“Ladies of the Lights” Presentation by Michigan Maritime Expert Dianna Stampfler Showcases Female Keepers of Michigan’s Historic Beacons
“Ladies of the Lights” Presentation Showcases Female Keepers of Michigan’s Historic Beacons
Michigan lighthouse historian and author Dianna Stampfler has announced a series of presentations of her popular “Ladies of the Lights” in honor of Women’s History Month. This program, which includes readings from newspapers and autobiographies, as well as countless historic photos, sheds light on the dedicated women who served at lights around the state dating back as early as the 1830s.
These were women before their time, taking on the romantic yet dangerous and physically demanding job of tending to the lighthouses that protected the Great Lakes shoreline. Given this was also a government job, their involvement was even more unique. In all, nearly 50 women have been identified who excelled in this profession over the years.
One of the most notable was Elizabeth (Whitney) VanRiper Williams who took over the St. James Harbor Light on Beaver Island after her husband, Clement, died while attempting to rescue the crew of a ship sinking in the harbor. She later became the first keeper of the Little Traverse Lighthouse in Harbor Springs, retiring after a combined 44 years of service.
There is also Julia (Tobey) Braun Way who outlived two husband keepers at the Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse in Bay City, and some say who still haunts the place today. Anastasia Truckey served as the interim keeper at the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse in the 1860s while her husband, Nelson, was off serving in the Civil War. Mary Terry served 18 years before she died in a fire at the Sand Point Lighthouse in Escanaba in 1886 – her death still shrouded in mystery 137 years later.
As part of a weekend-long Walloon Lake Writer’s Retreat Weekend at Hotel Walloon, the public is invited to a FREE event – A Lakeside Chat with Author John Patrick Hemingway – on Friday, April 14 at the Talcott Event Venue in downtown Walloon Lake. Doors will open at 7pm with a cash bar featuring a Pilar’s Rum Hemingway Daiquiri (see recipe below), along with select wine and beer; the discussion will begin at 7:30pm and a book signing will follow.
Throughout the weekend, the Canadian/American writer and journalist will lead writers in a series of workshops, readings and other creative exercises meant to inspire personal storytelling. Last year’s inaugural Writer’s Retreat was led by Ernest’s great granddaughter (and John’s niece), Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, author of Ernest’s Way.
In addition to his memoir, John Hemingway has published a number of short stories in magazines and literary reviews such at The Saturday Evening Post and Provincetown Arts and has also written for many fishing and hunting magazines such as Showboats International and Ducks Unlimited. His first novel, Bacchanalia: A Pamplona Story(2019), takes place in Spain during the Fiesta de San Fermín, a nine-day event that was made famous in the1920s by the publication of his grandfather’s work The Sun Also Rises.
Ernest Hemingway was just three months old when he made his first trip from his hometown of Oak Park, IL to Walloon Lake where his parents – Clarence and Grace (Hall) – had purchased property along the North Shore. Ernest spent time every summer until 1921 at the family’s beloved Windemere cottage there, the simple cottage still owned by descendants today. The woods and waters in and around Walloon Lake shaped Hemingway’s life in many ways and it was a place he always held dear to his heart. It was here that his 1972 posthumously published book, The Nick Adams Stories, is primarily set.
To inquire about availability for the “Walloon Lake Writer’s Retreat ” please contact Hotel Walloon at 231-535-5000.
This November, the St. Louis County Library and the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival are hosting SLCL Authors @ the J – a joint event series for readers throughout the St. Louis metro area. Additional information about St. Louis County Library’s author series is available online. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public. All events are held at the J’s Staenberg Family Complex (2 Millstone Campus Drive).
The St. Louis Jewish Book Festival is an annual celebration of authors, books, and ideas during early November, with additional author events year-round. The range of author topics is vast: business, cooking, economics, family, fiction, history, music, religion, sports, and more.
Now in its 44th year, the Festival is nationally recognized for both its excellence and its size – it is one of the largest in the country with more than 10,000 audience members annually. People from all backgrounds and religions come to Festival events to hear premier speakers, share their thoughts, and ask questions.
St. Louis County Library and the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival are pleased to announce SLCL Authors @ the J – a joint event series for readers throughout the St. Louis metro area. Additional information about St. Louis County Library’s author series is available online. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public. All events are held at the J’s Staenberg Family Complex (2 Millstone Campus Drive).
The St. Louis Jewish Book Festival thanks the Novel Neighbor for providing books by our presenting authors. The festival receives a percentage of sales for every book sold. Please support the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival and the Novel Neighbor by purchasing your books at the festival.
How to Purchase Books at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival
In-person during the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival. Call 314-442-3299 for more info.
Michigan is home to more lighthouses than any other state and about 40 of those are rumored to be haunted by the spirits of former keepers, mariners and others with ties to these historic beacons.
Inside the pages of Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses, long-time researcher, writer and promoter of all things Michigan, Dianna Stampfler, shares stories of those who dedicated their lives — and afterlives — to protecting the Great Lakes’ shoreline. Her second book, Death & Lighthouse on the Great Lakes, Stampfler delves into the historic true crime cold case files that have baffled lighthouse lovers for as many as two centuries.
Throughout the fall season, Stampfler will be speaking at libraries around the state, sharing her lively and upbeat presentation about these lights. Copies of her books will be available for purchase and signing at every program.
For the complete schedule of upcoming events (including other topics beyond lighthouses), visit the Promote Michigan Speaker’s Bureau online.
About Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses
Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, with more than 120 dotting its expansive Great Lakes shoreline. Many of these lighthouses lay claim to haunted happenings. Former keepers like the cigar-smoking Captain Townshend at Seul Choix Point and prankster John Herman at Waugoshance Shoal near Mackinaw City maintain their watch long after death ended their duties. At White River Light Station in Whitehall, Sarah Robinson still keeps a clean and tidy house, and a mysterious young girl at the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse seeks out other children and female companions. Countless spirits remain between Whitefish Point and Point Iroquois in an area well known for its many tragic shipwrecks.
About Death & Lighthouses on the Great Lakes
Losing one’s life while tending to a Great Lakes lighthouse — or any navigational beacon anywhere in the world for that matter — sadly wasn’t such an unusual occurrence. The likelihood of drowning while at sea or becoming injured while on the job ultimately leading to death were somewhat common back in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Death by murder, suicide or other unnatural and tragic causes, while rare, are not unheard of. In fact, more than dozen lighthouse keepers around the Great Lakes met their maker at the hands of others – by fire, poisoning, bludgeoning and other unknown means. A handful of these keepers, either because of depression or sheer loneliness, took their own lives. A few we may never know the true story, as the deaths now 100 or more years ago, weren’t subjected to the forensic scrutiny that such crimes are given today.
In the pages of Death & Lighthouses of the Great Lakes: A History of Misfortune & Murder, you’ll find an amalgamation of true crime details, media coverage and historical research which brings the stories to life…despite the deaths of those featured.
“Between my family, my website, my cookbooks, and my TV show, I make a lot of food around here,” writes Ree Drummond about the subject of her newest cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks—Super Easy!“As much as I’ve always loved cooking—and of course, eating. It seems that more and more these days, I’m looking for ways to simplify my life in the kitchen. I find, because they free me up to have more time–and energy–for other areas of my life. This also makes cooking less of a chore and more of a pleasure—exactly what cooking should be.”
Creating 120 shortcut recipes, Drummond offers myriad recipes that can be quickly assembled for a delicious meal. Think Sheet Pan Quesadillas, Grilled Pineapple with Cream, Waffle Sandwiches, Roasted Greek Salad, and Cheeseburger Pizza, to name just a few.
“I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this new generation of recipes,” continues Drummond, “including Butter Pecan French Toast, Buffalo Chicken Totchos, Speedy Dumpling Soup, Broccoli-Cheese Stromboli–so great for kids, and an entire section of pastas and grains, such as One-Pot Sausage Pasta and colorful and fresh Hawaiian Shrimp Bowls.”
At 7 p.m. CT, October 21st, she’ll be at Anderson’s Bookshop to celebrate her newest book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Super Easy! All books will be pre-signed; the event will include a presentation and talk from Drummond. The event is being held at Anderson’s Bookshop at Community Christian Church, 1635 Emerson Lane, Napierville, Illinois. Reservations are required and space is limited. Click here to register. To see other stops on Drummond’s book tour, click here.
White Turkey Chili
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 generous tablespoon Tex-Mex or taco seasoning
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
Two 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles, undrained
Two 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium chicken broth
Hot sauce (such as Cholula or Tabasco)
2 tablespoons masa harina (corn flour)
½ cup heavy cream
One 10-ounce bag frozen fire-roasted corn (no need to thaw)
Sour cream, for serving
1 avocado, sliced
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 limes, cut into wedges
In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, sprinkle in the Tex-Mex seasoning. Cook, stirring often, until the onion starts to soften, about 3 minutes.
Add the chicken and stir to combine. Add the green chiles, beans and chicken broth. Add a few dashes hot sauce. Stir and bring mixture to a gentle boil.
In a measuring cup, combine the masa and heavy cream; stir with a fork into a thick paste. Pour the masa mixture into the soup then stir and let chili cook and thicken for about 10 minutes. When the chili is thick and bubbling, add the corn. Stir until the corn is hot, about 2 minutes. Taste and add salt and more seasoning if needed.
Serve topped with sour cream, avocado, hot sauce and Monterey Jack. Have lime wedges for squeezing.
Makes 6-8 servings
From “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Super Easy!” by Ree Drummond
Katie Quinn wasn’t content to just enjoy a chunk of the English classic Montgomery’s Cheddar, a hunk of crusty bread with a soft inner core from Apollonia Poilâne, or a glass of Nebbiolo, the grape variety from Northern Italy’s Piedmont region known for its strong tannins, high acidity and distinctive scent.
Instead, living in New York she had worked her way up from being an NBC page to her dream job as an on-camera host at Now This News, she found herself back home recuperating in Ohio after sustaining a traumatic brain injury in an accident. With time to ponder, her avid curiosity led her to ask a question—“how can I love these great foods–bread, wine, and cheese without knowing how they’re made?”
Of course, many of us would be content just to pour another glass of wine and slice a gooey piece of Brie, but Quinn couldn’t leave it there.
For some of use, including me, the realization that cheese and bread are as much a part of fermentation as wine is a revelation. It takes a little more connecting of dots to realize that cheeses are fermented dairy products and bread ferments through the use of yeast.
“I realized that there was a story to be told,” she says. “I could have just nerded out as a history geek to write the book, but I wanted to really experience the process of fermentation and how it creates these foods we love. I wanted this to be an immersive experience.”
And so in her newest cookbook, Cheese, Wine, and Bread: Discovering the Magic of Fermentation in England, Italy, and France(William Morrow 2021; $22.63 Amazon price), we follow Quinn on her all-encompassing road trip as she embarks upon an in-depth exploration of all three necessary food groups. She became a cheesemonger at Neal’s Yard Dairy, London’s premiere cheese shop. But that was just the start in her cheese career. Soon, she was working on a goat farm in rural Somerset where she describes the cute critters as just smart enough to be obnoxious. It was during her exploration that she discovered the role British women play in cheesemaking (you have to try her recipe for Cheddar Brownies which she’ll be demonstrating at her upcoming virtual book launch this Tuesday, April 27—see below for details on how to sign up).
Next she’s hanging with Apollonia Poilâne of Paris’ famed Poilâne Bakery, apprenticing at boulangeries in Paris learning the ins and outs of sourdough, and traveling the countryside to uncover the history of grains and understand the present and future of French bread and global bread culture. Next stop Italy, where she gives readers an inside look at winemaking with the Comellis at their family-owned vineyard in Northeast Italy and visits vintners ranging from those at small-scale vineyards to large-scale producers throughout the country. Taking a side road, so to speak, she discovers her great grandfather’s birth certificate and become eligible for dual citizenship. So entranced with the country, she and her husband Connor decided to make their home in the Puglia region in southern Italy.
Quinn, an author, food journalist, YouTuber, podcaster, and host, describes herself as having a real appetite to explore. A great storyteller, she also shares recipes such as Zucchini Carbonara, Tortellini in (Parmigiano Reggiano) Brodo, Ciambelline al Vino (Wine Cookies), and Walnut and Raisin Rye Loaf, which are interspersed through the book.
Cost: Book and shipping: This ticket includes a signed copy of the book and shipping – Shipping within USA only (THE BOOK WILL BE SHIPPED IN ABOUT A WEEK AFTER THE EVENT). $44 or Book and Ticket with pick-up at Anderson’s Naperville store. $34.
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I like pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sprigs of parsley, for garnish
Fill a large pot three-quarters full of water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Add a generous amount of coarse salt (the adage “It should taste like the sea” is a good gauge of how much). Cook the spaghetti for 2 minutes less than the instructions on the package for al dente. (You don’t want it to be completely cooked because it will continue cooking in the red wine later.)
While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Pour the wine into the pan with the garlic and stir. Remove from the heat while the pasta finishes cooking.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
Add the pasta to the pan with the wine and garlic over medium heat and stir. Cook, occasionally stirring gently, for 2 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente and has absorbed most of the wine, taking on a plum hue.
Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cheese and nuts. Stir in a tablespoon (or more) of the reserved pasta water; its starchiness mixes with the fat in the cheese to create a silky coating on the noodles. Finish with the nutmeg, season with salt and pepper, and stir to incorporate well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if you think the dish is asking for it.
Serve garnished with parsley and topped with more cheese and enjoy slurping down the drunken noodles.
Elizabeth Minchilli, who has lived in Italy for a quarter of a century, has created a way for all of us to experience certain special food events that comprise the country’s heritage in much the same way as their monuments (think The Colosseum, St. Peter’s and the Leaning Tower of Pisa) are must-sees for visitors.
She shows us how, in her latest cookbook, The Italian Table: Creating Festive Meals for Family and Friends, to completely replicate such Italian food culture in such chapters as a Sunday Lunch in Email-Romagna, Farm to Sicilian Table, Panini Party in Umbria and A Table by the Sea in Positano. Because Minchilli’s background and interests are not only culinary but also envelope style and architecture, she tells us not only what to drink and eat but also how to create the tablescape as well. As an example, her Pizza by the Slice in Rome meal calls for “for the authentic pizzeria al taglia vibe, use plastic or—more sustainable—paper.”
who is from St. Louis, Missouri but moved to Rome with her parents when she was
12, developed such a passion for the all things Italy (she even married an
Italian man) and in her words, had an Italian baby, an Italian house and an
after I returned as a graduate student to study Renaissance garden architecture
in Florence,” says Minchilli when I talk to her using Skype as she was at her
home in Rome.
I discover, as we talk, that I already have one of her books, a luscious tome titled Villas on the Lakes: Orta, Maggiore, Como, Garda that someone had given me years ago and which I still leaf through to marvel at all the wonderful photos. Minchilli is one of those people who seems to do it all, she’s written nine books including Restoring a Home in Italy, takes all her own photos, writes an award winning website, elizabethminchilli.com, developed her Eat Italy app and offers food tours to behind the scenes culinary destinations as well as posting on You Tube and other social media.
me that her love for food began when she was given one of those easy-bake ovens
when she was a kid.
the cook of the family,” she says, though she obviously she’s moved way beyond
a toy where the oven is heated by a light bulb.
Italian Table is her ninth book.
really happy about it,” says Minchilli. “This is really the book where I can
bring everything together—the food, the people who make the plates, what is
surrounding us, the whole experience.”
motivated to write the book after being questioned countless about how Italian
food and dining. To showcase that, she decided on highlight 12 different
dinners and photograph and write about them in real time—as they were being
planned, cooked and served.
people to know how Italians really eat and I decided to do that by meals in different
areas and then narrowed it down by going deeper into how it all comes
together,” she says. “I set it up so you can go through the cookbook and decide
what you like.”
also included a time table, what to do, depending upon the dinner, two days
before, one day before, two hours before, one hour before and when your guests
arrive. And there are ways to lessen the cooking load for the more intensive
and elaborate dinners.
about being social and sharing,” Minchilli tells me. “A lot of people are
scared to have people over and so I wanted to take fear out of the equation. That’s
why I give people a game plan by telling people when to shop, when they should
set the table and also how far ahead to do things so that there’s less to do at
the last minute. It reduces the stress and fear and makes it more
Elizabeth Minchilli will be at Ceres’ Table, 3124 N.
Broadway, Chicago, IL on Monday, April 22 at 8 pm (EST). The Book Cellar is handling the event. The price of the ticket includes a signed copy
of the book, five course dinner selected by Elizabeth from dishes in her book,
taxes and service. Tickets, which cost $82 per person, can be purchased by
visiting the event page at bookcellarinc.com or calling (773) 293-2665.
Zucchini con Ricotta
tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch of
fresh mint, leaves only
11/2 cups of
1/2 cup of
or basil leaves, for garnish
olive oil, for drizzling (preferably your best variety)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Using a sharp knife or mandoline, cut the zucchini
lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick ribbons. (You should end up with at least 12
full-length, unbroken ribbons.) Place the zucchini in one layer on one or two
baking sheets. Season them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, half of the
mint, and salt to taste and bake them for about 10 minutes, until just tender.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
In the meantime, place the ricotta in a medium bowl with the
remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the rest of the mint, roughly chopped. Using
a fork, whip it until smooth and creamy.
Place about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on each
strip of zucchini and roll it up. Place the poppy seeds in a shallow bowl. Dip
both flat ends of the rolls in the poppy seeds, coating the ricotta.
To serve, place two or three rolls on individual plates.
Garnish each roll by placing a sage or basil leaf on top and tucking the ends
in so that it follows the curve of the roll. Drizzle with your best
extra-virgin olive oil and serve.
Radicchio with Pancetta and Parmigiano
Makes 8 servings
4 heads of radicchio di Treviso, leaves separated
30 thin slices of pancetta (about ½ pound)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 shelled walnuts, roughly chopped
4 ounces of Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (1 cup)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the
radicchio leaves on top. If some of the inner leaves are very small, you can
put two together to make a larger base.
Fry half the pancetta in a nonstick skillet over medium heat
until it has released its fat a bit. Don’t let it burn. You won’t need any oil,
as the pancetta should be pretty fatty. This may need to be done in a few
batches. Each batch should take only a few minutes.
Season the radicchio with salt and pepper and drizzle with
olive oil. Distribute the cooked pancetta on top of each leaf, then add the
chopped nuts and sprinkle with the Parmigiano.
Wrap each stuffed leaf with a slice of uncooked pancetta.
Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes, until pancetta around the outside is
cooked and beginning to sizzle. Serve immediately, while warm.
pounds of spinach or other greens
1 cup fresh
1 large egg
1 large egg
½ cup of
4 ounces of
of fresh marjoram leaves for ½ teaspoon dried
A few grindings
of black pepper
greens in a pot with about an inch of water and cook over medium heat for about
10 minutes, until wilted. Drain and when cool enough to handle, squeeze the
greens into a ball, squeezing out every last drop of moisture. You should have
about 1 cup. Roughly chop the greens and set aside.
hour before you are going to bake the tart, place the ricotta in a fine sieve
and drain it over a bowl to remove the excess whey.
oven to 350°
F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
chopped greens in a clean bowl with the drained ricotta, whole egg and yolk,
milk, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, ¾ cup of the Parmigiano, the marjoram,
butter, salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork.
mixture into the pan, leveling off the top with the back of a spoon. Cover with
the remaining olive oil and Parmigiano.
Bake for 50
minutes, until the tart begins to brown and is well set. Remove from the oven
and let cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife and, using an offset
spatula, turn it out onto a serving platter.
Lisa Ludwinski, owner of Sister Pies, began her business in her parents’ kitchen in Milford, Michigan, making pies and cookies. Within a year, the demand for her baked goods was such that she determined to open a bricks and mortar store. The problem? Money, of course. Winning the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest which awards up-and-coming entrepreneurs a $50,000 grant was a great start.
But Ludwinski still needed more to achieve her dream. Her solution? Hold a 24-hour Dance-A-Thon with the pledge to raise $25,000 by dancing from 9 p.m. on a Friday night to the same time the following night. 11 hours later she’d raised $25,335 and by the end of her dancing, the total was $26,135, Now the award winning Sister Pie is so popular that Ludwinski is planning on opening a second location. Her bakery abuzz and her first cookbook Sister Pie: The Recipes and Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit (Lorena Jones Books 2018; $25) recently released, Ludwinski embarked upon a month long book tour that includes a stop on November 2, at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, Michigan just a few miles north of the Indiana state line.
“Lisa’s visit is part of our Book + Supper Club Series, where I build a menu around the author’s work,” says Abra Berens, Chef at Granor Farm. “For me it continues Granor’s original mission to be a place of continued education, especially around food. We started the farm primarily to offer our Farm Camp for kids. That emphasis on education–and food–was part of my initial interest in what Granor was doing. It is a great way to share the knowledge of various experts in the field and, personally, for me to continue to grow as a chef by working with other amazing talents.”
Berens says the dinner will be a mixture of Ludwinski’s recipes and her own interpretation of those recipes.
“At the start we will give a brief overview of Granor Farm and then give Lisa the floor to talk about her bakery, her book, and her general outlook on life,” she says, noting that she is a big fan I’m fan of what Ludwinski does.
Ludwinski, who grew up in Milford and studied Theatre Arts at Kalamazoo College, originally moved to New York to become a director but gravitated instead to baking before returning home to start her own business. Savvy with social media(she has almost 49,000 followers on Instagram (@sisterpiedetroit) and a happy, fun-filled personality, Ludwinski isn’t afraid to mix it up, creating a delicious blend of sweet or savory and sweet and savory pies such salted maple pumpkin, strawberry rhubarb lavender and apple sage gouda. Also on her menu are scones, muffins and cookies. But when she says she uses seasonal, she’s serious.
“There’s no apple pie in May and there’s no cherry pie in December,” she says. “The reason why is it tastes better. That takes people a little while to get used to, but usually when they taste whichever pie we have available, they understand. Working with the seasonal structure allows us to be super creative, too. If I know I’ve got rhubarb, then I can ask myself – ok, what will make a rhubarb pie unique? We love to pair the seasonal ingredients with herbs, floral tones, alternative flours, citrus, nuts, cheese, etc. Basically everything that’s delicious to eat. We’re also big on the sweet-and-salty.”
Those combinations include oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookies with a flake or two of sea salt on top and black pepper tarragon and honey shortbread.Jamie and Eric Photography
Community and people working together is important says Ludwinski.
“That’s another reason we’re not getting strawberries from some huge farm in California that grows them all year long–we’re getting them from Norm who runs a small farm in Ida, Michigan,” she says. “His strawberries are fleeting and delicious, and a special treat.”
The following recipes are courtesy of Sister Pies.
Apple Sage Gouda Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie
2 pounds Northern Spy, Idared, or Golden Delicious apples, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup tapioca starch
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 disc Aged Gouda Pie Dough (see below), rolled out and fitted into a 9-inch pie pan but uncrimped, and refrigerated
6 lattice strips made with Aged Gouda Pie Dough, placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerated
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (1⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 large egg, beaten
For the filling:
Transfer the apples to a large mixing bowl and toss with the lemon juice.
In a medium bowl, combine the granulated sugar and sage, massaging together with your fingertips. Add the brown sugar, tapioca starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the apples and toss with your hands until evenly distributed.
When you’re ready to assemble the pie, remove the unbaked crust and lattice strips from the refrigerator. Sprinkle the sugar-flour mixture all over the bottom of the crust. Layer the apples on top, being careful not to mound them in the center. Dot the apples with butter cubes.
Place one strip of lattice across the center of the pie. Take another strip and lay it on top, perpendicular to the first one, creating a cross. Lay the next two strips on either side of the first strip you laid down, so they are parallel to both each other and the original strip. Next, working with the original strip, fold back both ends toward the center, and then place the last two lattice strips down on either side of the second (perpendicular) strip. Fold the original strip back down, so that it lies across and on top of the newly placed strips. It should look like a woven lattice.
Tear off the ends of the lattice pieces so they are flush with the perimeter of the tin. Roll the edge of the crust in, sealing the lattice. Crimp, using the technique described on page 49, being careful to push the crimps down and into the pie, as opposed to keeping them too loose on the edge. Put the assembled pie in the freezer for a 15-minute rest.
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the pie from the freezer, place on the baking sheet, and brush the lattice and crimped edge with the beaten egg. Transfer the baking sheet with the pie on it to the oven and bake for15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is evenly golden brown. Turn the temperature down to 325°F and continue to bake for 50 to 70 minutes, until the pie juices are bubbling in the center.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool for 4 to 6 hours. When the pie is at room temperature, slice it into 6 to 8 pieces and serve.
Store leftover pie, well wrapped in plastic wrap or under a pie dome, at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Aged Gouda Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted European-style butter, straight from the fridge
1 ounce aged Gouda, grated
1⁄2 cup ice-cold water and apple cider vinegar mixture, or more if needed
In a large stainless steel bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and stir to mix well. Place the sticks of butter in the bowl and coat on all sides with flour. Using a bench scraper, cut the butter into 1⁄2-inch cubes. Work quickly to separate the cubes with your hands until they are all lightly coated in the flour mixture. Grab that bench scraper once again and cut each cube in half.
Switch to the pastry blender and begin to cut in the butter with one hand while turning the bowl with the other. It’s important not to aim for the same spot at the bottom of the bowl with each stroke of the pastry blender, but to actually slice through butter every time to maximize efficiency. When the pastry blender clogs up, carefully clean it out with your fingers (watch out, it bites!) or a butter knife and use your hands to toss the ingredients a bit. Continue to blend and turn until the largest pieces are the size and shape of peas and the rest of it feels and looks freakishly similar to canned Parmesan cheese. Speaking of cheese, now is the time to add the Gouda and mix it in quickly with the pastry blender until it is evenly distributed.
At this point, add the water-vinegar mixture all at once, and switch back to the bench scraper. Scrape as much of the mixture as you can from one side of the bowl to the other, until you can’t see visible pools of liquid anymore. Now it’s hand time. Scoop up as much of the mixture as you can, and use the tips of your fingers to press it back down onto the rest of the ingredients. Rotate the bowl a quarter-turn and repeat.
Scoop, press, and turn. With each fold, your intention is to be quickly forming the mixture into one cohesive mass. Remember to incorporate any dry, floury bits that have congregated at the bottom of the bowl, and once those are completely gone and the dough is formed, it’s time to stop.
Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on a lightly floured counter, and use your bench scraper to divide it into two equal pieces. Gently pat one into a 2-inch-thick disc, working quickly to seal any broken edges before wrapping it tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap. Pat the other half into a 6-by-3-inch rectangle.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight. When you go to roll out the crust, you want the disc to feel as hard and cold as the butter did when you removed it from the fridge to make the dough. This will make the roll-out way easier.
Makes enough for one 9-inch lattice-topped pie.
Jane Simon Ammeson can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Only six or so when she started helping out in the kitchen, Tiffani Thiessen grew up in a family where dinners were a gathering time to enjoy great cooking and conversations. She upped her game from traditional American fare when she and other stars from “Saved by the Bell” toured in Europe.
“It definitely impacted me,” says Thiessen who played Kelly Kapowski on the hit TV show and was 16 at the time. “I learned all about wine, cheese and all types of different foods when we traveled in France, Italy and Holland.”
This love of food and conviviality was so intense that though Thiessen continued with her acting career (she was Valerie Malone on “Beverly Hills 90210” and currently stars in “Alexa & Katie”) she also segued into cooking, hosting the long running “Dinner at Tiffani’s” on the Cooking Channel. As if that wasn’t enough to keep any mom of two young children busy enough, Thiessen has spent the last three years writing Pull Up a Chair: Recipes from My Family to Yours(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $30), which will be released on October 2.
Describing cooking as therapeutic as well as artistic and creative, Thiessen’s recipes include new dishes, those she collected through the years and family favorites, some that she tweaked including her mom’s beef stroganoff which the family ate once a week when she was young.
“I wasn’t a big fan,” says Thiessen, adding that her mom’s stroganoff was very traditional and included stirring sour cream in at the end so that it took on the appearance of dog food—her words not ours, Mrs. Thiessen. Tiffani’s tweaked it into a beef and mushroom Stroganoff with creamy polenta, spinach and a touch of brandy. The sour cream is served on the side.
Did that hurt you mom’s feelings? I ask.
“No, I have one of the most supportive families,” she says.
There’s also a cowboy twang to some of her dishes such as the short rib beef enchiladas and three cheese queso, since husband Brady Smith is a meat-loving Texas boy. Her son Holt gobbles up her mac and cheese and Thiessen says Harper her eight-year-old daughter loves to decorate pizzas.
“I don’t think of myself as anything but a home cook and my recipes are easy but everything I cook is with love and passion and that’s what Pull Up a Chairis all about,” says Thiessen, who, during our phone interview, calls me sweetheart and dear.
That friendliness as well as the sumptuousness of her cookbook—125 recipes and lots of full page color photos of both luscious-looking food and family (and yes, her husband is handsome and her children adorable), makes me long to get an invitation to dine at her house.
Since that won’t be happening, I did a little pre-interview stalking watching videos of Thiessen cooking in her kitchen and then displaying part of her cookbook collection.
“I love cookbooks, I love the look, the aesthetics of them” she says when I mention my sleuthing. “Most people I’m close to would say I have a problem. I don’t use some of them that much, as my husband points out, but there’s just something I like about having them around.”
I can identify with that having heard similar comments from both my husband and daughter. Another reason to get that dinner invitation. But until then, I have the cookbook and can create the recipes in my own home.
Pickle & Potato Salad
1½ pounds tricolored small potatoes
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the potatoes
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped sweet pickles
3 tablespoons pickle juice (from the jar)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Paprika, for garnish
Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover them by 1 inch and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them rest until they’re cool enough to handle. Cut each one in half.
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sweet pickles, pickle juice, mustard, salt, and pepper.
In a separate large bowl, combine the halved potatoes, eggs, and red onion and toss with the dressing. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and garnish with the parsley and paprika.
Honey-Ginger Chicken Wings
Serves 6 to 8
½ cup honey (preferably wildflower or mesquite)
¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
3 garlic cloves, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime, plus more zest for garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, tamari, sesame oil, ginger, scallions, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Reserve ¾ cup of the mixture in the fridge.
Pour the remaining marinade into a 2-gallon zip-top bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Massage the marinade into the wings. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Before cooking, let the wings stand at room temperature for about 2 hours
When ready to cook the wings, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the wings from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Season the wings with salt and pepper and place them skin-side down in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Spoon some of the marinade over them; discard the remaining marinade. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the wings, basting with the pan drippings. Rotate the pan and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the honey has caramelized and the skin is a dark amber color.
In a small saucepan, bring the reserved ¾ cup marinade (from the fridge) to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the liquid turns into a thick, syrupy glaze, about 4 minutes.
Coat the wings with the glaze, arrange them on a serving platter, and garnish with scallions and lime zest.
I’ve been doing some major remodeling on my condominium including getting rid of the orange—and yes, it really was an orange sherbet color–Formica countertop (I kept waiting for this 1960 trend to come back in style but when it became apparent that wasn’t going to happen, out it went), tearing down walls and pulling up carpeting that had seen way too many spills by my daughter and her friends including the time she did some sign painting inside. Believe me, that did not work out well.
During all this renovation, I had to pack up just about everything in the condo including all my kitchenware and though the project was just going to take a couple of months–well, you know how that goes—I am just beginning to unpack boxes.
She did so by adding such intriguing twists as making her popovers using pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper as well as black pepper and rum in a butterscotch pie and mixing thyme in the ladyfinger recipes she used in creating her own take on the classic Charlette Russe, layers of cookies or ladyfingers, cake and a cream filling.
“My go-to chocolate-chip cookie recipe is full of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and I was over the moon to discover how frequently cookies with cereal surfaced in my booklet collection,” Sheehan writes in her introduction to her recipe for Cornflake Macaroons with Chocolate Drizzle, noting that a recipe from “55 Recipes for Hershey’s Syrup” (1945) formed the base for her macaroon. “Adding salt to the batter proved essential–so many of these original recipes don’t call for salt. I drizzled the cookies with chocolate after baking, rather than combining it with the batter, allowing these cornflakes to truly shine.”Rediscovering my KitchenAid stand-mixer made me so happy that I made several of the recipes from Sheehan’s book. Here are a couple that hopefully you’ll enjoy baking as well including one for an old fashioned ice box cake.
Cornflake Macaroons with Chocolate Drizzle
3 egg whites
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
2½ cups cornflakes
1½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt and continue whisking until thoroughly combined and thickened. Fold the cornflakes and coconut into the egg whites using a rubber spatula. Once combined, and using your hands, crush the cornflakes in the bowl, mixing all of the ingredients together, until the mixture stays together when you squeeze it in your hand. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. The mixture will be much easier to scoop once it has been refrigerated.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Scoop 1 to 1½ tablespoons of dough with a small cookie scoop or measuring spoon, making sure to really pack the batter into the scoop/spoon. Place on the prepared pan and bake for 23 to 25 minutes, until nicely browned. Sprinkle with the sea salt and let cool. Place the melted chocolate in a zippered plastic bag, cut a very tiny hole in one corner of the bag, and drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. Let the chocolate harden before serving.
The macaroons will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days, but they get less crunchy with each day.
Coconut-Chocolate Icebox Cake with Toasted Almonds
3 (13 1/2-fluid-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
9 ounces crisp chocolate wafer cookies
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Place the cans of coconut milk in the coldest spot in your refrigerator upside-down and leave them there for 24 hours. This will allow the coconut cream in the milk to solidify and separate from the liquid.
Line a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap that hangs slightly over the sides of the pan.
Flip the cans of coconut milk right-side up, open the cans, and, using a rubber spatula, carefully scrape the solid coconut cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Save the liquid for another purpose. Add the almond extract and confectioners’ sugar, and whisk on medium speed until smooth and thick. Add the heavy cream and whisk on medium-high speed until the cream holds stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Add the toasted coconut and fold it into the cream with a rubber spatula.
Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on the bottom of the lined pan. Cover as much of the cream as possible with a layer of wafers, filling any gaps with broken wafers, to create a solid layer of wafers.
Continue layering whipped cream and wafers until you run out or reach the top of the pan, ending with a layer of wafers. Gently cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 to 8 hours, or preferably overnight. If you have whipped cream left over, store this in the refrigerator along with the cake.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator prior to serving and peel off the plastic wrap. Place a serving plate over the pan and invert the cake onto the plate. Carefully remove the pan and plastic wrap lining and, if using, thinly spread the remaining whipped cream over the sides and top of the cake. Re-whip the cream if it looks too soft to spread. Sprinkle the cake with the toasted almonds, lightly pressing them into the cake.
Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into slices and serve. The cake will keep, lightly wrapped with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
When buying coconut milk, gently turn the can up and down in the store to make sure the contents sound full and solid. If it sounds watery and seems like the can is filled only with liquid, grab a different one.
What: Author Talk Jessie Sheehan: The Vintage Baker
When: Sep 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Read It & Eat, 2142 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL