Rigo Jancsi (Hungarian Chocolate Torte)

by Heather Harris Brady This is the story of a cake, a gypsy and a badass Michigan heiress named Clara Ward. It was right around this time of year, in 1896, when Clara left her prince for the gypsy violinist Rigo Jancsi. Clara, heiress to a lumber and mining fortune (with ties to Ludington, Leland…

Sandwich Bread – Pain de mie in a Pullman Pan

by Heather Harris Brady Hold on to your seats kids because we’re going to cover a lot of ground today! We’re talking about Pullman bread and the tangzhong method with a dash of history to spice things up. Let’s start with the Pullman pan first. Pullman pans were not the first of their kind, the…

Lebkuchen (Gingerbread Cookies)

by Heather Harris Brady These cookies have been on my “to-do” baking list for a long time, for many reasons. My grandmother’s family left Bavaria for this country in 1752, and I like to think of my Shaull ancestors having these cookies at the holidays. Also, they’re so interesting from the standpoint of culinary history….

Cudighi, the Ultimate Pizza Sub

by Heather Harris Brady I’ve lived in Michigan all my life, the wrong parts apparently, because I’d never heard of cudighi until last week when I came across it in its natural habitat – the wilds of Ishpeming in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Ishpeming is in the heart of U.P. mining country, with its long winters…

Spoonbread

by Heather Harris Brady I imagine there are lots of people who would argue that there are few foods more American than spoonbread. “George Washington ate it, it was one of Jefferson’s favorites!” I, however, would argue that spoonbread is really just a lush, well-preserved duchess in a long noble line of cornmeal-based cookery. Polenta…

Malakoff Torte

by Heather Harris Brady Legend has it this torte came about during the days of the Crimean War, when someone wanted to celebrate a victory but didn’t have time or means to bake anything. Even if you’re battling nothing more than a busy schedule this torte makes a beautiful and impressive dessert. As it is…

Baked Beans in a Beanpot

by Heather Harris-Brady Baked beans were one of my grandma’s staples, and she always made them in her beanpot. If you’ve never seen a beanpot before, it’s a squat pottery vessel with a lid. Most of the time they are brown and white, like this: In the early days of this country native Americans baked…

Hail to the pie!

As a history buff and cook, you might think that I have a fascination with historical menus. You would be right. Regardless of political bent, the menus and food choices interest me. Here is the menu that will be featured at the inauguration this Sunday: 2013 Inaugural Luncheon Menu First Course: Steamed Lobster with New…