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Caprilands Herb Farm Spinach Bread

-----Original Message----- 
From: Paula 
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 9:25 AM
Subject: Caprilands herb mix

Good Morning!

I am searching for the recipe for an herb mix I used to buy at Caprilands 
Herb Farm in Coventry, Connecticut years ago. I used to make a spinach bread 
recipe of theirs that called for this herb blend and it was really 

The owner of the farm died and the place closed down and nobody seems to be 
able to tell me what was in that blend.

Can you help? I would love to make that bread again. I have nearly all the 
Caprilands cookbooks but they never seemed to spell out what was in the herb 

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.


Hello Paula,

Thanks for writing! The Caprilands Herb Farm in Coventry, Connecticut was and is quite an interesting and somewhat mystical place. I had never heard of it before. The Herb Farm's owner, Adelma Grenier Simmons, passed away in 1997 at the age of 93. She was a unique character and a prolific author. The story is here: Courant

There is a New York Times article about Adelma Simmons in which she discusses her ideas about mixing herbs here: NY Times

I searched for any herb blend recipe or "spinach bread" recipe with a connection to Adelma Simmons or to the Caprilands Herb Farm. I had no success. I would expect that Ms Simmons had multiple herb blends - she most likely sold more than one herb mixture for cooking. Without the exact name of the particular herb mixture used in the spinach bread, I have no way to proceed on that search. I looked for the spinach bread recipe itself, hoping that the recipe would specify which herb mixture was used, but I had no success finding a spinach bread recipe that gave any connection to Ms Simmons or to Caprilands. Where, exactly, did you get the spinach bread recipe. Perhaps it was on the herb mixture packet?

Ms Simmons was quite prolific, publishing over 50 books about herbs. The recipe that you seek might be in one of her books that you do not have. has used copies of many of her books. You might purchase the ones you do not have from there. Books by Adelma Simmons at Amazon

When Adelma Simmons passed away, she left the Caprilands Herb Farm to "The Capriland Institute" for the purpose of teaching herbal knowledge. It is still there, and it is still open to the public. If you go there, or if you contact them, you might be able to purchase that same herb mixture or you might obtain from them a recipe for the herb mixture. Their phone number is (860) 742-7244 and they have a Facebook page at: Caprilands Institute

The lady who does this blog might also be able to help you, if you write to her: Backyard Patch She knew Adelma and is a herbalist herself.

I hope that some of this is helpful. I tried to touch every base.


Thanks for your efforts, Phaedrus!
I got the recipe in one of the books I bought at Caprilands. The mixture was just called Caprilands Herb Mix. 
I believe her other mixtures were called by the name of their predominant herb. 
I visited Caprilands many times and the place is now a veritable shambles because it has been taking so long 
to get nonprofit's very sad. It was a wonderful place and the luncheons there were great. 
I called several times in the past and never got a reply. I think when Adelma died the farm died too. 
I did however, find the spinach bread recipe in an online blog and the author guesses at the herbs used in that  
blend so maybe I can give it a try.

Again, thanks very much for trying

Hello Paula,

For the benefit of other readers, what is the address of the blog where you found the spinach bread recipe?


From: Paula 
Date: May 4, 2016 at 10:40:36 AM EDT
Subject: Barbara Jacksier: Hurrahs And Herbs

The recipe is below. It can also be found here: Heather Hill Gardens


Spinach Sweet Bread

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely crumbled mixed herbs (such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, mint, lemon verbena)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 cups chopped fresh spinach (if frozen, drain well)
Butter for greasing pans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Using a wooden spoon or hand-held mix all dry ingredients, 
then add oil, eggs and spinach. Beat until well blended. Lightly grease one loaf pan or two
half-size loaf pans with butter and pour in batter. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 30 minutes 
or until edges are just starting to brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from 
pan and let cool. Freezes well.

Makes one regular size loaf or two small ones.
From: Edward 
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2017 7:46 PM
Subject: Caprilands Mixed Herbs

Available from Highland Park Market in Coventry


Effie Marie's Rum Cakes

From: David  
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2016 11:41 AM
Subject: Marshal Fields Rum Cakes

Before Marshal-Fields went into Burdines, they had a rum cake bakery that was magnificent, 
the best rum cakes all decorated, in the world--then when they closed the recipe went 
somewhere else, and it seems to be lost now. The brand that made them was Effie Marie Rum Cakes. 
This might be a hard one.  Hopefully you will have some luck with these! 
Thanks, David E.

Hello David,

There are several recipe requests on various message boards for the rum cakes that Marshall Fields and Macy’s used to sell that were made by “Effie Marie” or “Effie Marie Sutton Bakery” in San Francisco. This bakery seems to have appeared in about 1985 and burned brightly before flaming out in about 1990. There may have been legal problems. One item said it was purchased by Price Candy Company, which in turn went out of business a few years later, in 1998. No one has had any success in locating any Effie Marie’s recipes.

I could not find any recipes or “copycat recipes” for Effie Marie’s or Marshall Fields’ or Macy’s rum cakes. However, I did find some rum cake recipes from folks who were nostalgic about the Effie Marie cakes. In light of that, their recipes might be similar. See:

Mother Thyme

Orlando Sentinel


Thanks so much for your time! The first recipe from Mother Thyme, seems to be close to what 
the Effie Marie was---in that it was not a Bundt cake feel, but more of a moist yellow cake 
feel with light rum. This does give me enough of a feel for what they were. At the bakery 
in Marshal-fields, besides the wonderful moist nature of the cake, it was also the awesome 
decorations and individuality of each cake, and they were each works of art in the very long 
showcase. Up until that time, I hadn't seen such a variety of art in cakes. 
Of course, the "icing on the cakes," is something more readily available, since it was the 
cake itself that was the real distinction. 
I wonder if the recipe will ever show up again. Now I shall go back and look at all your 
wonderful collection! 
Thanks, and take care. David
Effie Marie Sutton Rum Cakes
From: Sherry 
Date: 6/5/2023, 10:53 PM
To: "" 

The rum cakes were the brainchild of Graham Sutton, who developed them from his grandmother's 
recipe. Graham ran afoul of the Washington State Liquor Board, which demanded that his rum be 
only 1% instead of the 3+% of his recipe. They didn't taste the same. I believe he ran into 
problems with other liquor boards before he turned his efforts to creating other specialty 
food products.

Howard Johnson's Spaghetti Sauce

From: David 
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2016 11:41 AM
Subject: Marshalfields Rum Cakes

Howard Johnsons restaurants had a great tasting spaghetti sauce, that had a unique taste. 
Hopefully you will have some luck with these! 
Thanks, David E.

Hello David,

Actually, Howard Johnson’s recipes are not very easy to find. Somehow, they have managed to keep most of them secret down through the years. The spaghetti sauce is one of those that’s still secret. Best I can do is offer you a recipe that’s said to “taste like” HoJo’s. See here: Gaston Gazette


From: David  
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 12:04 PM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: howard Johnson's spaghetti sauce.

Thanks again for this recipe. I will give it a try.There is only 1 Howard Johnson's restaurant open yet, 
and if I get there I will try to crack the recipe. They were not the only ones to have that particular 
"flavor" in spaghetti sauces years ago, but I haven't seen it turn up in modern times. I think that it 
may have had something to do with the added cheese, since most Italian cheese was not available to the 
public except in the big cities, especially like Reggiano. Most all Romano and Parmesian was dried back 
then, and that may have contributed to the flavor. Thanks, again, David 

Hello David,

Actually, I believe there are two remaining HoJos. One in Lake Placid, NY, and the other in Bangor, Maine. I dined on clams at the one in Maine last year.


 If you ever go again, get the spaghetti if you can.I am a chef that does specialize in some recipe cracking---
let me know what you think it is that makes the taste! Thanks!!

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