A Harte Appetite

flickr user Marco Verch (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

If, like me, you think of Christmas as a time for cookies, you ought to be grateful to the Germans because they invented that custom. German lebkuchen the Cadillac, or should I say the Mercedes Benz of spice cookies, was probably the first cookie traditionally associated with Christmas. Lebkuchen may also very well be the oldest form of cookie know to human kind.

flicker user numb3r (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Archeologists have discovered evidence in tombs as old as 8000 B.C. that pancakes were a significant component of the ancient Egyptian diet. In fact, the cakes of the Old Testament were really pancakes. The basic pancake recipe in use today can be traced back to a Roman gourmet.


Most of us have an image of the first thanksgiving that we learned in grade school:  of the Pilgrims sitting with the Indians at a large table with a white tablecloth celebrating the harvest together over a meal of turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.

flickr user Satya Murthy (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Contrary to conventional wisdom, putting together a Thanksgiving Day menu is not particularly challenging.  After all, the fundamentals of the holiday meal are hardly open to debate.

Sure, you may have a choice in how you’re going to prepare the turkey, but you’re probably going to have turkey.  Similarly, cranberries will unquestionably be on the table.  And when it comes to dessert, you’ll likely offer some sort of pumpkin treat.  No, picking the menu for Thanksgiving is not the hard part.  The hard part is deciding what to drink.

A Harte Appetite: Cakes

Nov 18, 2019
flickr user Tracey Wilhelmsen (https://www.flickr.com/photos/traceysculinaryadventures/5524758373/in/photolist-9qcQbH-oEQ8Wf-6EjAjZ-8UjeG2-8UjiTK-24TuNse-bkRf25-FSeddb-6SiE9i-9mDK5T-81EJbx-p3Hu5P-9UZkT3-7JG3V4-5tcLED-77xqMC-8KwoDZ-bq4ERb-7mi6fV-CRVcC-68u)

Rose Levy Beranbaum, in her book, “The Pie and Pastry Bible,” a volume which I’ve read religiously, says, “There are two kinds of people: cake people and pie people.”

All my life I’ve believed I’m in the second category. I even served once as a judge at the National Pie Championships sponsored by the American Pie Council, of which I was a charter member.