Posts filed under time travel

Retro Recipe: The world is your oyster

oyster 2.jpg


Be a little shellfish this weekend and fry up some oysters using this classic 1878 recipe. These beauties have been cultivated since Roman times but only really became en vogue in our neck of the woods in the 19th Century. Oysters bars were for fancy folks until post-Civil War, when production surged and they were more accessible to everyone. Hooray for that! Though the raw ones are great with champagne, these fried treats are best washed down with your local beer.

Adapted from:
Gulf City Cookbook, Mobile Ala. 1878
*updates in italics
Oyster Fritters
Beat two eggs very light; stir in two table-spoons of heavy cream, three tablespoons of flour, and pepper and salt to taste. Dip the oysters in this batter and fry in boiling lard (or oil) until crispy. Serve with your favorite spicy mayo or my shortcut tzatziki.

Tzatziki Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1 chopped cucumber (peeled and deseeded)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp chopped dill
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Stir well to combine.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Posted on September 18, 2017 and filed under appetizers, fish, time travel.

Make your leftovers Presidential! Turkey chili at it's finest.

This is a healthy spin on LBJ's family chili recipe that we debuted at Smithsonian Food History weekend with much success. Instead of beef, I used turkey (shredded or ground works) and some zucchini/beans for the vegg. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


  • 4 lb. turkey meat (ground or pulled)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped to bite size pieces
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 12 cups canned whole tomatoes and their liquid
  • 2-6 generous dashes of liquid hot sauce
  • Salt


Sauté the meat, onion, zucchini and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until lightly colored. Add the oregano, beans, cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, hot sauce, and 2 cups hot water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for about 1 hour. Skim off the fat while cooking. Salt to taste.


Thanksgiving with POTUS and FLOTUS....


President 44: Obama

Here we are at the end of our almost year-long journey of squirrel soups, pickled eggs, corned beef, and butter cakes. The palates on Pennsylvania Avenue have been as varied as ours Presidents. Thankfully, we have finally moved past our Colonial obsession with French cuisine to embrace our own American epicurean identity. The Obamas have been the crowning example of this movement.  Sick from the toxic election stew we must continue to slurp down for a couple more days, let’s have one last wholesome meal with the First Family. From next Tuesday on, who knows what will be on the menu.

Though the President has been seen eating pizza, drinking brews, and having the occasional cig, it has been the First Lady’s dedication to a healthy lifestyle that has been the center of the Obama White House culinary legacy.  Her “Let’s Move” initiative, an effort to get kids up and exercising, and the buzz around her thriving White House kitchen garden, have put a refreshing focus on nutritious eating.  The garden has boasted amazing seasonal harvests and includes the first White House beehive, which is home to 70,000 bees. The Obamas give the sweet stuff away to guests and the President even home-brewed a White House Honey Ale with it. When it comes to family meals, the Obamas enjoy salmon and steak with a host of fresh veggies (broccoli is a favorite).  The President’s 2009 inaugural dinner was inspired by Lincoln; a pheasant and duck served with sour cherry chutney. Mario Batali cooked up the last official White House dinner a couple of weeks ago, with beef braciole taking center stage and butternut squash ravioli also making an appearance. For a healthy snack, the President grabs trail mix or nuts. The girls enjoy sushi and the First Lady has a weakness for fries but a dedication to avoiding them. 

For this final installment, I have put together some favorite Presidential fall sides to enjoy with your family. I want to give a big thanks to the team at the Library of Congress (especially Miss Connie Carter) for their help and a big thanks to you, the reader, for cooking alongside me. For those interested in pursuing their own culinary time travel, the LOC has remarkable collections of 19th and 20th century books, magazines, newspapers, and prints which are publically accessible and well worth a look.  The Library’s 9-page Presidential Food: Selected Resource Guide (which is available online) started me rolling, and its knowledgeable culinary historians provided the fuel.   I will continue adding Presidential recipes to my site, www.thecurioustastebud .com, including the favorite dish of the victorious candidate. God Bless the Belly and God Bless the United States of America.

The Obama’s Fall Feast

Fall harvests make for the best time of spreads. Here are some of the Obama family’s favorite sides: roasted sweet potatoes and collard greens. They are adapted from American Grown:  The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America Hardcover ,” by Michelle Obama . Her version uses a smoked turkey leg rather than the traditional ham hock. I prefer bacon, though it adds a bit of fat. My changes are in italics. I have found they are best served with a pork loin (which is easy to throw in the slow cooker).

First Lady Collard Greens

My changes are noted in italics


·         4 slices bacon, chopped,

·         1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

·         1 medium onion, finely chopped

·         6-8 cups veggie stock

·         6 cloves garlic, minced

·         2 bunches collard greens, well washed, large ribs removed, torn into bite-size pieces

·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         Hot sauce, for serving

·         Apple cider vinegar, for serving


·         In a large pot over medium-high heat, add chopped bacon and stir over medium/high heat. There should be enough fat in the bacon, but if not, add a drizzle of olive oil.

·         When the bacon is crispy, remove from the pot and set aside. Keep fat in the pot.

·         Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the collard greens and 6 cups veggie stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for about 40 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. If you need more stock, add when the 6 cups have cooked down.

·         Season with salt and pepper.

·         Serve with your favorite hot sauce and a splash of apple cider vinegar.

Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese

·         2 medium sweet potatoes

·         2 glugs olive oil

·         Salt and pepper to taste

·         2 spring rosemary, chopped

·         2 Tbsp soft goat cheese


·         Preheat the oven to 400F

·         Peel and chop sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces

·         Toss potatoes in olive oil, cinnamon and rosemary

·         Place in roasting pan and put in oven for 45 mins, turning once.

·         Add goat cheese to top and return to oven for 5 minutes.