Schnapps Idea; Texas Bean Dip (1949); Monkey Bread Origin?

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Dec 5 06:09:53 UTC 2006

The NASCAR track on Staten Island plan is officially dead. In  Tuesday's NY 
Times, S.I. councilman Michael McMahon again called the project a  "schnapps 
idea." HDAS? OED?
_Nascar Considers Staten Island Speedway - Wired New York  Forum_ 
(      "It seems very much like a 
harebrain scheme, or  what my mother would call a schnapps idea, to me," said 
Councilman  Michael McMahon, whose district ... - 127k  -
_Food & Drink: My Round - Perfect anywhere Independent on  Sunday ..._ 
"It was what Germans call a `Schnapps idea'," he  said - the kind that pops 
up when you're having a drink. The site began in  1997 as a forum for 
discussing ...<WBR>mi_qn415
I drove ten miles to a  library and got access to the Dallas Morning News 
database. I added "Texas  Bean Dip" to my website. I also added an antedating of 
"pinto bean" and  better cites for "Golden Westerner Cake" and "Sam Houston 
White  Cake."
This is a nice Dallas  Morning News find.
28 April 1968, Dallas  Morning News, “Tolbert’s Texas,” section A, pg. 25: 
Story of  Monkey Bread 
by Frank X. Tolbert 

MRS. VIVIAN HARTMAN, a  Dallas friend to whose good taste I genuflect, said: “
When you go to  Albany be sure and pick up some of Ann King’s monkey bread. 
You can buy  it, I think, at the Piggly Wiggly store in Albany.” 

So, when I was  in Albany, Texas, last week I did buy some monkey bread and I 
talked with  monkey bread’s inventor, Mrs. Ann King. 

The monkey bread turned  out to be just great. At the store it comes frozen 
in a 1-pound ring, like  an angel food cake in conformation. You just brown it, 
and then become an  addict. 

MRS. ANN KING and her husband, Richard King, live in a  neat white frame 
house in a mesquite grove on the outskirts of Albany.  Mrs. King says that she 
will soon be 62, but with her fine, unlined,  lemon-colored countenance she looks 
to be at least a dozen years younger.  

We sat on the side stoop in cool sunshine, with cardinals playing  around in 
the trees, and an Appaloosa horse watching us from a pasture  across the road. 
And we talked, mostly about monkey bread. 

“When  it got so popular, and stores began carrying it here and in Abilene 
and  other towns around close, I took out a patent,” said Mrs. King. “I  
understand some restaurant in Dallas is serving what they call monkey  bread, but 
one of my customers say it doesn’t taste nearly so good as  mine.” 

THE KINGS are leading culinary artists in Albany. Richard  King is a barbecue 
specialist, and there is a big barbecue pit, fed by  mesquite knots, and 
several steel smoke houses in the yard. 

“I’ve  been cooking all my life, but now I just bake monkey bread here at 
home,”  said Mrs. King. “I’m from Anadarko in Oklahoma and Richard was born 
here  in Fort Griffin. We went out to Los Angeles during the war (World War II)  
and my husband was one of the first Negro men to go to work for Lockheed.  I 
worked for a woman in Burbank who lived next to Zasu Pitts, and Miss  Pitts and 
I became good friends. I’m telling you this because Miss Pitts  helped me 
work out the formula for monkey bread.” 

YOU REMEMBER  Zasu Pitts? She was the great character actress, the 
sweet-faced, willowy  woman with popping, bewildered eyes and she was much given to 
anxiously  wringing her hands when before the movie cameras. 

“Miss  Pitts—she’s gone now—was a good cook,” said Ann King, and she 
displayed an  autographed copy of one of Miss Pitts’ cookbooks, this one on candy 
making  called “Candy Hits by Zasu Pitts.” “As I said, she helped me during the 
 experimenting that finally resulted in monkey bread. Why did we call it  
that? Well, when we finally found the just right recipe we were being  deviled by 
some young children. So we named it for those little monkeys.”  

THE ROLL OF BREAD is all twisted up in spaghetti snarls. I like it  rather 
well browned. And it’s so “short” you don’t need any butter with  it. 

Monkey bread! It’s wonderful! 

The American Dialect Society -

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