A Beautiful Glittering Lie: A Novel of the Civil War by J.D.R. Hawkins
indieBRAG Food Blogger
So many of the original Southern cities were close to the coast, where fish or other seafood was plentiful. They were often added to chowder for a fabulous, rich flavor. As the war between the North and South progressed, the Confederate troops suffered greatly as supplies were cut off. The basic foods were hard to come by.
This chowder can be made from corn and potatoes without seafood or fish and is equally delicious. For troops near farms, potatoes and corn, onions and celery would have been available, as would have milk or cream. Bacon was a stock item for both armies and would have been available except when supplies were extremely scarce. Stock was made from scraps of vegetables, saved from other meal preparation.
Wine was a treat, but we can think of making this recipe or receipt, as recipes were called through the 19th century, in 1861 when ingredients still would have been stocked—certainly for the officers. Recipes for stock and chowder have been found among recipes of the era. For our modern cooks, the base of the soup can be made and frozen. Defrost and add seafood or fish of choice. For fewer calories, use milk of choice.
Southern Seafood Chowder
from Lisa Rovick and Susan Weintrob, everydayhappyfoods
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 strips bacon, julienned
¾ cups onions, small dice
¾ cups celery, small dice
½ cup flour
¾ cup white wine
3 cups stock, fish or vegetable
1 cup potatoes, medium dice
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
3 cups heavy cream
1 pound variety fresh uncooked seafood such as shrimp, mahi, grouper, salmon or tuna, small chunks
- Heat large pot on high heat. Add oil and bacon. Cook until most of fat has rendered out.
- Add onions and celery. Cook until translucent.
- Sprinkle flour on top of mixture. Stir constantly until mixture looks dry.
- Add wine and stock. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
- Add potatoes and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
- Cook until potatoes are soft. Add parsley and heavy cream.
- Cook over medium heat and then taste for seasoning and add seafood. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve.
Vegan/ Vegetarian: Omit bacon and use an additional ½ cup of onion. Use a vegetable stock. Substitute a soy creamer for heavy cream. Substitute 1 pound of potatoes and 1½ cups corn for seafood.
Dairy Free: Substitute a soy creamer for heavy cream.
Gluten Free: Use gluten free flour.
Allium Free: Substitute ¾ cup fennel, small dice, for onion.
Kosher: Omit bacon and use an additional ½ cup of onion. Use vegetable stock and kosher fish.
A Beautiful Glittering Lie By J.D. Hawkins
In the spring of 1861, a country once united is fractured by war. Half of America fights for the Confederate cause; the other, for unification. Rebel forces have already seized Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, a new Confederate president has been elected, and the Constitution has been revised. In north Alabama, a farmer and father of three decides to enlist. For Hiram Summers, it is the end of everything he has ever known.
After Hiram travels to Virginia with the Fourth Alabama Infantry Regiment, he is quickly thrust into combat. His son, David, who must stay behind, searches for adventure at home by traipsing to Huntsville with his best friend, Jake Kimball, to scrutinize invading Yankees. Meanwhile, Caroline – Hiram’s wife and David’s mother – struggles to keep up with the farm as her world revolves around the letters she receives from her husband, whom she misses dearly. As Hiram and his son discover the true meaning of war, they soon realize that their choices have torn their family apart.
In this historical tale, the naïveté of a young country is tested, a father sacrifices everything to defend his home, and a young man longs for adventure – regardless of the perilous cost.