Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 9:25 AM
Subject: Caprilands herb mix
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.
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.
Amazon.com 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 status...it'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
For the benefit of other readers, what is the address of the blog where you found the spinach bread recipe?
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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:
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 12:04 PM
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
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!!