Thursday, May 04, 2006

"HUSHAMAGRUNDY" Mystery solved..... YUUUK!.... Got Salted Cod in it.....

Well Sir....fer those a ya that remember...a few posts back I put the wurd out askin anyone...anyone...who might know what "Hushamagrundy" was...please contact me. This was the only wurd I ever "Googled" (sounds dirty don't it?) that came back with "No Match Found".

Well... either no one had ever heard of it...or their research sources also could find nuthin bout it. I even contacted a real good friend a mine in Winnamucca, Nevada who cooks fer a livin...and he never heard bout it either. He contacted many cooks/chefs that he knows and they never heard bout it.

So...totally and completely flumoxxed (thanks Lem)...I capitulated and sent an E-Mail to Miss Fanny LeGrand who is a co-author to "Fanny and Vera's Camp Cookbook"...she being the person who had mentioned that she would make this dish...Hushamagrundy"... at Civil War Re-Enactment get t'gethers. Well Sir...she answered me back yesterday and told me what Hushamagrundy is.....NO THANK YOU!

Here's Miss Fanny's E-Mail to me......and it's really pretty it...

Sorry for the late reply, Cookie, been working against a big deadline and won't be human again until next week.

To make up for it, here is the info on Hushamagrundy and a few other Gold Rush food terms. (I hope to get my notes togethern and write a Gold Rush Cookbook for historical minded folks). I will send my updated and much more palatable version of Hushamagrundy next week.

Remember that the Gold Rushers were not the best cooks (Mom was not there to provide for them) and that the staples they had to work with were dried fish, dried meat, "salt horse" (salt cured beef), hard tack, flour, dried apples, sugar if they were lucky, green coffee beans, rice. This was supplemented with game and wild greens. A tin of oysters was a favored item. Potatoes or any fresh vegetable was manna from heaven.

Hushamagrundy: a Gold Rush era dish of dried or salted cod and vegetables.
The fish was soaked and drained to remove the bulk of the salt then baked, casserole style, on top of chopped vegies. Potatoes and carrots were first choice, but a miner might also break up bits of hard tack in lieu of veggies. A gravy of grease, flour and water or stock might be poured over all.
Yummy. More ballast than cuisine for a hard working miner, but something to put in his potato trap.

A few Gold Rush food terms:
Bush Fish - rattlesnake meat
Dunderfunk - a pudding of hard tack & raisens
Potato trap - your mouth
Charqui - dried meat (jerky)
Salt Horse - salt cured beef
Grunt - fruit baked in dough
Prog - food or supplies
Lobscouse - a hash of salted meat with hard tack

I've updated the recipe a bit to be more tasty, and it makes a great one pot, dutch oven meal. I've never measured the ingredients, but will do my best estimate for the recipe next week.

Keep it hot in the kitchen,
Miss Fanny LaGrande

Now Sir...I was raised in the late 40's and 50's...and every damn Friday mother would make "Creamed Cod Fish" (just writin that made me shiver and I plum got nauseated). I swore by all that was Holy that I would never...ever...have "Creamed Cod Fish" again...and so fer...I've kept m'wurd. Now...nuthin agin yur cookin or recipee Miss's all about the COD!

Now I also be a knowin that there a whole bunch a ya out there a readin this that feels the exact same way and can very vividely remember those damned wooden box...even seein the above picture I tasted "Creamed Cod".....Ahhhh!

So...if'n y'all like anything with Salted Cod in it...this here's yur recipee...if'n yur like me (and quite a few uther folks)...yur gonna stop readin this post right here and now........Adios Amigo's and Amiga's.....Cookie.....