Five women cook up some local history in 1899

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While testing the recipes in Ann Arbor Cooks you can savor an extra slice of Ann Arbor history: Several recipes, particularly within the 1899 Ann Arbor Cookbook, bear the names of prominent Ann Arbor citizens. On your next visit to Allmendinger Park you can take along Miss E. C. Allmendinger's Quince Tents; or you can enjoy Mrs. W. B. Hinsdale's Cream Puffs at the Broadway Park near the former intersection of 19th century Indian trails mentioned in her husband's book, The Indians of Washtenaw County. Mrs. Junius Beal probably whipped up her Marguerites at her home on the corner of 5th Avenue and William St., now the site of the Downtown library. Mrs. Samuel W. Beakes, whose husband wrote The Past and Present of Washtenaw County, baked Excellent Cocoanut Cookies, and Mrs. Frank Kelsey actually makes Prune Pudding sound...ok.

The names Allmendinger, Hinsdale, Beal, Beakes and Kelsey are frequently cited within the text and image collections of The Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now, Ann Arbor Founders, The Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit and The Making of Ann Arbor.

A little sweetness (or a lot)

If you plan to stay home for Valentine's day and want to bake a decadent chocolate dessert for your sweetheart, look no further. The Library has special cookbooks filled with luscious chocolate dessert recipes. And check out our new Ann Arbor Cooks database which includes a Victorian chocolate torte and other tried and true recipies from local cooks.

Breaking News: Locavore is the Word

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The New Oxford American Dictionary 2007 word of the year is Locavore, meaning someone who eats locally grown food. We’re sure this year’s choice was based on the success of Slow Food Huron Valley and the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market in bringing local food to local folks in Washtenaw County. There are plenty of local food links, heirloom recipes and more at Ann Arbor Cooks, your one-stop locavore site.

Longone's Lost Cookbook Author

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Ann Arbor's own Jan Longone, curator of the Longone Culinary Archive at the William L. Clements Library makes an appearance today in the New York Times with A 19th Century Gost Awakens to Redefine Soul, about Jan's quest to uncover more information about Malinda Russell, author of "the earliest cookbook by an African-American woman that had ever come to light." The Ann Arbor District Library is one of the lucky recipients of a limited-edition facsimile of the only known copy of Mrs. Russell’s cookbook from the Longone Center. The Ann Arbor Cooks website provides digital access to a growing collection of heirloom local cookbooks.

Cooking Up a Family Cookbook

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Learn how to compile a keepsake cookbook when culinary historian Pat Cornett explains the basics of how to produce a keepsake family cookbook, including researching family stories and recipes on Wednesday November 7, 2007: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm in the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room. Pat says the best cookbooks include recollections about when the food was served, what it was like in the kitchen with Grandma, and family photos. So bring your memories and your notepads and get started saving and sharing your family's recipes.

All the Rage

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Culinary History is hot. Whether it's the long look back in Moveable Feasts or one ingredient like Salt or Cod. Did you know one of the most read and respected culinary history newsletters, Repast, is published here in Ann Arbor by the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor? Ann Arbor is also home to one of the premiere culinary history collections in the world, the Longone Center for American Culinary Research at the University of Michigan's Clements Library.

Never Too Many Cooks or Cookbooks

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Where did the Cookbook Collection in Ann Arbor Cooks come from? From hundreds of area cooks who contributed thousands of recipes to the local cookbooks owned by the Washtenaw Historical Society, Hadassah, local churches and AADL. If you've got a local family, community or organization cookbook you'd love to share with us, please Contact Us.

Don't Try This At Home!

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History can be dangerous ... even in a cookbook. The Ann Arbor Cooks website features thousands of recipes from vintage Ann Arbor cookbooks. But not all of them have stood the test of time health-wise. We strongly discourage you from trying out many of the pickling or jams & jellies recipes because they don't include enough direction for the novice cook or up-to-date sterilizing information. The Blitz Torte on the other hand looks heavenly.

A warning to the fox squirrels of Ann Arbor

Here's one of my favorite recipes from our collection. I'm sure it'll become one of your favorite holiday meals, especially when the in-laws are coming.

All I know about cooking squirrels

If that sounds tasty, check out the other recipes in the Game category.

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