Baptist Bread/Cake, Holy Pokes, Huffjuff; Potato Bargain; Necessity Mess

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Wed Apr 30 04:34:33 UTC 2003


   Only three hits for this--_all_ in the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR.  DARE has 1931-1933.

  Serenity: 1904; ROBERT FRANCIS; Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file), Boston, Mass.; Mar 7, 1951; pg. 12, 1 pgs

  'Baptist Cakes' Known to Many; Baptist Cakes; Written for The Christian Science Monitor; Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file), Boston, Mass.; May 23, 1934; pg. 8, 1 pgs

  Paging New Englanders!; Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file), Boston, Mass.; May 11, 1934; pg. 6, 1 pgs
("I remember there was one breakfast dish which I was very fond of, and that was called 'Baptist cakes.'")


   Where Queer Names Mean Good Eating; Holy Pokes; By Ethel M. Eaton Written for The Christian Science Monitor; Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file), Boston, Mass.; Sep 25, 1945; pg. 11, 1 pg:

   It has long been a tradition that the visitor to New England always finds good food awaiting him.  However, the stranger in our midst may not always recognize the food he is eating by its name.  If he's long in this section of the country, he will probably encounter, sooner or later, Fannie Daddies, Featherbeds (the kind you eat), Popdoodle, Down East Sizzlers, Seventh Heaven, Halleluiah, Holy Pokes, Gap and Swallow, Necessity Mess, and other dishes with novel names.  And don't aske me how they got them, for--with few exceptions--I don't know any more than you do. But I do know, from sundry wanderings elsewhere, that you will go far to find better food, no matter what it's labeled; and frequently the same dish has different labels in different sections of New England.  For instance, a Halleluia in one place is a Cape Cod Stifle in a Cape community.
   And then there are Holy Pokes--that's the Connecticut name for them; on the Maine coast you'll be eating Huffjuffs; and if you meet up with Baptist Bread or Dough Boys on your New England holiday, they will be the same Holy Pokes you enjoyed in Connecticut.
   Necessity Mess has several names, too--though none so uniquely descriptive: Potato Bargain happens to be one of its other names.  From the coastal section comes a hearty dish bearing the picturesque epithet of "Scootin'-'Long-the-Shore," so dubbed by fishermen who prepared it while attending to their work on a moving boat.  Still keeping to the shore, we find Boat Steerers--clam fritters to you!  If you eat fried clams in some Cape Cod communities, you will be eating Fannie Daddies--I'd like to know how thay got that name, too!
   A versatile group are the Slumps and Grunts; and let the visitor be warned in advance that if he partakes too freely, he'll do both later!  These dishes are usually made from berries, preferably blueberries--though other fruit may be used.  Indeed, Apple Slump is a famous New England dish.  And while we're on apple dishes, there's Seventh Heaven, and whoever named it was not guilty of overstatement.  If you run into Yankee Apple John anywhere--as you doubtless will--don't make the mistake of calling it Pandowdy!
   What is set before you under the name of Jolly Boys depends on where you are in these six corner states.  In the northern section, you will be eating Rye Meal Drop Cakes (they're good eating, too!); in another locality, you will be enjoying baked apples with the cores removed and the spaces filled with pork sausage.
   Strangely enough, in the inland state of Vermont I first encountered Sailor's Duff which apparently originated along the coast and migrated to the interior.  But wherever you find it, don't refuse it, for it's good!  Another delicacy first enjoyed in Vermont (One line illegible--ed.) any name--is called Finger Putters, a sort of glorified cookie.
   As their name implies, Down East Sizzlers originated in the extreme northeast corner of Yankee land, though you may find them elsewhere.  They're a sort of blueberry turnover, browned in "sizzling" deep fat.  And that same sizzling deep fat helps to make Boston Belles the good eating that they are.  Of course, they might be almost anything, since much good food emananates from that city; but they happen to be codfish cakes, light as a feather, golden brown and crispy on the outside; and dedicated, as everyone knows, to Sunday breakfast along with baked beans, reheated.
   No article on New England foods would be complete without mention of Red Flannel Hash.  You'll run into it everywhere, but it probably won't be made twice in the same way.  Some cooks put cabbage in it, while others wouldn't think of doing such a thing; some chop the cold corned beef in with the vegetables, while others serve it sliced alongside.  But all are united on one ingredient--beets!

(Recipes for "Holy Pokes" and "Seventh Heaven" and "Fannie Daddies" and "Halleluiah" and "Featherbeds" follow.  DARE has almost all of these, except for "Seventh Heaven" and "Halleluiah" and "Necessity Mess," and the first citation is the 1939 YANKEE COOK BOOK--ed.)

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