The first recorded celebration of Columbus Day in the United States took place in New York City on October 12, 1792 when a group known as the Columbian Order held a parade to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the landing of Columbus. In 1866, following the start of Italian immigration to the U.S., another parade was held in New York City, this time by the Italians celebrating their link with American history. In 1937 President Franklin Roosevelt proclaims October 12th as Columbus Day. Then in 1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson declares Columbus Day a federal public holiday, to be celebrated on the second Monday in October, rather than on October 12th. The new "Uniform Monday Holiday Act" goes into effect in 1971.
The arrival of Europeans in the Americas was without a doubt one of the most important events in modern history, including food history. Many foods that were native to the Americas were brought to Europe and even more European products were brought back to America. Many Americans, especially Italian-Americans, celebrate Columbus Day with food. In honor of the meal that Christopher Columbus must have eaten on the sail to the Americas, people cook a typical seaman’s dinner. That meal consisted of fish, potatoes, beef, cheese, and a variety of other foods such as rice, dried fruits, and legumes.
"Stuffed Italian Artichokes"
6 medium artichokes
1 1/4 cups of bread crumbs (plain)
1/2 cup of grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
2 teaspoons of minced garlic (fresh or jar)
3/4 Tsp of salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup of olive oil or vegetable oil
Cut off the stem and 1/4 off the top of an artichoke. Then remove some of the outer leaves at the bottom. Use scissors to clip off top of side leaves. (That removes the sticky point on each leaf) Then wash in a deep bowl. Fill a large pot with water and boil. Place the artichokes in the pot carefully and lower heat to medium for about 7 minutes. Fork test bottom of an artichoke for tenderness. If a fork goes in and out easily, they are done. Next drain and run cold water on artichokes let them sit and cool off. While they are cooling down, mix the bread crumbs, parsley, minced garlic, grated cheese, and a sprinkle of salt with pepper. Mix in a little oil with hands. When it feels like a sandy consistency then you are ready to fill. Gently spread the leaves a little apart and sprinkle some of the bread crumb mixture between each of the leaves. Place the now stuffed artichokes in a glass Pyrex baking dish. (7x11x1.5) Drizzle a small amount of oil on top of each artichoke. Put a small amount of water in the bottom of a pan about 1/4 inch deep. Bake for about 25-30 minutes at 350° F. The top should be a little browned and crispy, when they are ready to eat.
Till Next Time…….
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