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Gone But Not Forgotten

Gone But Not Forgotten

Madison Guerrilla Cookie (….or comes close!)

October 3, 2019

I first posted this story exactly three years ago. In the interim? I’ve had another dozen letters from Madison Guerrilla Cookie fans asking me to repost it. So! here you go. Enjoy.

I just had a great conversation with Monica Eng of WBEZ about how people’s recollections of recipes they loved, but lost, can sometimes eclipse their experience of the actual recipe : ) I once spent weeks tracking down a recipe from a long-closed-restaurant for a mushroom barley soup that ran in the Tribune more than 30 years ago and didn’t exist in searchable archives. I was thrilled when I finally found the thing, complete with the actual dated clipping. I typed it up, e-mailed the recipe to the guy who requested it and in short order, got a reply stating that the recipe was the wrong one. “The soup I remember,” said barley-soup lover, “had much more bacon in it.” Ha HAH! And so it goes. Recipes are fluid things, as are our memories of them.  Not always entirely accurate. Or could it be that the cook the night barley-soup-lover had the dish, went “off recipe” and was extra generous with the bacon?

Well,  relatedly, the recipe for the Madison guerrilla cookie is of that ilk. First created by Mary MacDowell (UW MA ’67) riffing on ingredients from 1960s Tigers Milk protein bars, MacDowell shared the recipe with ’64 UW graduate Ted Odell, who tweaked the ingredients and baked them for the Quercus Alba Bakery. Hearty and filling, the cookies were sold in six- and twelve-pack sleeves through the Mifflin Street Co-op and other University of Wisconsin shops and became a student staple.  I should say, a MUCH beloved student staple. Continue Reading…

Gone But Not Forgotten

Zwiebelfleisch (Red Star Inn)

November 2, 2016

The road to recreating lost recipes can be winding–not always leading where you expected it to go. The search for the Red Star Inn’s zwiebelfleisch (onion beef roast) recipe is our latest best example of that. After lots of sleuthing and interviews, I got the recipe–but turns out it’s really sauerbraten in disguise : ) It’s truly a special-occasion dish, though, and very delicious.  Here’s the story of the search… Continue Reading…

Gone But Not Forgotten

Fritzel’s Griddle Cakes with Cherry Berry Sauce

February 18, 2016

There are a lot of vintage cheesecake recipes out there that ask you to “sieve” cottage cheese. Basically, that means rubbing/pressing the cheese curds through a sieve, until you end up with a smooth cream cheese you can’t get by whipping. This unusual griddle-cake recipe, uses the technique to smooth the cheese before adding it to the batter. It’s from Mike Fritzel, owner of long-gone Chicago blockbuster Fritzel’s restaurant, a celebrity spot which operated from 1947 to 1972 at 201 N. State.  Continue Reading…

Gone But Not Forgotten

Fritzel’s Pepper Steak

January 30, 2016

I first launched Lost Recipes Found as a column in the Chicago Tribune, which has a lovely archive of vintage recipe stories–good reading if you’re a recipe nerd : ) Poking around in there, I noticed that Morrison Wood, a popular Chicago Tribune columnist in the ’50s and ’60s shared lots of pepper steak recipes (obviously popular then), usually honing in on the chuck or round steak varieties of the dish braised with onions, bell peppers and tomatoes in red wine for several hours. But 59 years ago, he also shared the recipe for this more-refined saute that he felt merited the extra expense of the better beef cut. Continue Reading…