23 September 2011

The Lewis & Clark Cookbook

If you read the post over at Lucindaville, you have been regaled with pawpaw facts. Continuing in that vein, here is an entry from the journal of William Clark, September 18, 1806:

"Subsisting on poppaws. we divide the buiskit which amounted to nearly one buisket per man, this in addition to the poppaws is to last is down to the Settlement's which is 150 miles the party appear perfectly contented and tell us that they can live very well on the pappaws."
Clearly, me and Clark share a love of speling! As one might remember, in 2006 there was a celebration of the bicentennial of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Every museum in every state that Lewis or Clark ever set foot in had an exhibition and books proliferated.

Leslie Mansfield wrote The Lewis & Clark Cookbook: Historic Recipes from the Corps of Discovery & Jefferson’s America. It is a nice cookbook featuring foods that Lewis & Clark might have encountered on their journey as well as (note the subtitle of the book...) recipes prevalent during the Jeffersonian era. George Washington was supposed to be greatly enamored with iced pawpaw as a dessert. Not to be outdone as a statesman or botanist, Thomas Jefferson cultivated the pawpaw at Monticello.

Even the great naturalist painter, John James Audubon was not spared from the plentiful pawpaw. It makes and appearance below.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo in Pawpaw Tree, John James Audubon

Given all the Lewis & Clark hoopla, Mansfiled's book generated more than one "Lewis & Clark Dinner." This was favorite dessert:

Pawpaw ice Cream

2 cups pawpaw puree, thawed if frozen

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

1 cup sugar

Place the pawpaw puree in a bowl and set aside. In a heavy saucepan, stir together the cream, milk and sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly pour the cream mixture into the pawpaw puree, whisking to blend. Cover with plastic wrap and completely chill in the refrigerator. Pour the cold mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Yes, Lewis & Clark did eat more than their share of pawpaws.

No, they did not bring their Cuisinart ice cream maker along with them.

If they had, no doubt, Sacagawea would have had to tote it on her back and make the ice cream.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading about historic recipes, and I have to admit, I had no idea what a pawpaw was until now. Thanks!


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