Moonshine and Marmalade
Long before Michael Pollan wrote the The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Raymond A. Sokolov penned Fading Feast: A Compendium of Disappearing American Regional Foods in 1983. The book is a collection of articles he wrote as a columnist for the Natural History magazine starting in 1979 that stemmed from his concern for the disappearance of regional foods across the U.S.
The book has been reprinted and updated, but the original gist was groundbreaking – commercialization of foods was destroying regional foods and practices. This is the tune Slow Food and Slow Food USA have played along with a chorus of concerned people across the country who have embraced and tried to hold onto local agriculture and food production.
We recommend you get yourself a copy because you will learn a lot. For example we had no idea Indiana is home to some amazing local persimmons, or that wild rice in Minnesota used to be collected in a canoe with two sticks (now most wild rice is machine harvested) or that Michigan is famous for their morel mushrooms.
To keep this brief and to explain the title, we are in the midst of reading about the moonshine tradition in Virgina. Each chapter ends with recipes so as marmalade makers we just had to share with you the recipe for the Plantation Special cocktail.
Of course you are supposed to use illegal home-made hooch from corn cooked up in the deep woods, but bourbon, the sophisticated younger brother of white lightening will do. You can also buy legal moonshine from Ole Smokey or Troy and Sons. Keeping in mind nutmeg is a hallucinogen, we don’t recommend you knock too many of these back unless you feel like tripping.
1/2 heaping teaspoon of marmalade
2 oz of white lightening
1. Dissolve the marmalade and a dash of nutmeg in a little water
2. Add the booze, more nutmeg and ice and shake well
3 Serve in an old fashioned glass with another dash of nutmeg on top