Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Sunday November 13, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
Who are the Heirloom Meals’ Thanksgiving Guests?

I could not have concocted up a show without an amazing group of guests!  You are all wonderful and I am so grateful that you are part of this journey!!

Heirloom Meals’ Featured Guests

Carole’s mother, Jo, was born in Claverack NY but grew up in New York City where she learnt to cook from her mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Carole and Jo’s Italian heritage has a strong influence on their cooking and their recipes. Together in the Heirloom Meals kitchen, they made manicotti crepes using the family recipe and the generations old crepe pan.

Stephanie Plunkett is the Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Norman Rockwell Museum located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She is featured in a segment filmed at the museum that focuses on Rockwell’s iconic Thanksgiving painting, Freedom From Want. It was painted as a part of a series entitled the Four Freedoms—inspired by President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech in 1942. Stephanie discusses the history and technique of the painting, as well as how it embodies the “American Thanksgiving.”

Not many can boast of being related to the original Thanksgiving pilgrims, but Loring Barnes can. She is a tenth generation descendant of Governor William Bradford, the first governor of Massachusetts to issue a proclamation of Thanksgiving. She enjoys cooking, and she still has some of her recipes from her pilgrim ancestors. When Loring and Carole are in the kitchen, they make Loring’s aunt’s recipe for cranberry and butternut acorn squash. This segment also features Loring’s family recipe for chocolate pudding cake.

This segment was filmed at Blue Hill Farm in Western Massachusetts. Jeremy is a farmer and a butcher at a local meat market. He and Carole discussed heritage breed turkeys and the history of turkeys in America. They also focused on sustainable agriculture and food stories from his youth.

Ellie is part of a diverse family, and Thanksgiving is one of her favorite holidays because it allows her to express a lot of different cultures through cooking. All of the members in the Markowich family were born in a different country. Ellie was born in Brazil, Dmitri in Estonia, Lina (5) was born in France and Lara (2) was born in the US. Ellie and Dmitri met when they were exchange students in Oklahoma. They have lived in Texas, New Jersey, France, and now live in New York. In the kitchen, Carole and Ellie made Ellie’s mother’s recipe for Portuguese cheese bread.

Chadwick was inspired to do the Heirloom Meals Thanksgiving special in honor of his grandparents. His grandmother, Clara, taught him everything he knows about cooking, including how to “love” people through food. Although she is no longer alive, she lives on through his business, Lovely & Delicious Enterprises, Inc. His grandmother was known for her Thanksgiving pumpkin pies because of the extra thick crust. Chadwick follower her recipe, but gives it a modern, elegant twist by adding candied ginger to the crust and by adding chipotle powder to the pie filling. Carole and Chadwick discuss how heirloom recipes can be adapted for contemporary cooking as they make his chipotle pumpkin pie.

Jill is a mother, wife, and cook who lives in a small farm town in Kansas. She inherited a talent and a love for cooking from her mother, who had a home economics degree. Jill describes her Thanksgiving as traditional Midwestern: turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade rolls, dressing (stuffing), French silk pie. She and Carole talked in the kitchen while making green bean casserole.

Cooper is a cook, farmer, musician, and much more. Born and raised in rural Minnesota, Cooper has deep roots in the country lifestyle, where all of his food was locally grown. Several years into his career as a psychologist, Cooper decided to become a full-time musician. After only a few short years in the music business, Cooper’s already won numerous accolades, including a Hollywood Music Award and an Independent Music Award, and has a roster of impressive credits to his name. Out of his obsession with food and music came “Cooper’s Kitchen”, a web-based series that brings celebrities out of the spotlight and into the kitchen, sharing stories, recipes and singing a tune or two with Cooper.
Cooper and Carole had great chemistry and did a lot of cooking in the kitchen. Cooper’s blue ribbon corn bread country stuffing is a delicious country dressing. It complements his herb and bacon turkey, which cooks with an orange stuffed inside.

Born in New York City to an American oenophile and a Brazilian chef, Alexandra Elman was exposed to wine and food at an early age. She spent her youth in Brazil, France and New York and this early exposure to an array of food and wines honed both her palate and passion for high quality wines made without manipulation. In her late 20s, due to complications from diabetes, Alex partially lost her vision and after various eye surgeries, lost her sight completely within a year, at the age of 27. She never stopped working in the wine world, and soon discovered that her palate had become even more focused. In 2009, Alex decided to create her own label of wines, and began working with Beverage Alliance in order to form Alex Elman Wines, which released its inaugural portfolio in November 2010.
Carole and Alex sampled different wines and discussed how turkey is the perfect dish that allows for various wine pairings.