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Maxixe Cherries

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Ray 
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:45 AM
Subject: Bowl of Cherries? Box of Cherries?

Dear Uncle P.

Been a while since I wrote, but I do check into your site to see "what's cookin'"  Sorry.

Anyway, I have been since about 1958 (when I was thirteen) a fan of the baroque prose 
of the late S.J. Perelman, and have worn out one or two copies of his "Best of" over 
the years.  Anyway.

In a story from this collection (first published in the New Yorker in 1942, but which 
you might not be able to access if not a subscriber):

New Yorker

He mentioned "a box of maxixe cherries..."  Well, for years I wondered just what 
those were, but until Google came along was mystified.  Apparently it should have 
been, "a box of Maxixe Cherries," as I find that was a brand name.  Unless, of course, 
it _was_ a generic term like "potato chips".  I can find mentions of them on the Net 
(advertisements from the 'teens [39 cents a pound] to the early fifties [59 cents a pound]), 
but not lately.  I'm assuming they might have been like the currently available 
chocolate-covered cherries, with the liquid glop around the cherry, but maybe they 
had a different surround, firmer, perhaps.

It appears I could have tasted them, theoretically, since the early fifties and young, 
sweets-greedy self did overlap, but the only commercial candies I really recall by name 
from that time were Whitman's Samplers and Smith Brothers Licorice Cough Drops.  If you 
can find any more about this cherry product great.  Maybe when the company stopped making 
them/went out of business?  Unless, of course, Perelman was correct, and the name was of 
the "potato chip" variety.

  I take it you are in Maine now?


Hello Ray,

Yes, in Maine now.

Well, "Maxixe Cherries" might have been at one time a generic term for chocolate covered cherries, but the scant evidence that I found seems to point in the direction of "Maxixe" being a brand name, as you say.

There is a Rexall Drugstore ad from Life Magazine here:
Life Magazine
To wit:
Life Magazine Nov 5, 1951
Rexall Drugstore ad:
Maxixe Cherries
"Delicious maraschino cherries in a luscious creamy center covered with smooth, rich chocolate."

There is a 1913 Minnesota Dairy and Food Department report here:
Minnesota Dairy & Food Department
This report shows "'Maxixe' chocolate covered cherries" manufactured by : Montague - Lacrosse, Wisconsin. They are declared to be illegal by the document due to the fact that they contained coal tar dyes.

There is a photo of a Maxixe Chocolate Covered Cherries box here:

The candy may have been named after a slightly naughty Brazilian dance step, the "Maxixe". See:
Encyclopedia of the Exquisite

There is also a Brazilian vegetable, similar to the cucumber, that is known as the maxixe:
The Perfect Bite

In fact, Google translates "maxixe" from Portuguese to English as "gherkin". Hmmmmm.....?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Ray 
To: Phaedrus 
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 1:38 PM
Subject: RE: Maxixe cherries

Yes, those were the references I found, especially the relatively late "Life" 
mention and the picture of the box top as a collectible.  It sure looks as if 
it was a brand name, but there was that upper-case/lower-case situation with 
he NYer essay by Perelman I was pondering.  The NYer is supposedly (or was; I've s
een a lapse or two of late) a demon for fact-checking, so that they let "maxixe" 
go lower-case made me wonder.  Seems a bit hard to make a connection between a 
Brazilian dance and a confection, especially one as "old" as the candy was.


Hi Ray,

The dance appears to have predated the cherry candy by at least a couple of decades (1884 in Brazil), and the cherry candy, if it began in about 1910 or so, came out at the same time that the dance became popular in the U.S. The dance "Maxixe" was considered to be slightly "naughty", and at one time, rich confections such as chocolate covered cherries, were also considered "naughty", although in an extravagance sense rather than a sexual one. I can see a marketing connection there. Even today, we use that same sort of "naughtiness" connotation to market some foods.


Veal Empanadas

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Maria 
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2010 3:00 PM
Subject: request for recipe

The recipe is for Panada, it is from Spain, the Lugo area, and consists of a 
pie filled with veal, peppers and onions.  It can be eaten hot or cold. 
My grandmother made big sheet cake sizes of this recipe and no one got the 
recipe from her.  Any help you can give me would be appreciated.


Hello Maria,

This was an interesting search. I found that what you are describing is most likely an EM-panada. These are meat pies that originated in the area of Galicia, in the northwest of Spain. Lugo, and the province of Lugo are also part of this area of Spain. The pies are often called "empanada gallega".

However, as one quickly finds when searching the Internet for empanadas recipes, there are two types of empanadas. The crusts and fillings of both are basically the same, but some are small turnovers rather than the larger empanada pies. Indeed, the smaller ones are sometimes called "empanadillas" or "little pies", but not always.

Empanada fillings, even in the northwest of Spain, are varied. They may be meatless, they may be made with fish, such as tuna, or they may contain chicken, beef, pork, or veal. Veal empanada is called "empanada de ternera" (veal pie).

I found recipes with several of these fillings, but I had difficulty finding one with veal and peppers. Most of the meat fillings seem to contain onion. You may have to take one of the other recipes and modify it to try to get close to your Grandmother's recipe by substituting veal for pork or beef, etc.

There is one with veal and mushrooms here, but it is in Spanish:

There's one with pork and peppers in English here:
My Recipes

and another English one with pork and paprika here:
Group Recipes


Crossroads' Shrimp Marengo

----- Original Message ----- 
From: bridget 
Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 3:34 PM
Subject: Shrimp Receipe

dear mr phaedrus, 

I don't know if you can help but i ran across your web site while looking for 
something else, so i thought i would ask.  I grew up in Atlanta and there was 
a restaurant on the corner of 14th street and peachtree street called Cross Roads. 
It served seafood.  There was  dish there that i absolutely loved and would like 
to try to recreate it at home since the restaurant is no longer there.  I believe 
it closed around 1978. However i can't remember what was in it. it was fried popcorn 
shrimp served over wild rice simple enough but the secret to the dish was this wonderful 
sauce in between the rice and the shrimp.  i remember it to be a pale orange / yellow 
color.  the name of the dish i believe was called tiny shrimp meringue (not sure about 
the last word).  I know its not much to go on but what ever, if anything you can find 
out would be great.  thank you.

orig. from Atlanta

Hi Bridget,

I could not find any recipes at all from the Crossroads in Atlanta, nor could I find a recipe or even a mention of a dish called "tiny shrimp meringue" or "shrimp meringue". I did find a message board post from another Atlanta resident in which she mentioned the Crossroads' "tiny shrimp merango". See: the long post from Joy about halfway down the page.

However, other than that, I could not find any recipes or mentions at all of a dish called "tiny shrimp merango" or "shrimp merango".

There is a cajun dish called "shrimp marengo", so I suppose that may be what is meant. There is a recipe below for that dish. However, note that in shrimp marengo, the shrimp are boiled first, then sauteed with the bacon, not exactly fried, and the rice is regular white rice, not wild rice. Possibly, the Crossroads took the basic dish and made their own variation using wild rice. Perhaps the sauce is the same.


Shrimp Marengo 

4 lbs. shrimp 
8 slices bacon 
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced 
1 onion, finely chopped 
4 tbsp. flour 
2 16oz cans tomatoes 
1 6oz can tomato paste 
2 cups chicken or beef stock 
1 1/2 tsp. oregano 
1 1/2 tsp. basil 
1/2 tsp. powdered thyme 
2 bay leaves 
1 tsp. sugar 
1 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. black pepper 
3 dashes Tabasco 
1/4 cup chopped shallots 

Cook the shrimp in boiling, salted water for about 6 minutes, then peel and devein. 
Cut the bacon into small pieces and, in your iron pot or Dutch oven, fry until crisp. 
Remove the bacon pieces, and add the shrimp to bacon pieces, and saute for 5 minutes. 

Add the garlic, mushrooms and onions and cook for a few minutes longer. Thoroughly mix 
in the flour. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bacon and stock and bring to a simmer. 
Season with the oregano, basil, sugar, thyme, salt, bay leaves, pepper, Tabasco and 
mustard and mix gently. 
Allow this to simmer for about 15 minutes. At this point add the shallots and cook 
for another minute. Taste for seasoning; correct if needed. 

Remove from the heat and allow to set for 10 minutes before serving over rice. 
This dish can be prepared in advance and served later or the following day. 
It improves the longer you wait. This will serve eight to ten. 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: margaret 
To: Phaedrus 
Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 8:59 AM
Subject: shrimp merango

Hi Phaed,
There are some dishes called Merengue, (pronounced Merengay) that may have been 
what the Atlanta restaurant riffed from.  There is a shrimp merengue.  I can't 
find many recipes and none involving fried shrimp or wild rice--these wouldn't 
be very common in that kind of cooking, would they?    Apparently it may have 
come from the Caribbean so any recipes might be in Spanish or Portuguese.  

Hi Margaret,

I did a search on shrimp merengue & shrimp merenge. Only one site has a recipe, and the recipe seems very, very similar to the shrimp marengo recipe, sauteeing the shrimp & onions, etc with the bacon. The others are just menu items. I saw the Caribbean reference.

I believe the Cajun/Creole Shrimp Marengo dish must be correct, with the Atlanta restaurant just modifying it a bit.


Creole Corn

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Gary 
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2010 12:55 AM
Subject: creole corn

I am looking for the creole corn recipe that was in Betty Crockers 1958 Dinner for two 
cookbook"  It called for a can of corn, a can of tomatoes, an onion and velveeta cheese.
Thank you 

Hello Gary,

See below.


Creole  Corn

1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. margarine
1/4 c. flour
Dash of pepper
1 (17 oz.) can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes, drained
1/4 lb. Velveeta process cheese, cubed

Saute onion in margarine; blend in flour and pepper.  Stir in corn and tomatoes; 
cook, stirring constantly until thickened.  Add cheese; stir until melted. 
Yield 8 servings. 

Dishrag Pie

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Ann 
Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 10:13 AM
Subject: dish rag pie recipe

Do you have this recipe?  Thank you 

Hello Ann,

The only "dish rag pie" or "dishrag pie" recipe that I can find is on this page:

If that's not it, then I need more information: ingredients, origin, etc.


Mom Carman's recipe for Dish Rag Pie.
My mother would use up her pie crust trimmings by making a dish Rag Pie. A little treat for us children.
Create a "pie crust" by spreading out the left over dough in the bottom of a pie pan, making a small "dam" along the edges.
1. Sprinkle enough flour (about 2 TBSP) on the bottom of the "pie crust" to cover it
2. Sprinkle about 1 TBSP of sugar over the flour
3. Put a couple hunks (amounting to about 1 TBSP) of butter on top
4. Sprinkle with Cinnamon
5. Add enough milk to just cover the flour and sugar
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes
I'm not 100% sure about the order of the placement of the ingredients. 

I also found that there is a kind of Greek cheese pie called "potsavouropita", which is sometimes translated as "dishrag pie" or "dishrag pita" after a type of implement or cloth used for cleaning. There is a recipe here:

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