When I worked for the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program in Rapid City, part of my job was to analyze the food inventory for each family that came in. I would list everything the children ate so I could tell the family what was mission in their diets.
By growing up in Syria, attending college in California, working in Washington, D. C., and traveling all over the world I thought I had seen every kind of food under the sun. But taking food inventory in Rapid City, I ran into dishes I had never heard of, with names that indicate nothing about the ingredients. Now, how could I analyze something I have no idea what it is. Of course after getting over my embarrassment of misspelling the name and asking for the recipe I did my job. But that get me thinking. How did some dishes acquire their names? For example, a baked potato is no secret. It is a potato that is baked in an oven. But a dish called nun’s sigh is a complete mystery unless someone can tell you what’s in it.
The same is true for skunk cookies, a recipe that someone send it to me. Of course, it’s a cookie, but who knows what it’s like? Rochelle, the lady who mailed me the recipe, says it’s a family recipe made at Christmastime. The cookie was named by her father when he was about 5 years old. It is a pinwheel cookie with and addictive flavor. But the name will give you different massage.
“Bare little buns in the grass” is another strange name-a bean dish- sent to me by another friend. She says this a Dutch recipe that her mother gave it to her. My friend said that the Dutch are notorious for funny food names, such as the Hague bluff and John in the bag.
I have favorite dish, that my mom taught me and my customers love, it is called “Burn your fingers”. I think the name derived from how the stew is cooked. At the end of the cooking time, the cook must drop pieces of bread dough into the stew, which, if not done properly, burned the cook’s fingers.
Umm Ali is an Egyptian dish that means “Ali’s mother.” The myth that accompanies this dish is that the sultan of Turkey, which had ruled Egypt back then, grew hungry while touring villages along the Nile. The village wanted to please the sultan so they brought out the best cook in the village, a woman named Umm Ali. All she had for ingredients were dried bread, nuts, coconut , milk and sugar. She mixed them and baked them in the oven. The sultan was so fond of the dish that he asked for umm Ali’s dessert from the palace chefs, thus the name.
A Turkish dish, called Imam fainted, derives its name from the Imam-a Muslim cleric- who loved he dish so much he would faint each time he ate it. It is an eggplant dish in which eggplant is stuffed wit tomato, onion and garlic, then simmered in olive oil until done. I am sure there are many interesting recipes with interesting names, if you have one please send to me; I would love to share it with everyone.
I blogged the lentil with dumpling recipe earlier and this is the link to that recipe.
Her is the recipe for Skunk cookies, Thank you Rochelle for this recipe.
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg and 1 yolk
3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg white
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
-Mix the butterscotch ingredients well until you have smooth dough. Cut into two balls and set aside.
-Mix the white part ingredients well until you have smooth dough. Cut into two balls and set aside.
-Roll the butter scotch dough on wax paper into 1/4-inch thick rectangle.
-Roll the white dough on wax paper into 1/4-inch thick rectangle, make sure both rectangle are the same size.
-Place the white dough on top of the butterscotch dough. Pat and roll long side like a cylinder, cinnamon roll style use the wax paper to help.
-Make two rolls. Refrigerate overnight, then slice into thin slices. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven cool and enjoy.