at home. Even the good taste to furnish a home can be purchased from someone else. When she marries, most young women will marry men who know little more than she does about housekeeping and cooking, because his mother did not do it either. This can continue for awhile, until one day when guests arrive, both husband and wife will wish their home was tidier and the food had not been purchased ready-cooked, at twice the cost and half the taste, of food cooked at home. Or, both husband and wife will one day realize they do not have the clean, orderly home that is best for a family or for their own peace of mind and enjoyment.

If a teacher had before him a class of fifty students and knew that almost all of them were to be carpenters, he would certainly find his teaching to be modified by that fact. In every classroom it is known for certainty that almost every student will need to engage in some kind of housecleaning, cooking and homemaking. Should not some recognition of this fact be made in teaching?

Few of us would disagree with those thoughts. With only a bit of editing, they were taken directly from The New Practical Reference Library, VOL. VI, published in 1904. (You can see why I love old books!)

Over the next few weeks I am going to write some articles on this general concept of changes and sameness in our views about education and training. I also will devote a bit of time to discussing the domestic sciences, as they used to be taught. No, not to produce Household Tips From Tina, but just because I think it is interesting. If you have any information to pass along, I would love to have it. In the meantime, I will leave you with this further quote from the 1904 book:

“We need look no further than our newspapers and periodicals to realize that the subject of food, cooking and household care is a vital and generally interesting one. Nearly every newspaper has an article on some phase of the subject–perhaps to the safety and healthfulness of certain foods or how the food is grown, perhaps to the economy of preparing food compared to purchasing it, perhaps merely to recipes or to methods for removing stains or making a room more attractive.

There are whole magazines devoted to such questions as diet and vegetarianism. You may pick up a magazine that says foods should be eaten raw or only juiced or mashed, to be most healthy. The next day you may read equally convincing articles to the effect that a food considered healthy yesterday is now considered to be poisonous to the human body. One article will tell us how to eat to gain muscles and fat for health. Another will tell us to eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat. References to these articles are not intended to be argumentative of any particular view, but to show that the question of food, cooking and domestic sciences is a live one that interests all of us.”

Every expert cook seems to have a catch phrase, “Kick it up a notch!”, “Bam!”,  “Yum-O!”,  “Bon Apetit!”.  A friend of mine from a lot of years ago used to say something much less classy to her family, right before she served dinner on paper plates in front of the TV: “OK guys! Chow down, then clean up!”

August 12th, 2008 Posted by | Life and Work | 6 comments