I think it is about time that I put up the recipe for hodge podge. (Side note: the spell checker does not recognize the word “podge” and wants to auto correct it to “podgy”)
You can Google it. On Wikipedia it says that it is a mutton soup. But then it goes on to give the following definition, which is in my opinion the correct one!
In Nova Scotia, it is a particular stew prepared in August consisting of new baby vegetables (potatoes, carrots, and beans notably). The vegetables are boiled in enough water to cover them and when the baby potatoes are soft; heavy cream, butter and salt/pepper are added. Locally, the addition of meat or older vegetables would be considered blasphemy to the tradition.
After reading this you could add that it is not only Nova Scotia but a Maritime tradition. I did laugh at the last line saying that it would be blasphemy to add old vegetables and meat. It is pretty true. Only new veggies should be used or else it doesn’t taste the same and it obviously isn’t as fresh.
Now to the meat situation. You wouldn’t put meat in it, but can serve it as a side dish. Usually one would serve hamburg or steak or pork chops. Let me tell you a story that just happened today. My parents were going to cook hodge podge for supper, which is great for me. When they started to talk about what else to have with it my Dad mentioned one of the chickens (that my brother raised). Then there was conflict because you don’t have a whole chicken with hodge podge, you have it with potatoes and dressing and gravy and the like. In the end we did end up having hodge podge with the chicken along with my Dad’s awesome gravy and dressing, and beets and beet greens. My Mom wanted me to be sure to tell you that everything that was on our plate was grown in NB (veggies – parents garden, chicken – my brother’s place, and in the dressing was summer savoury from NB).
For dessert there is apple crisp. The apples and the oats used to make it are both from NB too.
If you haven’t made hodge podge before, now is the time to make it. If you don’t have a garden with the ingredients head to your local market and get them while they are still fresh and in season.
Fresh New potatoes
Fresh carrots (smaller ones are best to put in the whole carrot – shouldn’t need to chop them up)
Fresh Green and Yellow Beans
Fresh Peas (shell peas)
Salt to taste
1. Wash all veggies and put them together in a pot (yes, all of them in the same pot!). Boil until potatoes are tender or to your liking.
2. Drain water from veggies. In the pot (or large bowl) pour milk in to cover the veggies about 1/2 way.
3. Put in a few spoonfuls of butter (you can be generous, it’s ok). Add salt to taste.
4. Mix gently until butter is melted in.
5. Dish onto plate and enjoy.
Some people like to dish it with a spoon with holes in it so they don’t get so much milk on their plate, but we prefer to use a spoon without holes and get the milk with it. It is really tasty. I hope that your mouth is watering and that before the month is over you will visit the market and make a wonderful supper of hodge podge.
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