Dutch Fork Starches

Scott wrote of the 1820s: "They eat less hominy and rice than others." The Dutch Forkers instead relied for starches on their Dutch oven-baked breads, dumplings, and pastries. Mayer wrote that rice, although raised in the bottomlands was somewhat of a "luxury." This grain was used sparingly and saved for special occasions. It could be cooked and added to the fresh "pudding meat" during butchering, or, more popularly, it could become the special treat of the marriage feast, when it was baked into a great sweet "rice pudding" and drowned in sangaree, the nutmeg-spiced Malaga wine beloved
by Dutch Forkers of the olden time. A grocery list for a typical wedding feast of the early 1800s included mutton, beef, geese, pork, turkies, chickens, onions, vegetables, eggs, butter, flour, rice, sugar, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and Malaga wine…. With the wealth of varied "mixed" and "sour dough" German breads, noodles, deep-dish pastry crusted pies, dip dumplings of sundry shapes and types, both fluffy and tight, short biscuits, cakes, "stickies" (a sweet buttered dough cookie), myriad forms of custards, baked puddings, and fruit and berry pies, including the delicious nutmegged fried-pies made of dried apples (or peaches)—so famous yet today—, peach or apple dumplings eaten with nutmegged cream or milk, and sweet-cakes and cookies of all sorts,—what wonder that hominy grits, although eaten or put in "mixed" bread, and good Southern cornbread and "hushpuppies," although known and sometimes eaten, would both have taken subordinate roles as starchy foods on Dutch Fork tables, for starch certainly reined supreme in the diet.
(Kibler, 1988)

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