Sunday, January 6, 2013

Carl Sandburg

January 6, 1878 - July 22, 1967
folklorist, novelist, historian, storyteller
Carl Sandburg was the champion of the American spirit. He wrote about famous Americans who had done great things and not so famous Americans whose achievements were on a smaller scale. Years before he first published his poems, he traveled all over the Unites States, collecting folk songs, more than 300 in all. Eventually these songs were published in The American Songbag in 1927. Sandburg spent his life capturing the American spirit in his writing and folk songs. He is well known for his poetry which often focused on the American worker, a six volume biography of Abraham Lincoln which took 30 years to write and three collections of stories for children called Rootabaga stories.  
He was the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes, one for his book Lincoln:The War Years and two for his poetry. Sandburg once said, "I make it clear why I write as I do and why other poets write as they do. After hundreds of experiments I decided to go my way in style and see what would happen. "
Carl Sandburg wrote that all children should know this corn is no good unless there are corn fairies. But wait.. have you ever heard about corn fairies? Well I thought I was rather knowledgeable about fairy folklore until I read about corn fairies in Rootabaga Stories. Corn fairies wear overalls. They work hard and are proud of what they do. Their overalls are corn gold silk, woven from leaves of ripe corn mixed with ripe October corn silk. In the first week of the harvest moon coming up corn fairies sit by the thousands between corn rows stitching and weaving cloths needed for the next season of work. Rootabaga Stories was published in 1922. It is a children's book of short stories some of which are whimsical and some are melancholy often using nonsense language. He originally wrote the stories for his three daughters who he nicknamed "Spink", Skabootch" and "Swipes". These nicknames occur in some of his Rootabaga stories. What intrigued me was reading that Sandburg stories grew out of his desire for American fairy tales to match American childhood experiences not European tales which centered on royalty. Sandburg stories where set in a fictionalized American midwest called "Rootabaga country." Rootabaga Pigeons (1923) and Potato Face (1930) followed afterwards.
Pomegranate Mandarin Salad
I recently had a salad similar to this at a friend's house and got her recipe to share. In order to recreate the salad it was necessary for me to figure out how to get the seeds out of a pomegranate. Check out this short youtube video for a trick to easily remove seeds without any mess. This  is a very festive looking salad as well as healthy. In case you didn't know pomegranates are rich in antioxidants.

Cook's notes: This salad has lots of options: type of greens used, mandarin or orange segments, strawberries, raspberries, walnuts, pecans or honey roasted almonds and slices of fennel
the amount of ingredients depends on the number of servings needed
spinach greens or mixed greens or romaine or combination
orange segments or mandarin segments
slices of fennel
mix and pour dressing over right before serving
Vinigarette Dressing:
Note: Mix ingredients in a blender. Ingredients may have to be doubled depending on amount of salad being served.  There are three different dressings listed below to choose from. Each dressing compliments this salad.
1-1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 TB. Balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
6 TB. olive oil
2 minced shallots
 2 TB. Balsamic vinegar
2 TB. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
# 3
1/2 cup canola oil
2 TB. rice vinegar
2 TB.sugar
1/4 tsp.salt
several shakes of Tabasco sauce
several pepper shakes

1 comment:

  1. I ruined many a white shirt when I first discovered pomegranates! They are delicious and the seeds are oh so lovely, but I'd advise anyone making this to remember that the juice stains terribly!