Thursday, October 06, 2011

A First

Here's a sight you don't often see in front of Brooks Tavern - a tour bus!  Letting off a busload of diners!

The group, from Harford Community College, was led by Tom Myer and his wife.  We've been planning this with Tom for months, and yesterday 40 people came for lunch.  They (seemed to) enjoy the mushroom soup with wild rice, and the choices of crab cake, Carolina crepe or shrimp and grits.  Crab cakes were by far the most popular selection.

They ate in two shifts of 20 - one at 11:30 and one at 1:30.  It was very well choreographed, and everyone seemed pleased with the result.  While one segment was eating, the others were touring downtown.  Afterwards Kevin went out to speak with the entire group, reunited in the dining room, regaling them with stories about which I know nothing.  Then they all trooped into our kitchen for a tour and more conversation with the Chef.

I especially enjoy speaking with this woman, who is a Mitchell, of the Mitchell Corn family.  The Mitchell's had a cannery in Kennedyville many decades ago, where they canned the local crop of shoepeg corn, for which they were quite famous.  She told me it is still canned under the Mitchell label, but by Hanover foods, and, she says, "it's not the same".   I told her that my dad had grown acres of shoepeg for the Kennedyville Cannery, and I remember quite clearly going there to ride along with the corn.  I remember how noisy it was, and my Dad's Cousin Bedford working there.  (Hugh will correct me it that is a mistaken memory!)  Small world.  

Anyway, I think it was a successful event, one which perhaps we will repeat with Tom on another occasion. 

One of the dessert selections was our Swedish Apple Cake.  The recipe is from my sister's collection, and I promised to post it here for the HCC contingent.

 Marty's Swedish Apple Cake
Cream together:
        1 cup salad oil
        2 cups sugar
        2 eggs
        1 t. vanilla

Sift together and then stir into the above creamed mixture:
         2 1/2 cups flour
         2 t. baking powder
         1 t. baking soda
         1 t. salt
Fold in 3 cups of chopped apples (peeled) and 1 cup of chopped nuts.

Turn into a buttered 10 inch spring form, or 13X9 inch baking pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour, maybe a few minutes more, until if feels done.

We like to serve it with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.



  1. Yes! Cousin Bedford's job (at least when I visited one time) was to sit on a chair next to the "assembly line" and plop a tablet of salt into each of the open cans as they passed in front of him before being sealed for cooking in the giant steam cookers. All this in the open air (as much of the factory was, in fact). I assume different food processing is probably very different today. Our Aunt Florence (Dad's brother Charles's wife) also worked at Mitchell's, before she suffered a horrendous injury when her clothing was caught in one of the de-husking rollers. She broke a hip and walked with something of a limp for the rest of her life.

  2. I love the fact that my Swedish Apple Cake was one of the dessert selections and that you posted the recipe for your Harford County visitors. There is a spice mix that I sprinkle on top of the cake before baking it; I will post that on this blog when I am at home and can look it up.