Travel Log

  • Day 21 of Jacob's Journey: The Great Blueberry Festival and Bakeoff

    Posted on July 20, 2012

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    July 20, 1819

    Along the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pioneer and I stumbled upon a sweet surprise. For summer is blueberry season, and the city was putting on a big to-do called the Great Blueberry Festival and Bakeoff. Why, there were pies, cakes, cobblers, iced tea and all manner of things blueberry. Who would gander that a down-home gathering could be organized around this one food?

    I tried so many blueberry goodies that I don't doubt my tongue will be stained purple until September! After tasting so many treats it was tougher than boot leather to choose a favorite, but I finally chose one that can be baked in my very own Legendary Bread Pan: the Double Blueberry Cake, a succulent loaf that was topped with a lemony blueberry sauce. Mmmmmm!

    If you want to try this cake out for yerself, click here for the recipe from Happy blueberry pickin' and eatin'!

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  • The Thrill of a Mini Grill

    Posted on July 11, 2012

    It was the summer of 1821 when I was inspired to craft yet another invention, the Old Fashioned Mini Grill. Considering how families could enjoy their very own meal made on a small family grill, a thought finally came to me. I made it of tin and ‘sweat’, with a wooden handle as a finishing touch of charm. I just knew my grill would be proudly passed down over the generations, while promoting the luxury of oral history. I also recognized it could be used anywhere, anytime. I suggested to fire it over a campfire, as my family did when the temperature finally cooled down on those balmy summer nights. Why, we even made burgers on top of our ol’ fashioned wood stove that very first night as the west was still young, going through ‘growing pains’ of national self-sufficiency as well as the birthing of globalization and industrialization, as I recall. You can get yer own Mini Grill by clicking right here.

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  • Day 18 of Jacob's Journey: True Grit(s)

    Posted on June 28, 2012

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    June 8, 1819

    Most modern folk think that true grit is a Western movie starring John Wayne or Jeff Bridges. But in my day, true grit meant splitting wood 'til you thought your back was going to break, making a midnight visit to the outhouse in winter, or having a bad tooth pulled--ouch!

    But not to fear, for there is a better kind of true grit, and that is the kind you eat! Grits are quintessentially American; they have their origins in Native American cuisine in the Southern U.S. I've heard some Native Americans refer to them as sofkee or sofkey.

    Today I found my way to a Pittsburgh B&B and enjoyed some of this sofkee for lunch with grated cheese, country ham and gravy. But I think most of you will like this Bobby Flay recipe from Serious Eats that features shrimp and bacon with grits--whip some up for dinner tonight, and you can thank ol' Jacob later!

    I'm planning on parking in Pittsburgh for some time to wave the flag here on the Fourth of July. Stay tuned for that diary entry!

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