Beef Tartare

Often one grows up not fully realizing that some of the things one ate with some regularity might be considered delicacies by others, and even served in the finest, high-dollar restaurants at ridiculously, high prices! Imagine my surprise when I found myself sitting at a sidewalk café in Paris realizing that the 25-dollar dish I…

Prunella Cake

I thought about this cake the other day and remembered how much I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t expecting the interesting history I would uncover when I looked into it. My mother loved this cake and baked it often. It must have been the rage in the mid-‘60s and perhaps through the mid-‘70s, but not…

Lemon-Pineapple Jell-O Salad

Jell-O, once the favorite congealed dessert of Americans has fallen from grace despite all its savory applications. Yet, few foods can tell us more about life in 20th-century American living than the wobbling jewel of domestic achievement: the Jell-O salad. Some gourmet experts would prefer that it be permanently assigned to the Gallery of Regrettable…

Peach Ice Cream

The first official account of ice cream in the American colonies was noted in a letter in 1744. The first advertisement for ice cream appeared in the New York Gazette in 1777. George Washington spent $200 for ice cream during the summer of 1790. (That is more than $7,000 in today’s dollars!) Also, that must have been…

Okra Gumbo

Perhaps some of you planted a garden after the hard freeze we experienced at the beginning of February, did you plant any okra? Okra is generally planted 2 or 3 weeks after all danger of frost has passed, which would have been about late April or early May. The plant requires at least 3 months…

Sweet Tomatoes (Old Fashioned Stewed Tomatoes)

Every so often my mother served a bowl of hot stewed sweet tomatoes for dinner. (Our ‘dinner’ was what we call ‘lunch’ today and today’s dinner was called ‘supper’.) I remember the sweetness of this tomato dish, the soggy toasted bread, and the aroma of cinnamon. I haven’t eaten it in decades, and I would…

PEACH HONEY

By Mark Wieser My Mom’s brothers and sisters had some strange names now that I think about it. There was one brother we called “Connie”, which obviously came from his given name of Conrad. Then there was a sister whose name was Emily, but somehow acquired the name “Nutzie” (noot-sy) for reasons unknown to all….

Scalloped Potato Casserole

By Mark Wieser As much as I like to eat and have prepared a few meals, I really am not a cook. I would rather partake, and like most children I grew up having a mom who I thought was a pretty good cook. I only mention this because my interest in cooking first dawned…

Agarita Jelly

By Mark Wieser It is approaching the 1st of May so if you are among the fortunate who live in the country you might have shrubs that have leaves much like holly. If you are a rancher, you most likely wished you didn’t have them at all. These are Agaritas. Many call them algeritas or…

Milk Soup

By Mark Wieser Milk soup is one of the oldest, basic foods consumed among farmers from the around the world, however, I cannot ever recall having it. My niece, Jenny, however, remembers it well. Seems that when she or one of her siblings were feeling ill, Mrs. J. Hardin Perry always brought some over. I…

Branded Fruit Topping

By Mark Wieser Sometime in the mid-60s keeping a jar of fermenting fruits on one’s kitchen countertop became the rage. It was so easy to place a heaping spoonful or two of this topping over a mound of vanilla ice cream or to drizzle it over a freshly baked slice of pound cake. It added sweetness,…