Posts of interest to local history buffs, written by local history buffs!

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.

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.

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.

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