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Stephenson's Old Apple Farm BBQ Rub

Another request that I had in December was for the brisket rub from Stephensonís Old Apple Farm Restaurant in Independence, MO, which closed in 2007.

There's a brief history of Stephenson's here: The Examiner

The actual rub recipe is still a secret, but this rub is said to be close: Steven Raichlen Best of Barbecue Kansas City Sweet-and-Smoky Barbecue Rub

There is a "tastes-like" recipe for the brisket sandwich here: Tastes Like Stephenson's Brisket

Stephenson's published a cookbook of many of their recipes called "Stephenson's Restaurants: Receipts Old Family Secret Recipes." However, it does not contain a recipe for the BBQ rub. You can buy it from Amazon: Stephenson's Apple Farm Restaurant Recipes

There are some recipes from Stephenson's on the web. See: Green Rice, Apple Fritters, Cider Mill Punch, Baked Chicken N Butter and Cream, Grandma Murphy's Apple Butter, Corn Relish, Fresh Apple Pie, Scalloped Zucchini Casserole, Smoked Chicken Gizzards & Livers


Potato Soup and Zucchini Casserole

There are a couple of their recipes on my site: Green Rice and Zucchini Casserole


From: "Christina"
Subject: Stephensonís Old Apple Farm Baked Chicken íNí Butter
Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 5:56 PM

The Kansas City Star just published this recipe which may interest you.

Stephensonís Old Apple Farm Baked Chicken íNí Butter

Makes 3-4 servings

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 chicken, 2 1/2 to 3 pound fryer, cut up
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup nonfat milk powder

Combine flour, salt, paprika, and pepper. Dip chicken in water. Coat with
mixture of flour and seasonings.

Put chicken skin side down into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan (2 inches deep).
Slice butter thinly over chicken.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Mix milk powder with 1  1/2 cups of hot water. Pour around chicken. Bake 1
 1/4 hours more, or till tender.

Read more here:

Gourmet Magazine's Curried Corn Bisque

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jodie 
Sent: Saturday, January 09, 2016 11:10 AM
Subject: PLEASE HELP! Curried Corn Bisque Recipe, Best of Gourmet Magazine

Dear Uncle Phaedrus:

A million karma points and my eternal gratitude if you can find the Curried 
Corn Bisque recipe from Gourmet Magazine, circa late 80s/early 90s. 
Ingredients include (obvs) fresh corn and curry powder, plus cucumber. It's 
in that year's annual Best of Gourmet cookbook. This recipe is my white 
whale. Family longing to have it again. Please help! Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


Hi Jodie,

Sorry, I had no success locating a curried corn chowder recipe that said it came from Gourmet Magazine, nor could I find a curried corn bisque recipe with cucumber as an ingredient. Gourmet Magazine has a recipe archive at: Gourmet Magazine However, the recipes from the 1980s and 1990s have not yet been added to that archive.

I will post this for reader input, but it will be the middle of February before it appears.

If you can determine exactly which year's "Best of Gourmet" the recipe was in, you can probably find a used copy of that year's book for sale on the Internet. If you can determine the exact issue of the magazine that it was in, you might be able to buy a copy of that issue from E-Bay or from one of the sites that sell magazine back issues.


From: Claire 
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2016 6:40 AM
Subject: Gourmet Magazine's Curried Corn Bisque
Hi Uncle Phaedrus

I do have very large collection of cookbooks and old magazines some are old American Gourmet ones from 1980 & 1990ís. 

On a hutch I looked at my pile of these magazines and it was in the top six. 

I hope this helps you 

Claire from OZ
I have found the recipe for you - Gourmet October 1990 page 192

Curried Corn Bisque 

1 large onion, chopped coarse
1 cucumber, peeled seeded and chopped
3 cups cooked fresh corn kernels (cut from fresh 6 ears or thawed frozen)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter 
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne 
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups half-half or light cream 

For the garnish

1/2 cup finely chopped mango chutney 
1/4 cup minced scallion

In a kettle cook the onion, the cucumber, and the corn in butter over moderately low heat, stirring for 15 minutes, 
stir in the curry powder, the salt, and the cayenne, and cook the mixture, stirring for 30 seconds.
Remove the kettle from the heat. 
In a food processor or blender puree the vegetable mixture with the broth in batches. 
In the kettle simmer the puree, stirring frequently. 
Simmer the soup until it is heated through and divide it among bowls.
Garnish each serving with some of the chutney and some of the scallion. 
Makes about 9 cups, serving 4 to 6.

From Claire in OZ 

Guss' Pickles

This is another of those requests that vanished when my computer's hard drive developed mad cow disease. Someone requested a recipe for pickles like "Guss' Pickles" in NYC that they remembered from years ago. I have attempted to recreate my response below.

First, a little history: Just after the beginning of the twentieth century, a Russian emigrant named Isadore "Izzy" Guss, began selling his homemade pickles from a pushcart on Essex Street in Lower Manhattan. Essex Street was a popular area for vendors selling Jewish and Italian foods from pushcarts, and Izzy did well enough to open an actual store in the area to sell his pickles in 1920 - first on Hester Street, then moving to Essex Street. Essex Street became known as "Pickle Alley", with up to 80 pickle vendors at one time. Guss outlasted the others, with his pickles becoming a Lower East Side institution over the years.

When Izzy passed away in 1975, Guss' Pickles was sold to Harold Baker, who passed it on to his son Tim Baker. The main supplier of cucumbers to Guss' Pickles was United Pickle in the Bronx - owned by the Leibowitz family - who maintained a close relationship with Tim Baker. In 2001, Andrew Leibowitz and Tim Baker went together to open a second Guss' Pickles location in Cedarhurst, NY. A few years later, in 2004, Tim Baker decided that he wanted to get out of the pickle business. He put Guss' Pickles, which now was on Orchard Street, up for sale, Leibowitz didn't buy it, and the lease was sold to Patricia Fairhurst, who continued to operate it as Guss' Pickles and to buy her cucumbers from the Leibowitz's. However, a couple of years later, Fairhurst began buying cucumbers from other suppliers, and relations between Fairhurst and Leibowitz began to chill, resulting in lawsuits filed by both parties. Fairhurst was granted the right to continue using the Guss' Pickles name, but only at the Orchard Street shop. As fortune would have it, this became a problem. The Lower East Side, as New York neighborhoods are wont to do, began to change, and the pickle business began to suffer because of it. Fewer pickle buyers frequented the area, and Fairhurst and her son Roger Janin saw their income fade. In 2009, seeking a better location, Fairhurst & son moved their operation to the Borough Park area. This didn't work out as well as they hoped, perhaps partly because, as a result of the earlier settlement, they could no longer use the name Guss' Pickles. They opened under the name "Ess-a-Pickle", and by 2010 were looking to move again. They moved again, to Clinton Hill under the name Clinton Hill Pickles.

Meanwhile, back on Essex Street, some former employees of Guss' Pickles opened a shop called "The Pickle Guys." So now you have "Guss' Pickles" in Cedarhurst (Leibowitz), "Clinton Hill Pickles" in Clinton Hill, and "The Pickle Guys" in Essex Street, all with a valid claim to direct descent from Izzy Guss' pickles, if not all with a valid claim to use the Guss' name.

If you're not from New York or another areas where fermented pickles are popular, you may be wondering what the big deal is with these pickles. This type of pickle, which is a Jewish deli staple, is not your usual supermarket pickle packed in vinegar - "sweet" or "dill" or "bread-and-butter", etc. These pickles, called "new", "half-sour" or "sour", are fermented in a brine solution like sauerkraut. There is no vinegar used. The "sour" variety are very sour. The half-sours are milder, and are my favorite. I saw mention of a "quarter-sour", but I have not had an opportunity to try those or the "new" variety. Our local supermarket sells half-sours, but you'll find them in one of the refrigerated sections, not on the usual pickle aisle. "Sours" are harder to find in many places, but in Maine, Amato's restaurants sell them by the jar.

If you want to make some of these at home, see the recipes on these pages:

Wild Fermentation
Tommy J's Kitchen
Just a Pinch
fermented kosher dills

There are some "half sour" pickle recipes on this page as well: 4-28-08 Note that I posted those before I knew what real "half-sour pickles" were, and some of those recipes call for vinegar. If you want real Jewish style half sour pickles, don't use a recipe that calls for vinegar.

For more on the New York "Pickle Wars", see these sites:

Grub Street
Business Insider
NY Daily News
NY Times
Burnt My Fingers
Guss' Pickles Website
Pickle Guys Website
New York Serious Eats
Bowery Boogie

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