Come Celebrate Bastille Day In Piermont

Dated: July 14 2012

Views: 5170

Among other issues causative of The French Revolution, The Storming of The Bastille and the difficulties of life lived during the ensuing years of The First French Republic, food security was a huge issue. Grain shortages with the subsequent increases in grain and bread prices spiking out of control were central to The Revolution as the masses could barely survive and were only holding on by a thread. Prior to The Revolution, the King ordered a book to be published in 1789. My English translation of the title is this: (Treaty on the culture and use of the potato, sweet potato, and jerusalem artichoke) by Antoine-Augustin Parmentier.  

Although The Faculte de Medicine de Paris had approved the potato as a food in the 1770's, the people still had grave doubts. In the forward to (The treaty) Parmentier notes recent bad weather and mediocore harvests had forced people to reconsider the potato- especially since the potato seemed to do well when grain harvests were bad. Mostly about potato cultivation, it had a small section on the cooking of potatoes and on potato bread.

In La Cuisinere Republicaine- attributed to Madame Merigot, you will find two recipes for potato salad and one for potato bread. As follow:

When the potatoes are cooked, cut them up and season them, with oil, vinegar, fines herbes (parsley, chives, tarragon and chevril), salt and pepper:or, instead of oil, butter or cream; eat this salad hot or cold. Another way, with oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, yellow beets and sliced gherkins.    Potato Bread, Those who bake can mix potatoes in their bread, half or even more. Crush the potatoes still warm with a rolling pin, then mix with the dough and knead together.

Food security world wide and especially in third world countries and nations devestated by civil war has gotten to be of truly epic proportions. It seems that not much has changed from one Revolution to the next. And with the dust bowl of America getting dustier day by day- with only about 3/4 to 1 inch of real rain falling there since April, grain and corn and other crops are failing. The only choice farmers have is to access their insurance policies to get the monies they need (from the dying crops) to use to plant other crops  and basically- hope for rain. 

It seems that with The Global Warming Pattern we have created due to our ever expanding carbon footprint and our disgraceful habit of  using and abusing our shrinking supply of fossil fuels among other issues,  we might have to rethink the entire color wheel and really go green! And we just might have to rethink the humble potato.

As I write, Bastille Day is being celebrated in Piermont, New York up and down Main Street with the main drag  closed off to traffic. Bring some cash, some sun block and your kids- no dogs please. Sit down at the communal tables on the street with food from some of the best restaurants in Piermont and rub elbows with friends, neighbors and strangers. Remember- a stranger is a friend you've never met, some one who might just become your friend or neightbor. Eat your way through the day! The stores are all open and some of them are having sales going on. So from noon until 10:00PM tonight celebrate Bastille Day. There is a carnivale in town at Fly Wheel Park and... there will be fireworks after dark! Enjoy!

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Kacy Coyle Dow

Growing up in Rockland County and being a 3rd generation realtor, it was important for me to continue the "Coyle & Coyle" family tradition of real estate. I understand the importance of professionali....

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