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Bois de Panama

----- Original Message ----- 
From: diana 
Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 3:04 PM
Subject: bois de Panama

I have a recipe that calls for "bois de panama" or translated "halva wood" 
but cannot find anything on the web.
Would you be able to locate this ingredient or where I can find it?


Hi Diana,

This substance is quillaja bark. It is obtained from Quillaja saponaria, Molina (N.O. Bosaceoe), a large tree indigenous to Chili and Peru. In the 1800s, it was sent to France under the name of "Bois de Panama." It may have been used as a spice at one time. An extract of it is used as a foaming agent in some soft drinks, notably root beers and cream sodas.

However, it seems that it can be somewhat toxic. See here:



----- Original Message ----- 
From: diana 
To: Phaedrus 
Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 7:57 PM
Subject: Re: bois de Panama

Thanks Phaed for your reply, perhaps I might not have given enough information so 
I'm paraphrasing the definition from the cook book.

"Natife  is the Syrian-Arabic name for Bois de Panama, which is also sometimes 
called "halva wood" because it is used in the commercial sugar and sesame seed-based halvas".

The direction reads, "pulverize the pieces of wood, place the powder in a bowl with 3/4 cup 
of water and leave to soak for 4-5 hours.   Transfer the contents of the bowl to a saucepan 
and bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid has thickened, strain through cheesecloth.

So it sounds like it is used in a lot of middle eastern pastries.  What do you think?

Hi Diana,

All of these names refer to the same thing. The most common name is "soapwort". It's main use is as a foaming agent, as I said. It's used in a few Lebanese dishes, where it's called "shirsh el-halaweh ". See:

soft sesame halvah


It's not widely used even in the Middle East. I could not find it for sale under any of the names that I found for it, not even at Middle Eastern grocers.


Peach Moby

From: Scott
Subject: I am looking for a colonial recipe
Date: Thursday, June 11, 2009 6:08 AM

Are you familiar with the Colonial (Maryland/Virginia) recipe for a drink named "Peach Mobby"? 
Any info would be swell.
Thank you.

Hello Scott,

I had no success finding a recipe, but here's what I did find:

There is a cocktail called a "moby" or a "peach moby", but it's not similar to the Colonial beverage. The cocktail is made with vodka and peach schnapps. There are dozens of recipes on the web for it.

I found the Colonial beverage to be spelled both "mobby" and "moby", but more often "moby". Thomas Jefferson mentioned making "peach moby" in his diaries. It was not a cocktail, but was a light brandy made from fermented peaches - a distilled beverage. It was lighter than modern "peach brandy" and presumably had a lower alcohol content. There were several mentions on the web, but no recipes.


Nesselrode Bula

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karen" 
Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:55 PM
Subject: Wil Wright, Nesselrode Bula ice cream

>I have searched the internet, and
> Have read the rich trail
> Of memories associated with a
> Childhood icon of mine.
> Trips to Wil Wright's Ice Cream
> Parlor on Sunset Blvd. in
> The 1960's were special.
> I would sit near the
> statue of Rocky & Bullwinkle with my
> Mother who would always order
> The Nesselrode Bula Ice Cream.
> Memories of paradise.
> Does a recipe exist for the above
> Ice cream.
> Where did the name originate?
> Many thanks for your time.
> Karen 

Hello Karen,

I found a couple of reminisces on the web about Will Wright's nesselrode bula ice cream, but no recipes. I have a recipe for the macaroon that came with it here:

Nesselrode Pudding

There are several recipes for nesselrode ice cream. There is one below and one here:

Nesselrode Ice Cream

I've no idea where the "bula" came from, but "Nesselrode pudding" is a famous dessert, named after Count Nesselrode. See here:

Nesselrode Pudding


Nesselrode Ice Cream

2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups Nesselrode mix (see recipe)

1. Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan and bring barely to the simmer.
2. Place the yolks and sugar in a heavy casserole. Beat with a wire whisk 
until pale yellow.
3. Add about half a cup of the hot mixture to the egg-yolk mixture and beat 
rapidly. Add the remaining hot mixture, stirring rapidly. Heat slowly, 
stirring and scraping all around the bottom with a wooden spoon. Bring the 
mixture almost, but not quite, to the boil. The correct temperature on a 
thermometer is 180 degrees. This cooking will rid the custard of the raw 
taste of the yolks.
4. Pour the mixture into a cold bowl. This will prevent the mixture from 
cooking further.
5. Let cool. Add the Nesselrode mix and stir to blend.
6. Pour the mixture into the container of an electric or handcranked 
ice-cream freezer. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Yield: Four to six servings

Nesselrode mix

1 1/2 cups mixed, diced candied fruits
12 marrons (chestnuts) in syrup, chopped, about 1/2 cup
1/4 cup dark rum or Cognac
1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Let stand an hour or longer 
before using.
Yield: About two cups 

Lum's Roast Beef

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jere" 
Sent: Saturday, June 13, 2009 11:52 PM
Subject: Lum's roast beef

>I used to love the roast beef sandwiches at Lum's in Nashville, Tn. back
> in the 70's. I've been trying to find out what seaoning they used on them
> ever since. Any help you can give would be appreciated. - Jere

Hi Jere,

Sorry, not a bit of luck with this. There are a few requests on message boards for the same thing, and no one has had any success.


Trident Salad

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Hope 
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 5:43 PM
Subject: Trident waldorf-type salad

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

There was a famous and hip restaurant named The Trident in Sausalito, California 
in the 1970s. They served a delicious salad that may have been a waldorf-style 
salad. I can't find the recipe, nor do I remember what they called it. Trident 
has a website now (a nostalgic website and very interesting) but I didn't find 
the recipe there. The menu is reproduced on the site, but I could not identify 
the salad on it.

You know the saying goes that if you remember the 1970s you weren't really there. 
That might explain my spotty memory of this salad... 

It salad contained, as best I can recall:

1 inch squares of red cabbage
golden raisins
cubes of golden delicious apple, unpeeled
chunks of pineapple

There may have been nuts and other things, too. Those 4 ingredients are the only ones 
I remember for sure. I can't stop thinking about that salad. It was SO good.
Thanks for looking and good luck,


Hello Hope,

Well, I had no success at all in locating a recipe from the Trident.



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