Monday, December 12, 2022

Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor Winter Dinner

The theme of the December Culinary Historians dinner was Food from the British Isles, and the selection of foods was both interesting and delicious! People made many classics such as colcannon, the potato and kale/cabbage dish from Ireland; the timely Coronation Chicken, which was invented for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth; and the “National Loaf,” a wholemeal bread required of all British bakeries during World War II. Several more appealing breads were also on the menu. Here are some photos:

Cookbooks that people used and brought to the dinner.

Colcannon with two relishes.

Salmon cured in Scotch Whiskey.

"Selkirk Bannock" -- a delicious fruit bread.

Phil Zaret, the organizer of the dinner, explains Kentish Huffins,
which are tasty little rolls served with cherry jam.

Quite a few new members were present for this meal. During the pandemic, the Zoom meetings
attracted a number of interested people both local and from elsewhere.

My contribution: white bean dip from the Ottolenghi cookbook Flavor. 
Ottolenghi’s seven London restaurants are quite popular!

This unpalatable wartime bread was called "Hitler’s secret weapon." 

Several participants brought various English cheeses.

Dessert Table

Christmas Pudding: aged since mid-October!

The baker of these mince pies explained the history of mincemeat,
which originated shortly after the Crusaders returned with lots of exotic spices.

This shortbread once won a prize at the Ohio State Fair.

Along with the many sweets, we drank coffee, though I didn’t photograph it.
I’m sharing this beverage with Elizabeth at the blog party celebrating drinks.

Remembering Jan Longone

This year's dinner was dedicated to Jan Longone, founder of the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor, and always a leader of the local food-history community. Jan passed away last summer. You can read her New York Times obituary here: "Jan Longone, Influential Scholar of Food History, Dies at 89:The cookbook collection that began in the basement of her home became the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive at the University of Michigan.

Jan Longone at the December dinner in 2015.

Blog post and photos © 2015, 2022 mae sander.


eileeninmd said...

Wow, everything look delicious! The table, dinner and decorations look lovely.

Take care, have a happy new week!

kwarkito said...

I wish i could be there. all these dishes (although English) look very appetising.
thank you for the robert frost's poem

Tina said...

What a fun event to eat, learn about the various dishes and enjoyment a get together.

Unknown said...

Beautiful photos, Mae! Thanks for posting.

ashok said...

Every food looks yummyv

Jenn Jilks said...

What a lovely activity. These are new dishes for me.
Culinary styles sure have changed.

R's Rue said...

All this food looks delicious. Regine

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I would LOVE to hve parties like those. I lked that you chose a specific country in which the food would be prepared. It all looks so good and I now want something to eat.

Thanks for sharing this amazing party and all the food people brought wth us for T this week, Mae. Being British, I was surprised I had not heard of several of these dishes.

My name is Erika. said...

This sounds like a fun group Mae. And I love seeing all the different foods. My book club used to do food to go along with the book, but of course with covid lots of things changed. Thanks for sharing this post. It was interesting. hugs-Erika

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

What a fantastic event. I think I'm surprised that the group grew in size during the pandemic.

My dad's people are Scottish and shortbread has always been his favorite dessert.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

There were some things on the table I've not heard of. The version of potted shrimp is also one I've never seen before. Looks like a lovely meal.

Valerie-Jael said...

I love that party you had, it all looks so good. Good to see so many cook-books, too. I have lots of cookery books, but rarely cook these days. I remember the war bread, we ate it in the years after the war, too, as everything was rationed till the Coronation of Elizabeth. Happy T Day, Valerie

Iris Flavia said...

Wow, that sounds like very yumm fun!
I would love to be there! - thank you for sharing, I´m hungry now...

CJ Kennedy said...

What a fun dinner. All the food looks amazing. Himself’s aunt used to make plum pudding served with hard sauce. So good! Happy T Day

Divers and Sundry said...

I've had very few of those dishes, so such a dinner would be quite the adventure for me. Jan Longone's legacy will live on. What a wonderful memorial

Happy T Tuesday!

Lisca said...

How interesting! I know all of the dishes apart from Cornish fairings. Was that bread really so awful? The ingredients read like normal wholemeal bread.
Happy T-Day,

Let's Art Journal said...

Looks like you had fun celebrating everything British! My mum makes Christmas Pudding every year and it's so delicious, we serve ours with custard 😊. Sending you Happy T Day wishes! Hugs Jo x

nwilliams6 said...


If I lived by you, I would so try to join this group. I want to try all these great dishes. So fun and such a great thing to do. Preserving all these recipes is important. Kudos to all of you and to the founder (sad she passed but what a great legacy). Happy T-day and hugz

Jeanie said...

It seems like the British Isles have had a bad rap on food but I've never been disappointed. I love the flavors of the cheeses, mince pies and trifle, and so many of the main dishes (though the steak and kidney pie never did it for me!) This looks like a fabulous event --loads of fun, interesting and delicious!

Kate Yetter said...

This is such a great idea to explore foods of other cultures. Looks like a wonderful variety
Happy Tea Day,

jinxxxygirl said...

Mae that looks fantastic ! That would have been so fun to be a part of... I do apologize for being late to the T party...Not 5 minutes after i linked up my husband walks in and says 'We need to go to the hospital'.. He tried to cut his fingers off with a power tool! sigh.. He's alright.. after several hours and 12 stitches later and one broken finger.. Lovely post Mae.. and Happy Belated T day! Hugs! deb

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful meal. Except for that National Loaf (and how did somebody find that?) it definitely puts the lie to the old saw about British food. Everything looks so delicious. Of course I could live on the cheeses and the dessert table ))

Empire of the Cat said...

It does look like a fun evening! I'm not so keen on most British food and i live here haha, although I will say that we are very good at desserts so perhaps that makes up for it. I'm pretty sure that coronation chicken is the most popular sandwich filling in the UK. Fun fact! Sorry for my lateness, have a sick kitty. Happy T Day! Elle/EOTC xx