Centennial History Publication Committee Column: Stepping Back in Time

Who Doesn’t Love a Tried and True Recipe?

With the ongoing desire to financially assist the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1977, Friends created a committee to develop The Collector’s Cookbook. This 278-page volume showcased recipes from some of the best-known names in the Twin Cities. Business leaders such as Charles H. Bell of General Mills and Philip W. Pillsbury of the Pillsbury Company contributed some of their own favorite recipes.

 Mrs. Sue Zelickson, in charge of cookbook promotions, proclaimed, “We’re going to have a cookbook corner at the Institute and sell cookbooks from museums across the country.” As a matter of fact, when Mrs. Zelickson was scrutinizing cookbooks published by associated organizations, she soon learned of museums she had never known to exist. Her wish was also for the Friends’ cookbook to have the same exposure in other parts of the country. Incidentally, Mrs. Zelickson contributed two of her favorite recipes to the book. Who would not delight in trying her candied pecans or liverwurst pâté? Apparently, whenever there was a party at the museum or a reception, the pâté was requested — clearly a crowd favorite.

Four separate printings of the cookbook produced a total of 25,000 copies sold. It could be found at stores including Jerry’s Foods, Dayton’s, Byerly’s, Polly Bergh in Wayzata, The Cheese Shop, and Penny’s supermarket. The book was available for a cost of $5.95 or a total of $6.60 to include tax and postage.

In 1992, Friends published When Friends Cook, also a favorite of the community. Fundraising was successful as the cookbook was available for sale at B. Dalton Bookseller, The Bookcase and Frost and Budd in Wayzata, Odegaards Books in St. Paul, The Minneapolis Club, Haskell’s, Surdyk’s, Cooks of Crocus Hill, Williams Sonoma, and Lunds. Chef demos and tastings were held throughout the area and Saks even had one of the dessert recipes served in its cafe!

Researching the history of a 100-year-old organization brings into focus how trends change over the decades. Yet a special recipe can remain timeless and nostalgic for so many reasons. Food is enjoyed among Friends and friends alike.

Pamela Friedland
Linda Goldenberg
Mary Merrick
Suzanne Payne