Farm - The Saint Report
Starving Rocks and Eating Burgoo
Chase's Calendar of Events says that today, October 9, 2005, (annually the Sunday before the monday of Columbus Day observance) is the day Utica, Illinois, celebrates its annual
Burgoo Festival. This event, which draws a surprising (to me anyway) 30,000, is the major fundraiser for the LaSalle County Museum and Historical Society. Burgoo is some sort of pioneer meat stew that is cooked over an open fire long enough to guarantee that all food value has been lost and only the calories, sodium, and fat are left. This concoction is apparently a big enough draw that Utica's is not the only Burgoo Festival. In fact, there are so many of these things that I wonder why I haven't heard of burgoo before.
Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Denis, Saint Rusticus and Saint Eleutherius, and Saint John Leonardi.
Celebrating birthdays today: Scott Bakula (1955), Jackson Browne (1950).
Born today, not celebrating: John Lennon (October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980). Too young.
While researching this event, I ran across another Utica area attraction: Starved Rock State Park. You have to wade through a whole lot of stuff on that page before you find the origin of the name:
Starved Rock State Park derives its name from a Native American legend of injustice and retribution. In the 1760s, Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa tribe upriver from here, was slain by an Illiniwek while attending a tribal council in southern Illinois. According to the legend, during one of the battles that subsequently occurred to avenge his killing, a band of Illiniwek, under attack by a band of Potawatomi (allies of the Ottawa), sought refuge atop a 125-foot sandstone butte. The Ottawa and Potawatomi surrounded the bluff and held their ground until the hapless Illiniwek died of starvation- giving rise to the name “Starved Rock.”
So where did the name "burgoo" come from? Here's an interesting page that covers that question among others.
And here's a recipe. I wonder what they mean by "a long time?" What's the magic ingredient that prevents spoilage? Or does it just seem to keep because who really knows what a mixture of lamb, beef, and chicken is supposed to taste like, fresh or kept "a long time?"
2 lbs. beef, cubed
1/2 lb. lamb, cubed
1 frying chicken, cut up
4 qts. water
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper to taste
2 cups diced potatoes
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups lima beans
4 carrots, diced
2 green peppers, diced
3 cups corn (fresh, if possible)
2 cups okra, diced
6 cups tomatoes
1/2 tsp. garlic
1 cup minced parsley
Put the beef, soup bone, lamb, chicken, water, salt, pepper, and red pepper in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Remove the chicken skin and bones and cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Return meat to pot. Add potatoes, onions, lima beans, carrots, green peppers, and corn. Simmer two hours. Mixture will be thick but should not stick. Add water sparingly, if necessary. Add okra, tomatoes, and garlic and simmer 11/2 hours longer. Add parsley and remove from stove. This soup will keep in refrigerator for a long time. The flavor improves with standing. Serves 10.
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