Niedecker Recipes

by Ann Engelman

Lorine quoted Al Millen in her “Cooking Book”

Many things are better
flavored with bacon

And don’t be afraid
to pour wine over cabbage

Following are some recipes from Lorine’s recipe book, with her notes. The recipe book itself was a small, vertical, 3×5 six ring plastic binder. The recipes were made for the 2010 Poetry Festival by Kitty at the Café Carpe. Thanks to book artist Dawn Hunter for creating a small chapbook with these recipes. Food from the 1950s and 1960s combined some interesting ingredients!

Also below is the recipe for Grasshoppers, the drink that is becoming a Poetry Festival tradition. I asked Lorine’s biographer Margot Peters, “How do we know that Lorine drank Grasshoppers?” Here’s her response:

Lorine mentions having a whiskey sour and a Grasshopper after dinner in a letter to Louis Zukofsky. I believe the experience inspired the poem “Club 26.” She also talks about drinking Grasshoppers at the Blackhawk Hotel in her account of Cid and Shizumi Corman’s visit to Fort, in a letter to Julie. There is also the testimony of Christine Hedberg, whose family knew the McAllisters well, of the McAllisters bringing grasshoppers to their campfire by the river to please Lorine.

Lorine’s Blackhawk Island Recipes

Jello Salad (my favorite)

1 pkg. Lemon Jello
1 pint boiling water (less 2 tbs)
2 tb vinegar
1/2 tsp salt, shake of cayenne pepper
2 c. cabbage cut fine
1 c.tart apple cut fine
8 stuffed olives, cut fine

Dissolve Jello in boiling water. Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Chill. When slightly thickened, stir in cabbage, apples, and olives. Put into individual molds. Chill until firm. Serve on lettuce with mayonnaise. Serves 6

Chicken Loaf

1/2 recipe for 2 people

2 c diced chicken
1/2 c. chopped cooked carrots
1 c. cooked peas
1/2 c chopped celery
1 tb minced green pepper
1 c bread crumbs
1/2 c milk
2 egg yolks beaten
1tsp onion juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Swedish Meatballs

(Same as Electric Fry Pan booklet) Serves 4

1 lb gr. Beef
1/4 lb gr. Pork (saus. Meat)
3 tb butter
1/2 c crumbs
1 egg slightly beaten
1 tsp salt and pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 can tomato soup plus
1 can beef bouillon or consomme’

Combine meat, seasoning, crumbs & egg into balls. Brown in butter. Add soup. Simmer for about 1 hr.

Corn and Cheese Fondue

Makes 4 – 6 servings

2/3 cup bread cubes
1 1/2 cups cream style corn
2 teaspoons minced onion
2 teaspoons chopped green pepper
3/4 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup hot milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until well blended. Spoon into a greased 9-inch loaf pan. Set in pan of hot water. Bake 1 hour, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Bread Pudding

2 c. stale bread crumbs
1 qt. scalded milk
1/3 c. sugar,
1/4 c. melted butter
2 eggs,
1/2 tsp.salt
1 tsp. vanilla or 1/4 tsp spice

Soak bread crumbs in warm milk. Set aside to cool; add sugar, butter, eggs slightly beaten, salt and flavoring. Bake one hr. in buttered pudding dish in slow oven, serve with vanilla sauce.

Hard Sauce

1/2 c butter
1 c confectioner’s sugar
1/2 c butter
1 c brown sugar
Flavor with dark rum

Pumpkin Pie

Small can – no. 303 or
1 heaping cup of cooked pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar or 1/2 c. honey
2 eggs beaten
1/4 tsp. ginger
3/4 c. or more warm milk
1 tsp. cinnamon, salt, pepper
Uncooked shell

Bake at 450 10 min; reduce heat to 300 for about 30 min.

Grasshopper Ice Cream Cocktail

1 shot green crème de menthe
1 shot white crème de cacao
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Place creme de menthe, creme de cacao and ice cream into a blender.
Blend until thick and creamy.
(Our Grasshopper makers’ note: “We added 2-4 ice cubes because it seemed too thick.”)
Pour into a 12 ounce glass.

Optional – garnish with a sprig of mint.