Mary’s Memo – November 4th


Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie (University of Nebraska Press, November 1, 2013, $19.95/softback), by Midwestern Writers on Food, brings to the table an illustrious gathering of 30 Midwestern writers with something to say about the gustatory pleasures and peculiarities of the region. With its corn by the acre, beef on the hoof, Quaker Oats and Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, the Midwest eats pretty well and feeds the nation on the side. But there’s more to the Midwestern kitchen and palate than the farm food and sizeable portions the region is best known for beyond its borders. It is these heartland specialties, from heartwarming to weird, that Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie invites the reader. Did you know that the Bundt baking pan that most of us own was inspired by two Jewish women living in Minneapolis in the forties who pressured Minnesota-based Nordic Ware to make a pan that could help them reproduce their longed-for kugelhopf?

The book is edited by Peggy Wolff who has written for publications including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant and Orlando Sentinel. She is the food editor of for Realize Magazine.

Since we can identify with so much of the contents of Walleye and Cherry Pie, you’ll want to order your own copy ASAP from


Once upon a time a bag of potato chips weighed 16-ounces. Now my favorite Frito Lay Sour Cream & Onion weighs only 9.5-ounces although the bag looks the same as it did when it held more chips. Citing another example, Kraft Caramels, originally were sold in a 14-ounce bag; now it weighs 11-ounces. This year Werther’s came up with a baking caramel but it weighs even less. I have news for both of them; I am not buying 2 bags of their caramels to make a recipe that calls for 14-ounces! Instead, I’ll make other kinds of cookies. A lot of recipes call for 8-ounces of cheese but watch out because some packages only weigh 7-ounces. I can also remember when the small can of coffee held a pound. The can is still about the same size but there’s only 11-ounces in it. Manufacturers think we don’t notice the difference if it doesn’t cost more. And don’t get me started on toilet paper …. The biggest rip off of all! Used to be that we could tell which kind was the best when Mr. Wimple squeezed it. No matter which one you choose today it has far less sheets per roll than it had in the past!


New from Ballreich’s, located in Tiffin, OH, is All Natural Sweet Potato Chips with 0 grams of trans fats and seasoned with sea salt. Although I won’t eat their regular chips because they still insist on frying them in hydrogenated fat, these are addictive! Look for the 6-ounce bag at Chief (yes, bag looks like it should have more chips in it).


Long after Canada and the European Union have allowed gluten-free labeling on foods, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will allow gluten-free labels starting August 2014. Only products containing fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten can be deemed “gluten-free” for food labeling. This is considered a safe threshold of gluten to be eaten by people with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders.


Daughter Mary Ann shared this recipe with me. It’s a four season kind of side dish.


• 2 teaspoons canola oil
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 2 teaspoons minced ginger, peeled
• 2 cups onion, sliced
• 1 tablespoon chopped, seeded jalapeño
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 5 cups chopped kale
• 2 cups green cabbage
• 2 tablespoons water

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds; cook 1 minute. Add ginger; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: via Mary Ann Thaman.

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One thought on “Mary’s Memo – November 4th

  1. Chris Poers

    This is a request for a lost recipe from a Marys Memo years ago.
    I believe it was called Sausage Corn Bean Chowder.
    I used to work at Rays and had numerous copies of the recipe as she published it
    more than one time. Guess I liked it each time so I saved them. Apparently in an effort
    to clean up the recipe file I purged all copies.
    It took Bob Evans hot sausage, v8 juice, gr pepper, onion,beans, corn and I cannot remember what else.
    If you still have it laying around somewhere I would appreciate having the recipe.
    I loved getting the memos every week when I worked. Many really good tips and
    recipes. Don Niese always made sure there was one waiting for me when I came in.
    Thanks alot


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