Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Succotash Dreams

Flowers in a Blue Vase 
by Renoir
Happy Birthday
An innovative artist, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born on February 25, 1841, in Limoges, France. He started out as an apprentice to a porcelain painter and studied drawing in his free time. After years as a struggling painter, Renoir helped launch an artistic movement called Impressionism in the 1870s. He eventually became one of the most highly regarded artists of his time. He died in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, in 1919.

Tagging on to yesterday's posting on Travels with a Blue Vase, author  Mary Ann Miller in her quest for great artists and the places they lived often found many artists used blue vases in their work. I thought it interesting that three famous artists used the same title for their work. 
Flowers in a Blue Vase
by Vincent Van Gogh
Flowers in a Blue Vase 
by Paul Cezanne
Part Two: Amelia Island Book Festival 
Succotash Dreams is by Karen P.Miller. She is a freelance writer, author and former Amelia Island caterer. In addition, Karen is a regular contributor to the Amelia Islander Magazine.  She is a resident of Amelia Island. Currently she is enjoying traveling, working on a book and researching a Civil War project. 
I  had the pleasure of meeting her at the book festival. We both share a passion for food, recipes and writing.

What could be more "Southern" than a Succotash dish. I like the sound of the three syllable word as it rolls off my lips.  

Karen Miller has written a collection of short stories and recipes that are drawn from her childhood in New England, life in Florida, and the wealth of her catering experiences. Each recipe has a personal story from Karen's life or those of her family and friends.
The title of the book comes Karen's dreaming of succotash. She writes "This weekend I've been dreaming about succotash. Fresh, astonishing succotash, bursting with brilliant colors and flavors, created with vegetables that have soaked up all of summer's beauty and wonder."
Don't we all at some point dream about craving some food?

The stories are entertaining and her recipes will inspire you to cook with easy to follow directions. Perhaps by reading her stories some of your fond food memories will be stirred up. The photography that accompanies each recipe makes your mouth water.  But her most comic recipe is the one for squirrel pie by Jean Goodell. It looks like a legitimate recipe but I'm not sure about the first ingredient: 
7 squirrel quarters, skinned, cleaned and gutted
Maybe I need to put Bella on that one.     

I could not find a better picture of succotash on the Internet than the one Karen uses in her book. So I took the liberty of using that one.  
The book is available on Amazon

Succotash (from the Native American Narraganset language, msikwatash)
Pronounced: SUHK-uh-tash is a food dish consisting primarily of lima beans (butter beans) and corn (maize), possibly including pieces of cured meat or fish. This method of preparing vegetables became very popular during the Great Depression in the United States. It was sometimes cooked in a casserole form, often with a light pie crust on top as in a traditional pot pie. In some parts of the American south, any mixture of vegetables prepared with Lima beans and topped with lard or butter is called succotash. Succotash is a traditional dish of many Thanksgiving celebrations in Pennsylvania and other states. In Indiana, Succotash is made with green beans and corn instead of Lima beans.

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