Red Devil & Hot Dog in NY Times; Soup for a Bum: Mudslide (cookie)
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Wed Apr 20 05:09:51 UTC 2005
RED DEVIL & HOT DOG IN WEDNESDAY'S NEW YORK TIMES
They must do this to kill me.
"She said 'Red velvet, well, hot dog,' " Mr. Dennis remembered. "That's how I got that hot dog in my slang."
Through Ms. Horne, he made cakes for Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, and soon enough he had begun to develop a reputation as the baker to the entertainment world's African-American aristocracy.
"He really gets to know you when he's making a cake for you," Mr. Andrews said. "He asks you, 'What do you like? What are your favorite colors?' "
Mr. Dennis's favorite cake, were anyone to ask him, is red velvet, so popular that he's had to limit slices to four per customer. The cake is the subject of urban legend, which has it originating in the kitchens of the Waldorf-Astoria. A guest who sought revenge on the chef who had billed her for the recipe - for $300, in some versions of the story - started doling it out wherever she went. The cake, with its vaguely chocolate flavoring and hue from red food coloring, has a long history of popularity in the South. Mr. Dennis slathers his with a cream cheese frosting in deference to tradition.
SOUP FOR A BUM
I like this bit of slang I found today in this old publication of the New York Sun newspaper. "Put the bag on"?
FACTS ABOUT NEW YORK
New York: The Sun Printing and Publishing Association
Pg. 10: Park Row
Johnny Meehan, the bearded proprietor of Dolan's, had a wide acquaintance among politicians. As the waiters shouted their orders, "beef and!" &c., Meehan sliced up the corned meat and dished out the beans (10 cents for the combination). Frequently he paused to get some friend, perhaps Thodore Roosevelt, then Police Commissioner, or the Mayor, who had just arrived to "put the bag on," as the waiters would say.
In some restaurants along Park Row the waiters used to cry: "Plate o' soup for a bum!" This would have been rejected by any other customer, but the bum knew the meaning of the order. He was to get the soup minus its potato ingredient.
I had a "mudslide" cookie at Jacques Torres. The "mudslides" in the ADS-L archives appear to be just the drink. Does the cookie come from Chicago?
Cookie business has produced a lot of dough
8 May 1987
FIVE STAR SPORTS FINAL
Mrs. Fields Cookies. Sixteen locations in Chicago and suburbs. Cookies Chicago, Franklin Concourse, Sears Tower, 233 S. Wacker, 876-2676; Illinois Center, 225 N. Michigan, 565-1267. Raimondi's Pastry Shoppe, 4848 Butterfield Rd., Hillside. 449-7600.
When Mrs. Ruth Wakefield, who owned the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Mass., created the Toll House cookie in the early '30s, she really started something. Today, the business of selling cookies is big business, to the sweet tune of several billion dollars a year.
The word "cookie" is from the Dutch koekje, meaning "little cake." Cookies were a favorite treat with the early Dutch settlers along the Eastern Seaboard. Cookbooks from the 18th and 19th century list numerous recipes for cookies, and the many varieties that are around today have evolved from those basic recipes.
One of the best-selling cookbooks today is Joy of Cooking, by Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. The book, which was first printed in 1931, has recipes for about 80 cookies, from almond meringue to vanilla refrigerator. You would think that would just about fill the bill (and the cookie jar), but cookies beg to be exploited.
In recent years - call it the Cookie Age - the cookie monsters have been busy. Like a bunch of scientists tinkering over test tubes, cookie types began experimenting in hopes of making some dough from their unique creations. The result is a whole new batch of sweet little cakes to tempt, tease and test our willpower.
Who can pass up a good cookie? At my parents' 50th wedding anniversary several years ago, two enormous platters of homemade cookies weighed down either end of the head table. I thought, "After a big dinner, who's going to want to eat cookies?" But a few hours later, the piles were reduced to a smattering of crumbs.
Is there a feeling more forlorn than that of sticking your hand into an empty cookie jar? And is there an odor more supernal than that of freshly baked cookies?
Debbi Fields opened her first cookie store in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1977, and now there are some 300 of her cookie shops in 25 states. Not only is she one smart cookie, she makes some great ones. Her chunky, delicious cookies are filled with such good things as white chocolate, macadamia nuts, semisweet chocolate and pecans.
Then there are her triple delicious cookies such as the triple chocolate cookie, which is loaded with white, milk and semisweet chocolate. Another favorite of mine is the oatmeal cookie with raisins and walnuts. Milk chocolate with or without nuts have not escaped my wild and wooly taste buds either. No matter which one you go for, you can count on fresh cookies. The dough is mixed on the premises, the cookies are baked on the premises and any cookies more than two hours old are taken off sale and donated to charity. Nice going, Mrs. Fields.
Cookie favorite No. 2 is Cookies Chicago, which has two shops in the city. I usually hit the one in the Sears Tower, a neat and tidy cookie emporium that is like walking into a big cookie jar filled with delicious cookies. The peanut butter cookie with semisweet chocolate is a beauty, but the macadamia with semisweet chocolate is a dream come true. It's also hard to pass up the white chocolate with walnuts, the oatmeal with raisins and the semisweet chocolate with walnuts.
Something called heavenly squares are true bliss: Graham cracker crumbs, semisweet chocolate, coconut and walnuts come together to form a treat that's hard to beat. And if you want to sink your teeth into something real chocolaty and rich, go for the mudslide. It's round, as thick as a hamburger, and loaded with bits of chocolate and a wealth of walnuts.
Cookies Chicago does it all from scratch, and if you can't get to the shops, they deliver to some areas of the city.
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