As American As Apple Pie and Karjalanpiirakat | The Daily Dish

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As American As Apple Pie and Karjalanpiirakat

4 Comments | Written on October 6, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

Welcome to “The Great American Dinner Party!”  This is an online celebration of the debut of “Made in America:  Our Best Chefs Reinvent Comfort Food” written by the outstanding Lucy Lean.

Now, what exactly is a “virtual” dinner party you ask?  All this week a group of fabulous food bloggers are celebrating the release of Lucy’s cookbook with posts about comfort food, party planning, recipes from the cookbook, and more.  We are all “bringing something to the party” if you will!  (Below you can find links to others who have RSVP’d.)

The cookbook features reinvented comfort food favorites from acclaimed chefs from all over  the country.  I haven’t seen the book yet, but from the previews I am simply  drooling with anticipation.  The list of contributing chefs read like the program at the James Beard Awards.

I pondered the idea of Made in America, what it means to me, and how I might contribute to the party.  I thought about my favorite comfort foods and the memories they evoke. In the end, I kept coming back to two things:  Apple Pie and Karjalanpiirakat.  

I know, it sounds wild…let me explain….

You see these two recipes most adequately represent the two sides of my family, my background, and my culinary point of view.  First off, the idea of this book so appeals to me because I am quite literally “As American as Apple Pie.”  My mom’s side came over only a few boats after the Mayflower.  They were pilgrims, pioneers, and Revolutionary War heroes.

My passion for food first began with this apple pie.  I used to enter it every year  in the Lake County Fair, and it brought home too many ribbons to count.

View Recipe:  “Grand Champion Apple Pie”

But America wasn’t built only by our first settlers, we grew and thrived through immigration and a patchwork quilt of international influences.  My background  follows a similar path as my Dad’s family came here from Finland.   That’s where my next contribution to the party comes in:  Karjalanpiirakat.

Nope,  don’t even try to pronounce it.

These rice filled rye pastries are a Finnish staple.  They can be enjoyed any time of day with a hearty spread of egg butter.  I will be the first to admit they are a pain in the neck to prepare.  The old Finnish rule of thumb is the rye should be rolled so thin,  if held up to the light you should be able to see “seven churches” through the  paper thin pastry.

View Recipe:  “Karjalanpiirakat”  (Finnish Karelian Pies)

Both of these foods evoke the visceral memories of warmth, togetherness and love.  Comfort food defined.

The apple pie is on the Thanksgiving table every year.  The Karelian pies remind me of summers in Helsinki, chatting around the table with my cousins until the wee hours of the morning.  Oblivious of the time because of the laughter and the bright Midnight Sun.

I hope all of you can check out this new book, explore the pages filled with  similar memories and recipes from some of the nation’s greatest chefs.  Leave a comment here with your favorite comfort food memory or tweet it with the  hashtag  #MadeinAmericaDinner .  I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!  The diversity of our backgrounds and our experiences  is what makes this country and our cuisine so beautiful.

Interested in attending the Made in America launch party?  Read all about it here.  Even better, how about the Made in America weekend coming up October 27-30 at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii!  (I mean, what’s better than celebrating America with our 50th state?)

Finally, if you want to purchase the book, simply follow this link to Amazon.  Lucy is even willing to send you personal signed bookplates if you are interested in an author signed copy.

Follow these links for other participating bloggers and their contributions to the dinner party!

Lucy   http://www.ladlesandjellyspoons.com/http://www.ladlesandjellyspoons.com/2011/10/made-in-america-great-american-dinner-party/

Rachael  http://www.lafujimama.com/http://www.lafujimama.com/2011/10/poached-alaskan-king-crab-salad/

Nicole  http://pinchmysalt.com/

Greg   http://www.sippitysup.com/

Jaden  http://steamykitchen.com/

Maggy  http://threemanycooks.com/

Georgia  http://georgiapellegrini.com/http://georgiapellegrini.com/2011/10/04/blog/made-in-america/

Gaby  http://whatsgabycooking.com/

Marla  http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/www.familyfreshcooking.com/2011/10/04/gluten-free-pumpkin-pie-tart-recipe/

Brooke  http://www.foodwoolf.com/

Michael http://foodforthethoughtless.com/

Nancy  http://www.acommunaltable.com/

Amanda  http://iammommy.typepad.com/i_am_baker/http://www.iammommy.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/10/made-in-america-lucy-lean.html

Amanda   http://www.kevinandamanda.com/

Esi  http://dishingupdelights.blogspot.com/http://dishingupdelights.blogspot.com/2011/10/chocolate-walnut-oatmeal-freezer.html

Carrie   http://deliciouslyorganic.net/http://deliciouslyorganic.net/crawfish-etouffee-made-in-america/

Molly   http://www.organicspark.com/

Aida  http://www.aidamollenkamp.com/http://www.aidamollenkamp.com/2011/10/made-in-america-book-release/

Debbie  http://www.theculinarycellar.com/

The Urban Baker – http://www.theurbanbaker.com/a-traditional-lasagne-recipe-and-dinner-with-lucy-lean/

 

 

4 Responses to “As American As Apple Pie and Karjalanpiirakat”

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