Saturday, June 5, 2021

Strange recipes, including sheep sorrel pie

Here's a fun clipping from Wayne Guthrie's "Ringside in Hoosierland" column in the October 18, 1948, edition of The Indianpolis News.
As you can see, it contains references to sheep sorrel pie, pumpkin-blossom pie, sugar pie, eggplant and salted carp slung over the fence. 

I was very pleased to discover that sheep sorrel pie does not contain any sheep. Sheep sorrel is one of the names for Rumex acetosella. Apparently the taste of the leaves is not too far removed from lemon. Dusty Old Thing, which has a recipe for the pie, notes: "Citrus fruit was hard to get in the U.S. and lemon pie was an extremely popular dessert. The pioneers used the herb, sheep sorrel, to flavor their pies and the taste is supposedly very close to lemon pie. But, we’ve heard it does take a fair bit of sheep sorrel to get the flavor."

Another recipe for sheep sorrel pie can be found at The Oklahoman

Columnist Wayne Guthrie (1896-1977) is a member of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. His career included covering multiple atomic test explosions, including two at Bikini Atoll in 1946. In the years afterward, he gave more than 800 speeches to groups interested in hearing about what he witnessed. (Learn more at the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame website.)

As for "Ringside in Hoosierland," the Indiana Historical Society notes that the longtime column "dealt with Indiana and its folklore and history: how places got their names, how long people had been doing their jobs, how to make things like vinegar pie. There was a good deal of reader response; sometimes this produced material for future columns; sometimes it turned into a campaign. Two successful campaigns resulted in naming a state park after Col. Richard Lieber and changing the name of the Indianapolis baseball park from Victory Field to Bush Stadium. An unsuccessful campaign in the 1950s tried to rename 38th Street in Indianapolis after General Douglas MacArthur."

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