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Old Spaghetti Factory's Mulligatawny Soup

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Leslie 
  Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2009 11:15 PM
  Subject: mulligatawny soup from the old spaghetti factory

  My Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

We met online a while ago; I am the author of "The Lewis and Clark Cookbook, 
Historic Recipes from the Corps of Discovery and Jefferson's America". I have 
enjoyed your column and frequently browse it for information and pleasure. 
Now I need your help.  While visiting my 87-year-old Father in Portland, Oregon 
last week he insisted on taking me to lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory on 
Thursday when they serve their Mulligatawny Soup.  It was quite tasty and my 
dad is just bowled over by it.  I asked for the recipe but was told that it 
is a 'copy-writed' trade secret that has never been revealed.  So, of course, 
I immediately thought of you.

Do you think that you could find the recipe for me?  My dad and I would be 
forever grateful.


Hi Leslie,

I am pleased to hear from you!

I wanted very much to find this recipe for you, and I searched every source that I know, but I had no success. All I found were comments about how good the soup is. I will place a request on my site, and perhaps one of my readers will come up with a recipe for you.

Apricot Baby Food layer Cake

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Maggie 
  Sent: Monday, October 19, 2009 11:53 AM
  Subject: Apricot Queen Cake

Dear Phaedrus,

Thank you so much for the service you offer. I am searching for a dessert of my 
childhood that I requested every year for my birthday. I have lost my copy of the 
recipe and hope you can help me find it. As you can tell my family always called 
it Apricot Queen cake. The recipe we used had nothing in common with what I can 
find on the Internet other than the use of Apricot baby food. Here is what I can 
recall of the cake. It is a moist yellow cake which used apricot nectar instead 
of water or milk. The cake was baked in two layers which were split when cooled. 
A filling of cooked apricot nectar and apricot baby food, sugar, cornstarch and 
something else was spread between the layers and the whole was frosted with Seven 
Minute Frosting. I would say the the filling closely resembled an apricot curd. 

I have tried to recreate the this dessert on my own but the cake part eludes me. 
Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you.


Hi Maggie,

Wish I could help, but I can only find bundt cakes with cream cheese frosting that are made with apricot baby food. I cannot find any layer cakes made with apricot baby food, nor any that have seven minute frosting. Sorry.


Saginaw Home Dairy Apple Dumplings

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jackie 
  Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 9:15 AM
  Subject: Requesting Recipe

There was a Kresge/Woolworths lunch counter type place in downtown Saginaw, Michigan 
in the 50's & 60's called "Home Dairy", on East Genesee St.  They had THE BEST BAR NONE 
apple dumplings.  I've been researching my butt off, but can't even find home dairy in 
downtown Saginaw history.  Would love it if you could work your magic and find this recipe. 
You'd be doing the world a favor. 

The apples were cored and stuffed with a kind of raisin/mincemeat mixture.  Then they 
were wrapped in a melt in your mouth crisp dough, and topped with some kind of decadent 
sauce ... Cinnamon or caramel ..... Can't remember which.

And can't remember if you've searched for this for me before.  If you have, mea culpa. 
I've been looking for it for 50 years.  If all else fails, guess I could make it a work 
in progress and try to make them from scratch.

Thank you,


Hi Jackie,

There are a few reminisces on message boards, and a picture here:


ButI cannot find any recipes from Saginaw Home Dairy. Sorry.


Buzzy's Fabulous Roast Beef

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Linc 
  Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 9:22 AM
  Subject: BBQ recipe

  Hi Phaed,

I love your site and have enjoyed making many recipes I've found there.

My question: There used to be a famous restaurant (more of a dive, really) in 
Boston called Buzzy's Fabulous Roast Beef. They had the best barbecue roast beef 
sandwiches EVER. Also a pretty good knish. Any chance you could find the barbecue 
roast beef recipe?



Hello Linc,

Sorry, no luck with a recipe.


Lotus Restaurant Imperial Chicken

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: marabeth  
  Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 2:12 PM
  Subject: imperial chicken

I moved from Minnesota to Indiana and I am craving Imperial Chicken. I ate it at 
least once a week at all the Lotus restaurants for many years. It was pretty much 
the exact same at all their locations. I asked for the recipe but they said it was 
too dificult for me to do. (i explained I can cook very well, asian cuisine is my 
specialty, but they said it had 2 different kinds of curry. It doesn't taste like 
curry to me really. It has tons of ginger and lemon grass. The 2 main ingrediants 
are just chicken and white onion, and then there is the lemon grass and ginger too. 
It is in a rich spicy dark brown sauce and served with white rice (naturally). 
Please help??? Thanks so much!


Hi Marabeth,

I cannot find a recipe or a copycat for Lotus Restaurant's Imperial Chicken, nor can I find a recipe for Vietnamese Imperial Chicken that fits the description. Below is the closest recipe that I can find.


Vietnamese Stir Fried Chicken With Lemon Grass

--------- For The Marinade ---------
1  Stick fresh or 2tb dried Slices lemon grass
2 lb Chicken pieces, cut into  Small pieces
1  Garlic clove, large
0.5" cube fresh ginger
1 tb Sugar
1.5 tb Tomato paste
1/2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Chilli powder
1/4 ts Ground turmuric
--------- You Also Need ---------
2  Cloves garlic
3 tb Vegetable oil
1 tb Fish sauce OR salt to taste
 4-8 tb chicken stock
3.5 oz Onions

First prepare the marinade.
If you are using fresh lemon grass, cut it crossways into very thin slices, 
 starting at the bulbous bottom end and going up around 6".
Discard the strawlike top.
If you are using dried lemon grass, soak it in 4 tb of hot water for an hour.
Put the chicken pieces in a bowl, add the fresh lemon grass or the drained 
 soaked dried lemon grass (save the soaking liquid).
Peel and crush the large garlic clove, peel the ginger and grate it finely.
Add the garlic, ginger, sugar, tomato paste, salt, chilli powder and turmeric 
 to the chicken.
Mix, cover and set aside for 1-24 hours, refrigerating if necessary.
Peel and finely chop the two garlic cloves.
Put the oil in a wok or large, lidded frying pan and set over a high heat.
When it is hot, put in the garlic.
Stir and fry for 30 secs or until the garlic is golden.
Add the chicken along with its marinade.
Stir and fry for 5-6 mins or until the chicken browns a little.
Add the fish sauce and either the lemon grass soaking liquid or 4 tb stock.
Stir once and cover.
Cook on a high heat for 5 mins.
Lift the lid and stir, adding another 4 tb of stock.
Cover, turn the heat to low and cook for another 5 mins.
While the chicken cooks, peel the onions and cut them into 0.
75" dice.
Separate the onion layers within the diced pieces.
Turn the heat under the chicken to high, remove the wok lid, add the onion 
 and fry for 1 minute.
Lift the chicken out its oiul and serve.


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