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Cooking in the West

Social media is changing our lives, and it just might have the power to change the course of history. Everything we do now is chronicled on social media. World leaders are offended by each other’s tweets. Perhaps Twitter and Facebook won’t alter the course of history, but I cannot help but think they would have changed the perception of historic events if they had existed back in the day. Let me hypothesize a few historical examples to prove my point.

#1. Christoper Columbus posting on October 12, 1492: “Yo, ho, ho, Isabella and we came ashore somewhere near China or Japan I think. I don’t really know what a Bahama Mama is, but it sure is refreshing after tossing around for two months in that little ship. I think we will claim this land for Spain, capture a few Indians to bring back in March, and just kind of hang loose here on the islands!” Of course he posted a selfie of himself with one of the first rastafarians he encountered.

#2. Mary Ball Washington’s Facebook Post on April 8, 1738: “Our high hopes for little George have been dashed by a dastardly deed he has committed. He chopped down my cherry tree! I told Augustine not to give him that hatchet for his birthday, but he said it was a better gift than a pony. I wanted to give him a white pony and a powdered wig, so he could practice riding into battle and other pursuits of liberty and leadership, but now it appears he is destined to become a vandal rather than the fine general I had hoped he would become!”

#3. Benjamin Franklin’s Facebook Post in June 1752: Holy Static Electricity! Today William and I were flying a kite in a lightning storm, and I must advise you that is not a good experiment to conduct--no electrically charged pun intended. It knocked me flat on my knickers and certainly gave new meaning to the expression, “Go fly a kite!”

#4. General George Armstrong Custer’s first Facebook post on the morning of June 25, 1876: “It is 105 degrees today, and the U.S, Army, in its infinite wisdom, has sent us out here wearing wool suits. To top it off, we rode 40 miles this morning, but we are going to catch those Indians napping in their camp across the Little Bighorn River. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and these renegades are going to be on the reservation by the end of the week!”

General Custer’s last tweet (1 hour later): #Uh-oh!

#5. Juan Ponce de Leon’s post on the Bahama’s Online Yard Sale Group Page in February of 1514: ISO (In Search Of for all of those who do not speak fluent Facebook) invigorating waters that could be located in what will come to be known as Florida, the home to millions of retired folks in the centuries to come. If you have information about such a fountain that restores vitality, please contact me by personal message, because the cell service in this day and age is lousy!

#6. Sacagawea’s post on May 14, 1805: These goofballs I am traveling with refuse to stop and ask for directions. I haven’t been up this river since I was kidnapped as a child, but they seem to expect me to have some kind of photographic memory. Today I rescued a bunch of important journals from the boat they capsized, so they named the river the Sacagawea River. Don’t get me wrong--It is flattering to be a legend, but this is a little extreme. What I wouldn’t give to just go back to my normal life as a 14 year old mother...this celebrity lifestyle does not suit me!

Can you imagine the YouTube sensation Crazy Horse would have become if he would have had a GoPro camera mounted on his war bonnet on that day in 1876 when he rode into battle shouting, “Hokahey, today is a good day to die!” I am pretty certain it would have gone viral even though it would have been spoken in Sioux! Controversies in our hometown Big Timber Buzz sort of pale in comparison to some of those that could have taken place if only there had been social media back then!

When I announced that I was going to teach FCS this year and asked for recipes and advice, I had no idea I would receive both from the 2012 AAFCS National Teacher of the Year, Lois Lewis, from Birchdale, Minnesota. She reads my column and sends me several great resources and recipes. Thanks, Lois, for these great ideas that are fun for everyone!

Bacon and Egg Breakfast Tart:

4 slices bacon

8 oz. tube crescent dough

6 large eggs

kosher salt and pepper

2/3 C.shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese

1 T. chopped chives

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line plate with 3 layers of paper towels. Arrange bacon on top of paper towels without overlapping. Cover with three more paper towels. Microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes until crispy. Set aside.

Unroll crescent dough onto parchment paper leaving as a whole rectangle. Slide it onto a baking sheet and pinch the perforations to seal them. Fold 1/2 inch of dough over all edges to form a thicker border. Crack eggs inside the border, spacing them out. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Sprinkle it with cheese. Top with bacon slices. Bake until the crust is golden brown and egg whites are set (10 to 15 minutes). Garnish with chives and serve immediately.

Dutch Pancakes:

3/4 C. all purpose flour

3 T. butter or margarine

3/4 C. milk

3 eggs

1/2 t. cinnamon and/or nutmeg

Syrup, powdered sugar, or applesauce

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Blend flour and milk with an electric mixer. Add eggs and beat at highest speed for 30 seconds. Place butter in an 8 inch square pan. Put in the oven until the butter melts. Pour batter into the pan. DO NOT STIR! Sprinkle mixture with 1/2 t. cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with powdered sugar, syrup or applesauce.

Yeastless Focaccia Bread:

1 C. water

2 C. all-purpose flour

2 t. baking powder

1 t. salt

1 T. olive oil

1 t. cayenne pepper

1 t. garlic salt

1 1/2 t. crushed dried basil

1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Pour water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, and add to the water. Mix on medium speed until dough forms a ball. (Or, stir together water, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it forms a ball.)

Plop dough into a greased baking pan. Using oiled fingers, spread dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Dough will be sticky and elastic. It does not have to be perfectly even, but make sure there are no holes. Rub the top and sides of dough with olive oil. Season with cayenne, garlic salt, and basil. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven. Bake until just golden or about 5 minutes.


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