That would say Mormon culture to me; nobody has asserted, though, that these alleged Mormon foods have spread outside of the parent-to-child transmission. This is a good thread. I want to add a few food items that I think have been overlooked perhaps because they are peculiar to my relatives.
Some of my Utah roots go back to middle Utah, Carbon and Emery county, and for as many generations as this family line existed in the state they have had annual, late summer lamb-fries deep fried cuts of lamb. Back in the old days, my people were sheep herders and they would have mutton-fries because it was more economical to eat the old and decrepit than the young. My relatives now no longer deal in sheep but they still have a lamb slaughtered for the event. To prepare the lamb two dutch ovens are filled with vegetable oil and brought to frying temperature nowadays over gas burners, but in my childhood I remember it being done over fires and the cuts of meat are deep fried everyone of my relatives prefers crispy lamb, or so my grandma asserts.
The meat is seasoned with salt and pepper only.
In a separate fryer homemade scones are also fried and they are eaten with butter and honey. These are the two indispensable units of the lamb-fry. Also, if the lamb-fry is held late enough in August, Green River melons are served in abundance. The final item is nothing special but it was the coolest thing to me as a kid: two coolers full of soda and ice, not Sprite or 7up, but Coca-cola and Pepsi in glass bottles.
These days the soda is canned but I still feel a thrill when I fish through the icy water to get my Coke. This summer my siblings and their spouses and kids are all gathering from various states for the lamb-fry and my newly-married-into-the-family brother-in-law is going to learn the secrets of the lamb-frying in order to carry on the tradition.
Oh, and in case you are wondering what in the world one does with two dutch ovens worth of post-lamb-fry oil, the oil is added to a vat of other oils and rendered fats in order to make home-made soap. Best soap in the world. It is a great read. Yes there was a Mormon Culture Food. Meat loaf, potato salad, ham and beans, rice with whatever, peach cobblers, etc. It really was for me in the first 10 years, but hopefully it is not nowadays for new converts, since President Hinckley tried to emphasize convert retention and new programs make their assimilation easier.
Sure you can separate out fast Sunday and not shopping on Sunday as cultural since they are a behavior, but they are empty and meaningless without the religious basis.
That essay was what motivated me to have surgery so that I could eat food again. The problem with this is that religion IS a cultural element. In addition, your insistence that the culture not have a religious basis is, IMO nonsensical. How can a group united by a religion NOT have a culture with a religious basis? But I should also point out that there are Mormon cultural elements that go beyond things required by religion. We have and entire industry involving hundreds of companies and participants pumping out Mormon products that are sold throughout the U. As Sam B 46 correctly, I think, points out food may not be part of this culture.
But, the culture DOES exist. To get back to food, has anyone seen any attempts to transform these traditional dishes into something more modern? Or to fuse them with the cuisines of other cultures? One thing that I think we sometimes forget is that cultural elements are created all the time.
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Theoretically, such transformed dishes might be unique enough to become if adopted widely among Mormons a true Mormon cuisine. We now eat taco cassorals, talmale pie cassorles, enchilada cassorles. Baking bread was somewhat replaced by a little old Mexica lady who handmade tortillas on a rock near our home. And fewer 10 kid families. Bob, I was more looking for transformations of the actual recipes, instead of changing one menu for another. Or funeral potatoes made with a tomato sauce base instead of cream of whatever soup?
These may sound gross, but then I remember when peanut butter and chocolate together was considered gross by most people. Until you try mixing and transforming things, you never know if it is good or not.
Of course, in the U. Um, well, I guess I am having a hard time following your definition of what is uniquely Mormon culture. They all had college degree and years of workplace experience; they had each come to the decision to be a fulltime mom for various reasons, with a talk by Pres. Benson having no influence whatsoever. I had shared values with these amazing women that were not based on religion.
I simply find the differences between individual Mormons to be far greater than the similarities that unite us. This has nothing to do with my lack of faith or activity. Take your example of fast Sunday. There are wide differences in the patterns of LDS fasting, all of which follow the church guidelines since those guidelines are pretty flexible. In some church units, they have a dinner before the Relief Society general broadcast, because most folks eat dinner Saturday night and fast until Sunday night.
But if the culture takes on a life of its own, it can overshadow the religious practice that is really more important.
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Faith leads to salvation, tasty funeral potatoes do not. I cannot imagine what arrogance would bring you to publish a Mormon cookbook in Portuguese. Why anyone would inflict a cream-of casserole on these people, as if it were preferable to the pressure-cooked range-fed beef that we had at ward dinners? Also, the translation across cultures is not as simple as we often assume. The year I lived there, they really struggled to make sense of the manuals which translated verbatim but not across cultures. We become heirs to the kingdom of God, having joined the body of Christ and spiritually set aside some of our personal differences to unite in a greater spiritual cause.
We say to all who have joined the Church, keep all that is noble, good, and uplifting in your culture and personal identity. Why do we have to add on cultural rules and expectations on top of it? My casserole and jello recipes are from my grandmothers raised their children in the s by way of my mother.
The San Diego ward was a combination of settled families and graduate student families, and included a whole range of ages from just married to senior citizen. The author had some pithy things to say about the post-war American diet and its influence on our rates of heart disease and diabetes and hypertension. I remember how scandalized my mother was about ten years ago when her ward published a Relief Society cookbook and a new brother in the ward — a medical doctor of some sort — stood up in church and told the ward that if they ate like this, they would all be suffering greatly in the years to come from heart disease and other effects of eating this type of diet.
That is a prediction that has sadly enough come true over the past decade. Grasshopper shake, anyone?
The question is how pervasive they are among Mormons and whether or not another culture regional, national, ethnic, etc. I do see something of what you are trying to say. And to a degree I actually agree with you. What we call Mormon Culture in the U. But, it is also true that Mormons have unique cultural elements, and whatever you call them — they are what we mean when we say Mormon culture. It is something that any wise Church leader has to look out for.
Um, that statement is really quite annoying, almost offensive. Apparently it has also been inflicted on Saints around the world, because its been translated into all the major languages of the Church. Not me. Who said that it was simple?
Navajo Tacos are…Navajo. They are made with flour, oil, a bit of baking powder an water then fried. According to my BF, when they got flour on the Rez they made the best use of it that they could. She also fixes peyote bread, which in no way produces any of the same effect as abusing the plant by smoking it. Peyote bread is sacred food to most Navajos, who disdain abuse in any form.
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We may have stumbled onto something that will help all of you as you plan ward activities.