Old World Wisconsin Facilitators from Eagle, WI (2018 Week 4: Desserts)


Old World Wisconsin Facilitators


Eagle, WI

Baking Challenge


Give your dessert a clever name – and tell us about your recipe.

These are simply called Marshmallows in the West Bend Cookbook (1902) but if we give them our own twist, we’d call them Ketola’s Marshmallows. The Ketola family built the home in which we’re cooking this week. Finnish Immigrants in northern Wisconsin in the 1910s, the Ketolas ran a small store and would have had many guests coming and going for work, chatting, cups of coffee, and maybe a sweet treat like these marshmallows.

What was the biggest surprise during your baking journey? Did you use any unconventional approaches? What did you learn along the way? Tell us about it!

Without a modern mixer, these are a LOT of work. It’s possible because of our awesome guests who roll up their sleeves and help us mix and mix. For us, this is a very literal way of exploring the shared experience of baking together. When people are around the kitchen table stories are shared and memories are made. And when you have to mix marshmallows by hand for 25 minutes, that’s a lot of time for sharing!

Find fun in the trying! Translating old-fashioned recipes is full of adventure (for example, was one "package" of Knox Gelatin the same as one today? Turns out, they mean the whole BOX, not just 1 packet!) so we always keep our sense of humor and learn from our culinary missteps. Our guests are a great help and we share the spirit of adventure with them every time we’re in the kitchen.

How did you add a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or decoration?

The "Twist" of every recipe we make at Old World Wisconsin is that we have a primary source for it that places it in the right time and place – showing that it could have been available to the cooks in each home. We chose this Marshmallow recipe from the West Bend Cook Book, first published in 1902 by Hattie Crump, of Lake Mills, WI. This is a great cookbook, and we especially like the preface, which reads: "RECIPES, like friends, must be tested before their worth is proved, and since ‘the proof of the pudding is the
eating,’ the compilers of this little volume take pleasure in assuring their readers that the toothsome dishes herein described will bear that test."
The entire text of the West Bend Cook Book is available on line for those who want to go on other historic culinary adventures: https://is.gd/nriC3Q

How did you do?

Pleasantly satisfied.