Friday, March 25, 2011

Illinois State Dinner


Chicago-style deep dish pizza
watermelon
Cracker Jack

Pizza is always a hit! Chicago-style pizza was invented at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago in 1943. We made ours with sweet Italian sausage and pepperoni. I didn't have a 15-inch deep dish pizza pan so I made it in two of my cast iron pans. It turned out great. I used a 10-inch pan and an 8-inch pan. I always like to serve a fruit or vegetable with pizza so we choose watermelon. Watermelon certainly isn't peculiar to Illinois but it is popular throughout the whole Mississippi Valley area. Cracker Jack was first introduced to the public at the World's Columbian Exposition (more commonly called the Chicago World's Fair) in 1893--most likely America's first junk food. Although consisting of peanuts, popcorn, and molasses, it is probably healthier than most of today's junk food! The Chicago World's Fair popularized many new things: electric lighting, motion pictures, elongated coins (I collect these every where we go!), the Ferris Wheel, Quaker Oats, Juicy Fruit gum, ragtime music, even spray paint!

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