February 20, 2012

A Winter Resort from the Past Each month this winter, we have featured a winter vacation related item. Previous posts featured brochures about The Court Inn and Hampton Terrace. Continuing with this theme, we are featuring a third brochure about a winter resort, a Laurel House of Lakewood Brochure. Laurel House of Lakewood, Lakewood, NJ. Brochure, ca. 1900, Laurel House of Lakewood. Laurel House was located in Lakewood, New Jersey and was open from October until June making it a fall, winter, and spring resort. Along with Laurel-in-the-Pines at Lakewood and the Waumbek and Cottages at Jefferson in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Laurel House at Lakewood was part of the Lakewood and Jefferson Resort System. Situated in an area with a mild winter climate, the resort offered its guests outdoor recreational activities throughout the winter. This included golfing, cycling, boating, and cross-country hunts. Lakewood had several private clubs for outdoor sports and the clubs allowed resort guests to use the facilities during their stay. Nearby were two lakes, Lake Carasaljo and Lake Manetta, available for boating and depending on the weather, skating and ice-boating. A walk around Lake Carasaljo was described in the brochure as "one of the most charming walks in the vicinity." There were gravel walkways with bridges as well as places to stop and rest along the way. Located in an area with many pine trees, there were roads for driving, riding, or cycling through the pine forest as well as walks for those who preferred to enjoy the scenery on...
Cooking from the Collections: New Orleans Style! Just in time for Fat Tuesday, our testers whip up some food with New Orleans flair: gumbo and sweet potato pone! Both come from The New Orleans Cookbook, published by folks that now seem like old friends to Cooking from the Collections, the "staff home economists" of the Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago. Left to right: Sweet Potato Pone, White Rice, Crab-Shrimp Gumbo. Crab-Shrimp Gumbo This was a relatively easy dish to make. While it is not the traditional gumbo that one might expect, this was a tasty and filling dish that was well-received by my colleagues, wife, and two-year-old daughter. Since the recipe was published in the 1950s, I took a few liberties based on modern conveniences. For example, instead of preparing the shrimp separately, I used frozen cooked and peeled shrimp. I also replaced canned crab-meat with freshly-packaged crab meat. As far as flavor, one thing that surprised me about the finished product was that it was somewhat bland, which is not what one would expect of gumbo. As you can see from the ingredients list that the recipe went very light on the spices. I was left wondering if this was indicative of the time that the recipe was published. Anecdotally, I’ve heard that many Americans preferred their food, well…blander, back then. I had to do the other ingredients justice, so I ended up adding additional salt, ground pepper, thyme, parsley, and garlic. I also amended the recipe to include beef bouillon and white pepper. If I...

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