This episode we spoke with Megan Birk about the history of "Poor Farms" in the US.
- Follow us on Twitter at @FoodThoughtPod, and you can drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood on Gmail. Leave us a review! It helps people find the show.
- Megan Birk is an Associate Professor of History at UTRGV.
- Megan has written the book Fostering on the Farm: Child Placement in the Rural Midwest, and her new book is The Fundamental Institution: Poverty, Social Welfare, and Agriculture in Poor Farms which is under contract at University of Illinois Press.
- The main article about Poor Farms which we discussed in the interview was The better the farm, the better the food: institutional diet, agricultural practices, and nutrition in U.S. almshouses
- Megan shared a recipe for Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (!) Here's what she has to say about it:
"This is a cake that my mom used to make regularly when I was a kid, and I make it for friends, family, and holidays because it's delicious and people love it. It's also very Midwestern to use mayonnaise as a shortcut in baking
Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
1 and a half cups white sugar
1 and a half cups mayo (do not use miracle whip)
4 TBS baking coco
---- mix together
3 cups cake flour
3 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
----- add these to mix above
1 and a half cups warm water
2 tsp vanilla
----- add to above and mix ---- the mixture will be pretty loose (or runny) that's ok
I grease and flour a cake pan before pouring in the mix and baking at 350 degrees for 25-30 on the top rack
Frost with whatever you're into, I don't make my own frosting because I hate the texture of powdered sugar on my hands (I know I'm a weirdo) "
- The intro and outro music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which is both a great traditional song and a good thing to try before baking Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. It was performed and shared by The Dan River Ramblers under a Creative Commons license.