Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Edith's Maidrites

While perusing the West Bend Sesquicentennial Cookbook in order to find inspiration for Alanna's one-off event Soup's On, I came across the following recipe. As you know (if you followed the link) West Bend's Sesquicentennial was this past year and I worked on the cookbook committee. After categorizing, alphabetizing and proofing all these recipes, I didn't want to even look at the book again. But I found the following recipe under Soups, Sandwiches, Salads and Dressings and was so taken by what the submitter wrote, that I knew I just had to try it.

Karen Nellis Smith wrote: "This recipe originally came from Edith Crofts. Born in 1899 (I don't remember her maiden name, but her father was the train depot agent in West Bend), she married Dewey Crofts and as a young bride lived at the south end of the main street. My grandmother (Bertha Reinhart Johnston) lived across the street and she was a great family friend from the time my mother was born in 1915, through my mother's marred life (Yvonne Johnston Nellis) and until the time she passed away at the age of 103! We grew up with these 'maidrites'. I've served them to my family, and now my oldest daughter is serving them to my grandchildren."

Now THAT is history! Making these simple sandwiches, I felt a real connection to all of the women who have made these over the years to feed their hungry families. I hope you will give them a try, too.

Edith's Maidrites

2 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 c. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar

Cook beef until all red is gone in skillet. Add other ingredients; simmer.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I can well appreciate your being worn out from that project but what a wonderful product it's come out with.
Yes, I love the history in that recipe!

Glenda said...

Karen was a classmate of my sister, and her parents were friends of my parents when we lived on the farm....her Dad, "Hub" drove the maintainer and did an extra nice job on our 3/4 mile lane...even though he didn't have to. I remember going to Hub and Bonnie's house and eating these. *grins*

Sally said...

I wondered if you might not know her. These are really good! Different with the vinegar and brown sugar. I think I'll make some for Q next time he's up.

Alanna said...

Ai I love small-town stories!

But as I recall, you've left out pertinent details. Maid rites are served with the meat AND potato chips AND dill pickle slices tucked between Wonder-soft buns!

tammy said...

See, these are the kinds of cookbooks I wish we'd see more of. Old recipes and stories from a place. Not the glossy celebrity tomes. Gah!

What a nice project to be a part of.

Sally said...

Alanna - My daughter Della has a store in Valley Junction (that's in Des Moines) and there is a Maid-Rite store right next to her. There are as many recipes for "maidrites" as there are people who have made them. Somewhere back in my first postings I have one for "George's Maid Rites". Oh, and I always eat mine with a pickle. :)

Tammy - I know what you mean. These kinds of cookbooks are my favorite just because of this type of "gem" you can find in them.

Willa said...

I grew up in West Bend, graduated in 1971. My mom was a school cook and made maidrites for all the kids. Every summer in Portland, there's a picnic for Iowans in Oregon, and they serve...maidrites!

Sally said...

Hi Willa! Thanks for your comment. Gosh - I hope you got one of the Sesqui cookbooks 'cause we're sold out now. And I hope you got a chance to come back and visit when we had all the shindigs going on around town.