Memphis in the Meantime

Don’t you just love it when all the pieces of the puzzle come together? With each recipe book discovery and subsequent noteworthy recipes, I scan for those delicious dishes attributed to old restaurants, hotels, country clubs, etc.  I’m tickled to no end when I can connect the past and present. Usually I find myself staring at a brick wall, as the pavement runs out on a dead end street.  But, not today, my friends!  Today, my quest took me to Memphis, Tennessee and I was on the hunt for a handful of locations.  Luckily, and with minimal research, I located The Calvary Waffle Shop and Calvary Church. Both (yet one in the same) have noteworthy recipes featured in The Memphis Cook Book.

According to the church’s website, “With its delicious food and atmosphere of merriment, the Waffle Shop provides downtowners with a unique lunch, during the season of Lent, while supporting the outreach ministries of congregations throughout the city. The volunteer-run Waffle Shop is open from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each day of the Lenten Preaching Series.  The Waffle Shop menu still features some of the same recipes it has served since its opening in 1928.”  1928…that’s 86 years ago!

I’ve always loved Memphis, Tennessee. The people, food and places…all are quite remarkable.  My first concert going experience was with, The King, Elvis Presley.  I’ve paid my respects and stood in awe at Graceland. I’ve meandered down the iconic Beale Street amidst heavenly aromas of barbecue and got my quack on at the historic Peabody Hotel.  Memphis has been calling my name and it’s been far too long since my last visit.  I want to have to visit again, soon.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at a few tasty recipes, still on the Waffle Shop menu.  We’re serving up the past – Memphis style, from the recipe book, The Memphis Cook Book.

Fish Pudding (Calvary Church)

  • 3 lbs red snapper or 3 pkgs. frozen fish
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 c cracker crumbs
  • 1 T chopped parsley
  • 1 T scraped onion
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper
  • Sherry to taste

Fish should be baked with a little seasoning, boned and shredded. Then put in bowl, add eggs and beat in well.  Add milk and 1/2 of butter, cracker crumbs, parsley, onion and lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Put in baking dish and top with cracker crumbs and rest of butter.  If mixture looks dry, add more milk. Set in pan of hot water and bake in 325-degree oven for 50 minutes. Serve with tartare sauce. Serves 8-10.

Tartare Sauce

Take 1 cup stiff mayonnaise, thin with a little cream. Add chopped parsley, chopped sour pickle and capers, if desired.

Hash House Waffles

  • 4 well-beaten eggs
  • 1 qt milk
  • 5 c sifted flour
  • 5 T baking powder
  • 3 T corn meal
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 scant T salt
  • 3/4 c salad oil
  • 3/4 c melted butter

Beat eggs. Add 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk, alternately, until 4 cups of flour and all of the milk are added. Add the corn meal, sugar and salt, blend in well.  Add the oil and melted butter. Add the fifth cup of flour, which has been sifted with the baking powder.  These waffles may be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator if you do not stir in the fifth cup of flour and the baking powder until you are ready to make the waffles.  Yield:  8 or 9 waffles.

According to the book, “Hash House Waffles have been served for years at Calvary Church Waffle Shop with great success.”

Recipe contributed to The Memphis Cook Book by Mrs. Adele Orgill.

Schaum Torte

  • 2 c sugar, sifted
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 T vinegar
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 T vanilla, optional

Beat egg whites with wire whisk until foamy and add cream of tartar. Continue beating until stiff and gradually add sugar, beating constantly. Continue beating until sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Add vanilla and vinegar, just before las of sugar is added. Put in Schaum Torte pan (a spring-form pan). Put in cold oven. Set oven at 250-degrees and bake until delicately brown, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. To make individual shells for fruit or ice cream, form little nests with the uncooked mixture on greased brown paper. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe contributed to The Memphis Cook Book by Mrs. Fred Heckle, Jr.

**Special Note:  all recipes are posted exactly as found in each recipe book.  No changes to spelling, grammar or punctuation have been made.  That’s all part of the historical, and often times whimsical, charm of heritage and vintage recipes.


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