Delaware - The First State
Alternate Nickname “The Blue Hen State”
Suggested Nickname “The Scrapple State”
Two Truths and a Lie
Delaware is home to 60% of the nation’s Fortune 500 companies. Some sites claim this is because the state has a respected business court, a good location between DC and NY, and low tax rates. Others say the state essentially functions as an onshore tax haven.
Delaware may be the second smallest state in the nation, but it leads the nation in devoting land to state parks. More than one million acres of forests and coastline are preserved within the state park system, which is 16.9% of the state’s total area.
Delaware’s northern border with Pennsylvania is an imperfect arch. This originated in 1680 when the Duke of York blocked William Penn’s efforts to extend Pennsylvania’s territory to the sea. The Duke decreed that all land within a 12-mile circle of New Castle was a new colony named for Lord De La Warr. The decree failed to specify the center of the 12-mile circle, and colonial surveyors could not mark a precise curve. So, the decree has led to disputes and litigation ever since, most recently in 2007 with New Jersey.
The Recipe - Peachy Keen Ice Cream Sandwiches
The peach blossom became the official state flower in 1895, thanks to decades of profitable peach propagation. In the nineteenth century, Delawarian orchards cultivated more than 800,000 peach trees. Sadly, the twentieth century brought the Yellow Peach virus which destroyed all but three commercial orchards. So from a producing standpoint, Delaware is no longer a peach state, but the fruit is still celebrated in town festivals and as part of the official state dessert, peach pie.
My favorite way to eat peaches is in a sundae. I quarter and pit peaches and grill until they have lovely marks on each side. I let them cool for a minute while I scoop vanilla ice cream. I peel off the peach skin and add it to the ice cream. If I’m feeling extra fancy (and I usually am), I add a dash of bitters and a sprinkle of sea salt. It’s the perfect summer dessert - but it’s not a cookie. Happily, this sundae reminded me of a quote by our nation’s most prominent Delawarean, “My name is Joe Biden, and I like ice cream.”
Ice cream sandwiches often have thin chocolate wafers, but I followed Bon Appetit’s advice and paired peaches with sesame. I made a cookie dough with rolled oats, cinnamon, and tahini and baked two large slabs instead of individual cookies. As the cookies cooled I grilled, skinned, and pureed peaches. The mixture was a tad watery so I reduced it with a cinnamon stick and a bit of lemon zest. I let the puree cool and a pint of vanilla ice cream soften before marbling them atop a cookie slab. I topped the giant sandwich and let it freeze solid before slicing.
I loved all these flavors together. Next time I’ll roll my cookie dough even thinner and improve the ice cream-to-cookie ratio, but my first attempt was a tasty tribute to the first state.
Want to experience Delaware for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
This post has taught me how much I don’t know about Delaware. I have never visited and was surprised to learn it's the setting for Fight Club. I haven’t seen that film since 2003, but I remember being captivated by it during a midnight showing at a cult movie house.
Time for the whole truth
Hawaii leads the nation in percentage of parkland at 9.41%. Delaware is in 16th place at 1.69%. Kansas is 50th with just 0.06% of land in state parks and no national parks.
(By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)