Author: Katherine Coplen

Vintage Vittles: A bevy of beverages

Happy late Valentine’s Day, readers! This week, the yield of combing through recipe collections this week is a selection of beverages — some boozy, some not — to tempt you with.  As faithful Hi readers, you surely wonder what dinner date is complete without the perfect historic drink?  From the City Market Cookbook, Jim Peachy provides this spiced tea recipe. Perfect for this cold that just won’t quit. Add a splash of rum if you choose! Dig this description from the forward: “Like a decorous old lady suddenly coming into affluence, the City Market, discreetly shaking dust from its...

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Vintage Vittles: Food For Health

You would be upset with me if you looked in my kitchen right now. After a few days at home with my family — and a few late nights out at concerts for my day job — my sink is an absolute disaster. So when I started thinking about what recipe to showcase for you this week, I cast a weary eye towards my dirty pots and pans (sorry, Mom!) and settled on something easy, quick, and … (my favorite kind) a bit bizarre. This week’s choice comes from Foods for Health, a cookbook compiled in 1942 by the...

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Vintage Vittles: A Veritable Wonderland of Local Cookbooks

Welcome to 2014, lovelies! It seems impossible it’s 2014 already (full disclosure: I wrote 2013 on a two different checks this week). As we skyrocket into the future, I want to make sure that we don’t forget the past. For that, we have wonderful people like Historic Indianapolis’ creator Tiffany Benedict-Berkson to thank. Thank you, Tiffany, for your stewardship of this website. I stumbled upon something most wonderful this week — something, frankly, I can’t believe I didn’t know about until now. I was digging for my next recipe when I found IUPUI’s University Library’s “Service Through Sponge Cake”...

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Vintage Vittles: Roast Chicken and Biscuits

Is there anything more comforting than roast chicken on a cold winter’s day? What about roast chicken with a hearty side of biscuits? I’ve adapted this recipe from the Favorite Recipes of the Ladies of the Cosmos Society of the Bradley United Methodist Church to add some roasted chicken and make it a full meal. I have a deep appreciation for church recipe collections. I contributed to every Cookie Walk at my church (Wesley United Methodist, on Tibbs) for years. I made treats for every Administrative Board meeting and helped put out donuts and coffee for Fellowship Time. I attended every...

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Vintage Vittles: Ayres’ Pumpkin Fingers

Hello, HI-ers! It’s my birthday today. Yes, I’m turning the big ol’ 25 — officially one quarter of a century old. I’m usually tasked with bringing cakes to different family and friend birthday parties, but what does one do on her own birthday when she’s the designated baker? Why, make yourself your favorite treats anyway, of course! This recipe comes to us from the L.S. Ayres’ Tea Room Recipes and Recollections book. Yes, they’ve got more than Chicken Velvet Soup there! These delightful little finger cookies are the perfect treat for the holidays, or just because. And, in exciting news,...

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Vintage Vittles: No Grocery Needed

Hello, HI readers! I’m having the Holy Trinity of bad days: I’m swimming in deadlines for my day job, my car is frozen solid to its parking space,  and I believe I’ve given myself food poisoning. All these forces combined are keeping me from hitting up Ye Olde Kroger for ingredients for this week’s Vintage Vittles recipe. So we’ll just have to save that for another time, and instead take a weird tour through some of Indy’s simplest and strangest vintage recipes — no trip to your local grocer needed. First up, a seasonal offering from the reliably excellent Sesqui...

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Vintage VIttles: Civil War Nectar

A bit unbelievable that Thanksgiving is upon us already. I’m sure your family, like mine, has many recipes included in your November meal that have been passed down from family elders. I’d love if you would leave some of those recipes in the comment section below. I’m a huge fan of recipes with “starters.” That is, recipes that have a base, but can be passed from friend to friend. There are many varieties of bread that are like this — but I’ve never come across a sauce recipe built for sharing before. We return to Sesqui Samplings for this recipe,...

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Vintage Vittles: Riley’s Shortbread

Our Hired Girl, when it’s bakin’-day She’s out of patience allus, An’ tells us, “Hike outdoors an’ play,”  An’ when the cookies’s done, she’ll say “Land sake! she’ll come an’ call us! An’ when the little doughbowl’s all  1st heapin’-full, she’ll come and call —  Nen say, “She’d ruther take a switchin’  Than have a pack o’ pesky childarn  Trackin’ round the kitchen!  – “Elizabuth-Ann on Bakin’ Day,” James Whitcomb Riley  Unbelievably, the holidays are upon us already and my mind is already filled with recipes for Thanksgiving. I’ve been the unofficial dessert maker (okay, maybe it’s a bit official) since...

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Vintage Vittles: A Mulled Wine Cheat

As you read this, I’m ensconced in a tent somewhere in Yellowwood State Forest. To answer your unspoken question: yes, it’s cold. So cold, in fact, I prepared this week’s Historic Indianapolis recipe with this camping trip in mind. I knew we’d need something to keep us warm and toasty around the fire, and something with a simple preparation. But first, let’s dive into something not so simple. Homemade Red Wine Recipe:  Use dark grapes; prepare as for jelly. Put 2 quarts pure grape juice and 2 quarts sugar in a glass gallon jug and fill with water. Bore a hole in...

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Vintage Vittles: Chicken Velvet Soup

This photo is property of Tea With Friends.com. I was so hungry by the time I finished my soup, I ate it and forgot the final picture! My shoes are soaked. My jacket is dripping. It’s officially the beginning of our long trudge towards winter and this cold rain is the first sign of it. Of course, my shoes are in their present state because I insisted on walking to my downtown grocery store to pick up the ingredients I needed to recreate this delicious soup, straight from the L.S. Ayres Tea Room Recipes and Recollections. If you’re a...

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Vintage Vittles: Booth Tarkington’s Lemon Pie

“He began to eat; he continued to eat; in fact, he did well. So did his two comrades. Not that the melancholy of these three was dispersed — far from it! With ineffaceable gloom they ate chicken, both white meat and dark, drumsticks, wishbones, and lives; they ate corn-on-the-cob, many ears, and fried potatoes and green peas and string-beans; they ate peach preserves and apricot preserves and preserved pears; they ate biscuits with grape jelly and biscuits with crabapple jelly; they ate apple sauce and apple butter and apple pie. They ate pickles, both cucumber pickles and pickles made...

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Vintage Vittles: James Whitcomb Riley’s Jelly Cake

Returning, with a letter, which she laid Upon the kitchen-table while she made A hasty crock of “float,”-poured thence into A deep glass dish of iridescent hue And glint and sparkle, with an overflow Of froth to crown it, foaming white as snow.- and then-poundcake, and jelly-cake as rare, For its delicious complement,-with air Of Hebe mortalized, she led her can Of votaries, rounded by The Hired Man. – Excerpt from James Whitcomb Riley’s “The Child-World.” Read in full here.  There’s much to read more about our poet laureate James Whitcomb Riley and his Lockerbie home in the Historic Indianapolis...

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Vintage Vittles: George Pogue’s Corn Dodgers

To me, a library is the closest thing to heaven on Earth. I spent so many lazy summer afternoons and winter weekends holed up in a chair in libraries all over the city. And the Central Library is a jewel in Indianapolis’ Downtown crown, one of my absolute favorite spots. But it’s a bit tough to navigate without the help of the lovely librarians who, during my most recent visit, guided me through the stacks and right to the recipes section. That’s where I picked up Sesqui-Samplings: 150 Years of Cooking in Indianapolis. Sesqui Samplings was released in 1971, in...

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Vintage Vittles: Dreaming of Sugar Cream Pie

I remember paging through my mom’s recipe box as a young girl. I pulled them out, one by one, and she identified their origins by the handwriting. There was instructions for my father’s fudge – famous at Christmas – and my grandpa’s Texas sheet cake recipe. There were hundreds of recipes in that box, some of which I got to know very well during my preteen and teenage years, during which I developed a bit of a baking compulsion. And, of course, there were the recipes I knew and loved that weren’t in the box, too. The recipe to my mamaw’s...

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