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A Note or Two on Boston Cream Pie
As everyone knows, the Greatest Dessert Ever Invented is the Boston Cream Pie, which isn’t a pie at all but a yellow cake split horizontally, filled with custard, and topped with chocolate. Cake, pudding, chocolate. It doesn’t get much better than that.
This is what I was thinking when I bought a one about the size of a manhole cover at one of those warehouse stores. You know, those places where you can get 5,000 envelopes at what looks like a really good price until you get home and realize 5,000 envelopes is about two lifetimes’ supply.
Anyway, back to dessert: I was halfway through a piece of BCP, as those of us in the know like to call it, when I wondered: This isn’t pie and the cream isn’t cream. Two fibs in one name. Is Boston Cream Pie REALLY from Boston?
Turns out it is.
A quick check of the World Wide Interweb Thingie tells me it was invented by the chef Sanzian for the opening of the Parker House Hotel in 1855.
Wow. Revolution AND dessert. You gotta love Boston.
BCP is the official dessert of the state of Massachusetts. A Boston Cream Pie doughnut (a Berliner with chocolate icing) is the official state doughnut. It also turns out that Massachusetts has an official bean (Boston baked) and muffin (corn), as well as cookie (chocolate chip).
Indiana has an official dessert, sugar cream pie, but we seem to be lagging in the doughnut, bean and muffin departments.
We are REALLY bringing up the rear compared to Oklahoma, which has an entire state meal: Fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas.
My word. That’s a state meal? I’d call it the entire menu. If that’s what they consider a meal out in Oklahokie, those poor folks must be sweating gravy.
This will never happen in Indiana. We’re still fighting about what time it should be. There’s no way we could reach consensus as to the state foods.
I’m pretty sure we’d all agree on tomatoes and sweet corn, but it would all fall apart after that. Take the main course. Some would say it should be the pork tenderloin sandwich, and they’d be right. Others would argue for chicken and noodles, served on a bed of mashed potatoes, and they’d be right, too. And some would say it should be both. Those would be the people who recently moved here from Tulsa.
Dessert’s taken care of, I guess, although I personally don’t care as much for sugar cream pie as I do for black raspberry pie (especially warm, with vanilla ice cream). Persimmon pudding has a nice Hoosier quality about it, too.
Breakfast? There is no state breakfast because there is simply no agreement between the biscuits and gravy people in the south and the mush and headcheese people in the north. How would you compromise? Biscuits and mush?
Amazing, the sort of things that pop into your head while you’re eating a piece of warehouse store Boston Cream Pie. And since I have about 90 percent of the thing left to go, I imagine my imagination’s going to get a workout over the next week or so. Starting with figuring out what I can do with 5,000 envelopes.
© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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