Sunday, September 23, 2012

In Recognition of Hershel Greene: Pine Bark Stew

Hershel Greene, a wise older veterinarian, first met the Atlanta Survivor Group when Rick arrived carrying a gravely injured Carl. Hershel willingly aided Carl and allowed the Group to form a makeshift camp on his farm.
Although he was polite to his guests, his position of not letting them get too comfortable remained clear. Upon Carl's recovery and Sophia's return, he wanted them to leave. He did not even want his daughters to talk to the Group and preferred everyone to keep their distance. Hershel also insisted that the Group remain unarmed while on his land.
The reason for Hershel's stand-offish behavior became all too clear. He had been keeping his infected wife, stepson and neighbors locked in his barn. He believed that just as with past plagues, a cure would be developed.
When he learned the truth, he was devastated. But his daughters still needed him desperately so Hershel soon rallied. Though he had seemed stubborn and unyielding, Hershel soon proved how adaptable he really was. He quickly regained his wits after the bodies of his late wife and stepson were destroyed. 
He also realized that if his family were to survive, the Group had to move into the homestead. The old world was gone and there was strength in numbers. The Greene farm that has stood for 160 years had to adapt or it would fall.
It is in recognition of Hershel Greene and his steadfast ways that the WDSCB presents Pine Bark Stew. Popular in Georgia since the 18th century, Pine Bark Stew was likely named for the small tender roots of the pine tree that were originally used to season the dish. Though it may appear uninteresting, the depth of flavor will surprise. Much like Hershel Greene there is more here than meets the eye.

Pine Bark Stew

1 medium onion, diced
3-4 medium potatoes (red or gold), diced but not peeled
2 packages Smoked Salmon (Chicken of the Sea)
2 cups of water or fish stock
1-14.5 oz. can of Diced Tomatoes, undrained 
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

In a large Dutch oven, or soup pot, warm a tablespoon of oil or shortening over medium-low heat or coals. Add onions and cook, stirring often until softened (about 5 minutes). Add potatoes and cook lightly for another 5 minutes. Season with the cayenne, thyme, salt and black pepper. 

Stir in fish stock. Cover and simmer lightly for  10-15 minutes more or until potatoes are soft but not crumbling. Stir in diced tomatoes. Carefully add smoked salmon and stir gently to combine; breaking up fish into smaller bites (but not allowing it to disintegrate into tiny flakes).

Simmer just enough to heat thorough (the fish is already "cooked" by the smoking process). Serve immediately.

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