Saturday, October 24, 2015

Boston Marriage Soup

With the change in the weather, slave thought it would be a good time to re-visit its “Boston Marriage Soup”. Just about every food blog will have a recipe for “Italian Wedding Soup”, so it was about time we made our own for marriage equality.
Between the Civil War and about 1910, on the East coast, it was not uncommon for two ladies to live together. Often these were loving relationships. Henry James' “The Bostonians” was about such a couple. In fact, James' sister was in a same sex relationship. These became known as “Boston Marriages”.

This wonderful healthy soup is based on the French classic dish: “cassoulet”. This version features chicken, turkey sausage, tomatoes, beans and spinach. Easy to set up in the slow cooker and a wonderful warming meal after a day's worth of raking leaves.

1 1/2 lbs thin sliced chicken breasts tenderloins
8 oz. Turkey sausage (Andouille) say: ahn-DOO-lee
1 28oz. can diced tomatoes (un-drained)
1 15oz. can navy (cannellini) beans, rinsed & drained
1 1/2 cup water
1 tbs. Herbs de Provence
8 oz. Baby spinach

Wipe out the slow cooker, spray it and cover. Set the heat on low.
Cut the sausages into 1 inch pieces. Cut these on an angle to release the most flavor.

Cut the chicken into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Drain, rinse and re-drain the beans.
If you use dried navy beans: soak them overnight in water with 1 Tbs baking Soda – this will keep them from giving you gas! Rinse before using. You will see the gas bubbles forming on them.

Heat a skillet with 2 Tbs olive oil over medium heat. Lightly brown the chicken pieces, (about 7 – 8 minutes) drain on paper towels and place them in the slow cooker.

Now using the same grease, brown the sausage bits. Stir occasionally for about 7 minutes. You just want the edges to start to brown and the sausage will start to swell. Drain them on paper towels before adding them to the pot.

Next open the can of tomatoes and pour that in on top, juices and all. Then add the drained beans.

Place the tbs of Herbs into the palm of your hand and use your other thumb to grind them as they fall into the pot. This will release more flavor.

Now add 1 1/2 cups water. If you like, you can use 1 cup of chicken broth (not stock) and 1/2 cup water, but it is not necessary for great flavor.

Cover and let cook for 5 – 7 hours on low (or 3 hours on HIGH) With an hour to go on the cooking, add the spinach and stir that in. It will wilt down dramatically.

This final hour gives you plenty of time to set the table, brown some bread or hard rolls in the oven, and do any clean up needed.

So excited to get to serve my Master Indy!

Here is some music to cooking by!


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

Be sure and read slave's articles on LGBT History on the Vital Voice Web Site:

LGBT History Month

One of the most well known “Boston Marriages” was the love affair between Sarah Orne Jewett and Annie Adams Fields.

Sarah Orne Jewett (September 3, 1849 – June 24, 1909) was a novelist, short story writer and poet. She was best known for “local color” works set along or near the southern seacoast of Maine.

Her first big story was published in the Atlantic Monthly when she was just 19. Jewett's reputation grew throughout the 1870s and 1880s. “A White Heron” (1886), (a collection of short stories) is considered to be her finest work.

Jewett never married; but she established a relationship with writer Annie Adams Fields. Jewett and Annie Fields lived together for the rest of Jewett's life. Both women "found friendship, humor, and literary encouragement" in one anothers company, traveling to Europe together and hosting American and European literati in their Boston home.

Annie Adams Fields had been the wife of James Fields, an author and publisher. Annie like to encourage women writers like Jewett, Mary Freeman, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. She even did Stow's biography. When her husband passed in 1881, Annie continued her social reform work and established the Lincoln Street House for unmarried working women.

Fields published poems and short biographies. Annie and Sarah would often write in the same room for hours without talking. The two would then host get together's with some of the greatest writers of the time. Their guests included: Henry James, Alfred Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Mark Twain.

After Sarah suffered a couple of strokes and finally passed away, Annie was devastated. She quickly set about editing all of Sarah's letters to be published. However, the publisher refused without heavily editing all mentions of “love”.
Such was life at the turn of the century.

Annie Adams Fields left an interesting mixed public persona: a genteel lady and wife, the perfect hostess, as well as a tireless reformer. To find the real woman beneath, we only have to look at the life she created with Sarah. It is easy to picture them together now in each others arms encouraging young people today to live and love how you like!

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