The first two were quick reads since they were basically postcards/photos with captions. They were from the more recent past, so it was cool to see what's changed and what remains. The third book, however, was published in 1872, so it contained some really old history, beginning with the Native Americans who lived in the area before the first European settlers arrived in 1713 (Samuel Whitaker Pennypacker, Annals of Phoenixville and Its Vicinity, p. 7). It was a really interesting read, but I didn't find any food mentioned that could be considered distinctly "Phoenixville." So I started thinking about the kind of food we currently have in town. A few restaurants (like Thai L'Elephant and the Great American Pub) offer vegan dishes, so that's neat. However, the most common food is probably pizza, as there's a bunch of pizza shops on both Bridge Street and Nutt Road. (We've gotten pizza from Franco's, since they have Daiya cheese for vegan pizzas.) Pizza certainly isn't unique to Phoenixville, but an idea was forming... What about combining the past & the present? I could take pizza – a currently ubiquitous food in town – and top it with ingredients from Polish cuisine, since Polish immigrants came to Phoenixville in the early 20th century (Vincent Martino Jr., Around Phoenixville, p. 8). There's also a pretty cool link between Phoenixville and Poland's capital: Warsaw is nicknamed by some as the "Phoenix City" for all that it has endured throughout the years. How cool is that!
For my Polish pizza, I put thinly-sliced red potatoes on the dough, baked it for a bit, then added on sautéed onions, kielbasa, and sauerkraut (I'd also planned to add mushrooms, but they'd gotten funky, so I passed on that, lol!), baked it a bit more, and sprinkled on salt and pepper.
Last but not least, I added a bit of the distant past, serving my Polish pizza with apple cider, since "Between the years 1760 and 1824 apples were very abundant; a cider press could be found upon almost every farm for the manufacture of cider, of which vast quantities were consumed at home; and a beverage was also distilled from the fruit to be sold" (Pennypacker, p. 181).
All in all, it turned out pretty good for a first attempt. Next time, I'll use more onions and a bit more sauerkraut, add mushrooms, and try to bake the potatoes separately so they get crispy.
P.S. Here are some awesome things in Phoenixville...
|The Schuylkill River Trail (July 2015).|
|The French Creek (October 2014).|
|One of many murals (December 2013).|
|And, of course, the Firebird Festival (December 2013).|
Buttons & Leela like living in Phoenixville, too.
|"My favorite thing is the nice warm breeze."|
|"My favorite thing is the sunshine."|