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Hudson Beer Garden Tomato Pie

-----Original Message----- 
From: Bob
Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2012 6:50 PM
Subject: Pizza Recipe

Dear Hungry Browser,

As a child in the late 1950's and 60's, my family had a weekly, Friday night 
dinner at the Hudson Beer Garden in Trenton, NJ. The section of town that 
the restaurant was located in was Chambersburg, known locally as the 'Burg. 
it was the center of the Italian-American community, and had many Mom and 
Pop eateries that had real cooking from the home country.

On thie corner of Hudson and Mott Streets, the Hudson Beer Garden made the 
best pizza that I (or arguably, anyone) have ever had. I have tried for 
years to capture the essence of this tomato pie, but have never been able to 
replicate it's unforgettable favors.

I have tried the standard searches through Internet search engines, to no 
avail. If you are able to find anyone with connections and information 
regarding this long-gone treasure, I would be eternally greatful, as would 
my family, and generations of tomato pie lovers to come.

Thank you in advance for undertaking this effort!


Hello Bob,

Sorry, I had no more success than you. I found very few mentions of Hudson Garden at all. No descriptions of its pizza and what made it different from others in Trenton such as DeLorenzo's Tomato Pie.

If you want to experiment, you might begin with the Trenton Tomato Pie recipe here: Trenton Tomato Pie

I will, as usual, post this on my site in case a reader can help.


The Pepper Mill Flaming Shrimp Royale

From: Susan
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 12:57 AM
Subject: Flaming Shrimp Royale Recipe

Dear Uncle Phaedrus:

I have been searching the internet for a recipe from The Pepper Mill Restaurant on Walnut St. in Pasadena Ca.  
The restaurant is now closed, but was open for many years.  I’m looking for an appetizer they served call Flaming Shrimp Royale.  
It was presented in a large scallop shell nestled in rock salt with flaming sugar cubes around the edge.  There were large shrimp 
standing on end in the shell on a bed of rice.  I can’t remember the sauce on the shrimp, but it was a very impressive presentation.  
I’d like to make it for our 50th wedding anniversary as we often dined at the Pepper Mill when we lived in CA.  
Thank you for anything you can find.  

I did search the internet, CopyKat recipes and all other menu web sites I could think of.


Hi Susan,

Sorry, I looked everywhere for a “flaming shrimp royale” recipe, with no success. I could not find one from The Pepper Mill or anywhere else. I did find a “shrimp royale” recipe, but it’s not flaming or in a scallop shell and it doesn’t appear to have any resemblance at all to the appetizer that you describe. It’s here: Shrimp Royale

I found several mentions of, but not one recipe from, “The Pepper Mill” restaurant at 795 East Walnut in Pasadena. The Pepper Mill, which closed its doors in 1999, was owned by Dick & Bess Hermann. I found a few statements to the effect that “Beckham Grill” at 77 W Walnut St in Pasadena was owned by, and might still be owned by, the same folks that owned The Pepper Mill. However, I found their current menu at Beckham Grill , and the flaming shrimp royale appetizer does not appear on it. I found a newspaper item from 1969 that said the manager of The Pepper Mill was Elaine Gannon, and the head chef was Henry Gy Weeson. However, those leads did not pan out in regards to locating the recipe. I could not locate a menu from The Pepper Mill in Pasadena. There appears to be one in the archives at Cornell University, but it is not accessible online. There are, and have been, other “Pepper Mill” and “Peppermill” restaurants in Calfornia and around the country, but they do not seem to have any relationship with Dick Hermann’s restaurant. I also found a more recent “Peppermill” restaurant in Pasadena at 260 S Arroyo Pkwy, but I could not find any information about it.


Pork Loin & Button Mushrooms

From: Diana 
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 12:59 AM
Subject: German Recipe

Hi Uncle Phaedrus,

I hope you can help me! My grandmother who is from the Blackforest region in Germany make this wonderful meal for me. 
It had this reddish orange colored sauce. It had button mushrooms and pork loin I believe. 
It was served over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
All I could understand from my grandmother is that it had the word "mushrooms" in French??

Thanks for your help!

Diana  :)

Hello Diana,

Well, you really aren’t giving me enough information for this one. I have several German recipe books, one of which has a specific section of recipes from the Black Forest area, but there is no recipe like that in them. If it has the French word for mushrooms in it – “champignons” - then perhaps it isn’t a German recipe at all, but a French one.

There is a German recipe with pork loin and button mushrooms and a sauce called “jagerschnitzel”.
See the recipe here: Jagerschnitzel

There is a French recipe here, but it has a white sauce, not a reddish one:
”Pork Aux Champignons (French Pork With Mushrooms)”

There is another recipe here – “pork tenderloin with button mushrooms”- with a Merlot sauce. It’s likely reddish from the wine. Pork Tenderloin with Merlot and Mushrooms


Duncan Hines Coffee Cake

From: Elaine 
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 2:55 PM
Subject: Duncan Hines Coffee Cake, discontinued

Dear Phaedrus,

My name is Elaine and I am from O'Fallon, MO.

Probably 15 - 20  years ago, Duncan Hines had a mix for Coffee Cake that was out of this world!  
It had a cinnamon streusel topping that was layered into the cake mixture when it baked.  
I never made it exactly as the directions said because I used unsweetened canned apple slices also 
and it made a wonderful apple coffee cake.  I was always asked to bring this to family functions.

So then Duncan Hines stopped making this and I began my search to replicate their coffee cake.  
I wrote to them and got a very useless answer. From their reply it seems it is not worth their 
time to explore this part of their customer service as I was told to find something else with 
an internet search. Over the years I have been given a few recipes to try but have not been successful.

Does anyone remember this coffee cake?

Thank you.

Hello Elaine,

I don’t think it’s really important if anyone remembers it, is it? A dozen people may say “Yep, I remember it!”, but that won’t help you any. You want a copycat recipe, right? Please go to this site and choose the mix you are referring to from the list of Duncan Hines discontinued cake mixes on the page under the D’s:
Discontinued Foods at Hometown Favorites
Then, write back to me and tell me which one it is. I have to start with the correct name of the mix.


From: Elaine
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 5:03 PM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: Duncan Hines Coffee Cake, discontinued

Dear Phaedrus,

Among those listed, none really seem to be the one; however Duncan Hines Cinnamon Swirl seems closest but 
if I remember correctly that was a regular cake mix, and not a coffee cake mix. How to know for sure??
Does anyone make a coffee cake mix anymore??
Thanks for all your efforts in locating this and everyone else's requests. 
You are really dedicated and have helped out so many folks!
Good Luck to you. 

Hello Elaine,

Sorry, I cannot find any mention of a “Duncan Hines Coffee Cake mix.” There are lots of recipes for coffee cake that call for one of the Duncan Hines cake mixes such as Butter Cake mix or White Cake mix or Yellow Cake mix , but that’s all I’m finding. See here:


Duncan Hines Coffee Cake

That's My Home

Even if I were to find some mention of a Duncan Hines Coffee Cake mix that was sold years ago by them, that’s a long way from finding a copycat recipe for this commercial product. I'll post this on the site.


From: Sylvia 
Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2012 10:57 AM
Subject: Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

I am contacting you in reference to this entry on your web site:

Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 2:55 PM
Subject: Duncan Hines Coffee Cake, discontinued

Dear Phaedrus,

My name is Elaine and I am from O'Fallon, MO.

Probably 15 - 20  years ago, Duncan Hines had a mix for Coffee Cake that was out of this world!  
It had a cinnamon streusel topping that was layered into the cake mixture when it baked.  
I never made it exactly as the directions said because I used unsweetened canned apple slices also 
and it made a wonderful apple coffee cake.  

I also am looking for this recipe. It was lost in a move to an other town.
The recipe originally came on the side of Duncan Hines Spice cake box. It had the streusel topping and 
the recipe called for a can of apple pie filling.
I can not remember the quantities of the ingredients.  If you can find it I would truly be grateful.  


Hello Sylvia,

Well, Elaine doesn’t remember it as using spice cake mix. She says Duncan Hines had a "coffee cake mix" product, so I’m not sure you are talking about the same thing.

I found several recipes calling for Duncan Hines Spice Cake mix, apple pie filling, and cinnamon, but I did not find any that said they had been printed on the Spice Cake mix box, nor did I find any that specifically had a streudel.

See below and this site for examples of what I found:

If the recipe was printed on the box, your best bet for locating it is to post a request in the Duncan Hines forum here:

Duncan Hines Forums


Apple Spice Cake:

1. To one package Duncan Hines Spice Cake mix, add 3 eggs and 1 can of Comstock Apple Pie Filling. 
   If you use an electric mixer, the few small remaining apple chunks will disappear during the baking. 
2. Scrape into a greased & floured 9" x 13" x 2" pan; if you pile the batter a bit higher toward the pan edges, 
   the finished cake will be a more uniform thickness. 
3. Sprinkle with 1/4 C sugar mixed with 1/2 t cinnamon. 
4. In a greased & floured 9" x 13" x 2" baking pan, bake on center rack of a 350 F oven until it tests done - 
   -it will appear done, &  it will pull away from sides of pan. 
5. Cool in the pan; serve w/ (optional) whipped topping. 

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