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Sweet and Sour Pork by Anne Benson Poor

I just posted my own extraordinary rendition of this recipe as Sweet and Sour Pork Chops II. This blog post is sort of an addendum to it.

It came from page 97 of the classic American community-written cookbook Forum Feasts, 1973 edition, 1980 printing. A 1997 edition of this book has ISBN 9780960677818 and its description mentions that it was "Inducted into the Walter S. McIlhenny Community Cookbook Hall of Fame with more than 300,000 copies sold." Further notes read, "The Forum Feasts cookbook originated in 1968 as a fundraiser for The Forum School. This day school for autistic & other developmentally disabled children continues to directly benefit from the sales of this wonderful book."

The original list of ingredients is,

  • two (2) tablespoons bacon fat
  • one and one half (1½) pounds lean pork strips
  • one (1) "#2" can of pineapple chunks
  • one half (½) cup water
  • one third (⅓) cup cider vinegar
  • one fourth (¼) cup brown sugar
  • two (2) tablespoons cornstarch
  • one half (½) teaspoon salt
  • one (1) tablespoon soy sauce
  • three quarters (¾) of a cup thinly sliced green pepper
  • one half (½) cup thinly sliced onion

The descriptive quote about the recipe is "A great party meal served in a chafing dish. Easily multiplied."

The original recipe is signed "Mrs. Richard W. Poor, Ridgewood" reflecting a 20th century custom for a woman to go by her husband's name. It seems likely that the author's full name was Anne Benson Poor because the following obituary appeared dated September 7, 2004 in the New York Times (link):

POOR--Anne Benson, 87, of Pine Knoll Shores, NC, formerly of Ridgewood, NJ, died Saturday, September 4, 2004, at Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City, NC. Mrs. Poor spent most of her life in Ridgewood, NJ and was a member of the Westside Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood. She was the benefactor and supporter of the Forum School in Wyckoff, NJ. The family will have a private memorial service at a later date. She is survived by her son, Timothy Poor and his wife Teresa of Pine Knoll Shores, NC; four grandchildren, Lauren and Diana Poor of Pine Knoll Shores, NC, and Tara VanNostand and Stephen Breitenbach, both of Long Island, NY; and also three great - grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard W. Poor, and a daughter, Susan P. Breitenbach. Munden Funeral Home, Morehead City, NC.

The preceding obituary is reproduced here as fair use for scholarship and research under United States copyright law.

I poured a libation upon the ground from my 40℥ in memory of our dear departed sistah. Rest in peace and thank you for your recipe and everything else.

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