AMAZING GRAZING~~~~Beer Cheese Soup


A tuckedaway corner

I took my second cuppa out to this little corner of my back yard this morning, recipe folder in hand trying to think of something for dinner. This recipe for “BEER CHEESE SOUP—COBURG INN” fell out, making me wonder where I had originally found it at least 45 years ago. I made it often in the cold, rainy days in Seattle, Washington, along with good solid rustic bread and a crisp green salad, but it has remained hidden in the mess of clippings and scribbled notes till it hit the ground today.

Coming in to my computer, I Googled “Coburg Inn, and found that the recipe came from the Coburg Inn in Coburg, Oregon near Eugene, in 1877. But the really exciting thing for me is that a good friend of ours is from Coburg, Germany. I don’t think he knows about beer Cheese Soup, but I will make it for him. He is more of a sausage and kraut man, but I think he will like this one. It’s rather touching to see place names given to remind people of former homes. Of course we see that all over the States since everyone has come from somewhere else.

Coburg, Germany has an impressive history as the birthplace of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who married Queen Victoria of England. (It is not known if they ever ate Beer Cheese soup.)

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Ehrenburg palace, Coburg

Our friend Bill and his twin brother were twelve years old when the war ended, and the Americans marched through town. They were enthralled with the chocolate bars and conviviality of the American soldiers, and at the age of twenty they sailed for the “New World” with twenty hard earned dollars between them. For many years they made an annual migration back to Germany for the Octoberfest celebration in Munich, and of course, a trip down memory lane to Coburg.

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Schloss rosenau, 1900 Coburg

BEER CHEESE SOUP, COBURG INN

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup 1/8″ diced celery
1/2 cup 1/8″ ” onion (Trader Joe’s has cartons of Mirepois, which saves the chopping)
1/2 cup 1/8″ ” carrot
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 pints chicken stock (5 cups)
2 Tbs. parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
6 oz. grated cheddar cheese
12 oz bottle beer
salt and pepper to taste

Saute vegetables until done, but not browned. Blend in flour, dry mustard and chicken stock; cook 5 min. Blend in cheddar cheese and beer. Let simmer 10 mins. Season and serve.

This recipe for JALAPENO CORN BREAD fell would go well with the soup.

JALAPENO CORN BREAD

2 cups yellow corn meal
2 cups cream-style corn
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cubes melted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1/4-1/2 cup drained, canned green chilies
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp baking soda

Mix it all together
Melt 1 Tbs butter in each of 2 cast-iron or some other heavy baking pans. Divide the batter between. Bake for about 45 min Serves 10

THE GENERAL AND THE MADAM


kearny

Stephen Watts Kearny was promoted to Brigadier General when the Mexican-American War broke out. He had been serving as military governor in California for a few months, but upon his promotion he gathered a force of 2,500 men and led them from Fort Leavenworth in the Kansas territory to the town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kearny was a handsome,serious and youthful 52 years old at the time. He had been well-liked during his governorship, and Kearny Street in San Francisco was named for him.

The Mexican soldiers stationed in Santa Fe scattered when they heard he was coming leaving Kearny to take control of the territory. He appointed Charles Bent, an American trader living in Taos, as governor, and left for California with 300 men. He left 800 soldiers in Santa Few and sent another 800 to capture El Paso

However there was a minor problem. The payroll for the U.S. soldiers was late in arriving in Santa fe, and the soldiers weren’t getting paid.

At the same time, there was in Santa Fe a successful madam, who ran a gambling house that the American soldiers patronized. Maria Gertrudis Barcelo realized that Santa Fe under the Americans would be very good for her business.

madam 2

Her saloon, with sparkling crystal chandeliers and floors covered with European carpets, was described as running the length of a block in the center of town. Barcelo, known as La Tules, was very good at gambling. According to reports, she was always richly dressed and covered with jewelry. Some said she was beautiful, others reported that she was not so good looking, but everyone agreed there was no one better at the card game monte than she was, dealing night after night often until dawn.

She was well-known and politically connected in Santa Fe, and it was said that Kearny gave her a military escort to the Victory Ball at La Fonda Hotel. It was also said that she was the one who persuaded the Mexican governor of Santa Fe to leave and let the Americans take over the place.

When La Tules heard that the American soldiers weren’t getting paid, she lent the U.S. Army the money to take care of the payroll.

Because she heard gossip in her saloon by highly placed political figures of every make, she could also pass valuable information on to the U.S. Army. In December, 1846, she warned the Army of a Mexican-Indian conspiracy that threatened the Americans.

La Tules died a very wealthy woman and left a good part of her fortune to the church, ensuring an impressive funeral presided over by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy, whom you will remember from Willa Cather’s fine book “Death Comes To the Archbishop.”

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A few years later, in the 1960’s, Dr. Advice with a group of colleagues, stayed at the La Fonda for two or three weeks. Twenty years later, on another visit to Santa Fe, he asked if the owner was still living, and was assured that she was on the premises and would be glad to see him. A very elderly lady emerged from the back office, and after being introduced she smiled and said “Oh you’re part of those troublemakers who stayed here twenty years ago! Of course I remember you.” She graciously paid our room tab and supplied a delicious dinner. The La Fonda is still a fine historic hotel in the middle of the Plaza. I never found out exactly what that group of youngish “troublemakers’ had done to warrant her remembrance.