The c.1774 Hammond-Harwood House Museum in Annapolis and the Maryland State Archives are hosting the hunt which will last through August 2023.
The recipe hunt is taking place to honor the 60th anniversary of the c.1963 publication of Maryland's Way, The Hammond-Harwood House Cook Book, an iconic cookbook that has sold over 100,000 copies and was even given to the Prince & Princess of Wales (Charles and Diana) in 1981 on the occasion of their marriage!
People living today take for granted cultural traditions such as food preferences and types of menus appropriate for events in our lives; however, future generations might lose that knowledge if it is not documented and preserved. The Maryland State Archives will preserve the recipes and food memories shared with the hunt for future safekeeping. All hunt findings will be available for use by the public.
Hammond-Harwood House will also mark the 60th anniversary of the Maryland's Way cookbook by offering a companion book, expected to be released in the Fall of 2024, that will examine the recipes included in that 1963 publication within the context of the early historic influences (Native American, African American, British, German and Jewish) that shaped early Maryland's incredibly rich and diverse foundational cuisine.
The Recipe Hunt hopes to collect a varied assortment of recipes that demonstrate the recent injections of cultural diversity that have occurred in the 60 years since the publication of Maryland's Way in 1963. These recipes, preserved at the Maryland State Archives, will offer researchers opportunities to analyze Maryland's evolving 21st century cuisine.
Vice President, Board of Trustees, Hammond-Harwood House Museum
Independent Food Historian Operating A Taste of History with Joyce White
My fondest memory of a Maryland food is selling Lemon Sticks (lemons stuck with peppermint sticks) at swim meets in my Annapolis neighborhood. I sold thousands of them over the ten years I ran our team's concession stand. Sucking the lemon juice up through the soft peppermint stick made for a sticky mess on a hot summer's day; luckily, sticky fingers and faces wash off easily in the pool!
My most challenging Maryland food taste experience was eating muskrat on the Eastern Shore. But I found muskrat jambalaya quite tasty!
Senior Director of Special Collections, Conservation, & Library Services, State Archives
I grew up in a land-locked part of the country. My first truly "Maryland" food memory was with a group who took me to Cantler's for steamed blue crabs. I was very surprised by the wooden mallet. The crabs were delicious, but my memory is tied to the whole community experience of eating crabs on a deck with corn on the cob and other side dishes.
Mayor's Office, City of Annapolis
African American Community Services Specialist
My favorite Maryland food is crab cakes.
Vice President, Friends Banneker-Douglass Museum, Annapolis MD
M.S. Ed. Instructional Technology The Johns Hopkins University
Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration & Business University of Baltimore
Growing up in Anne Arundel County, I spent summers with my grandparents in the St. Margaret area of the County. Crabbing, crab picking, and crab cakes were staples of our Saturday activities and Sunday meals. Spending my Saturday with my grandmother picking crabmeat for our Sunday crab cakes remains my favorite memory.
My all time favorite Maryland recipe is Gertie's crab cake. I like it because the natural taste of the lump crab meat is not hidden due to over seasoning. Plus, Gertie's crab cake is always fresh and broiled to perfection. According to Gertie's grandson, John Shields, owner of Gertrude's Chesapeake Kitchen, the recipe is a lightly spiced mixture of mayonnaise and egg that is bound together by small amounts of cracker crumbs.
Executive Director, Laurel Historical Society
My favorite Maryland food memory isn't particularly historic but I couldn't imagine a hot Maryland summer without one - the snowball! As a kid and used to carnival-type snow cones, my mind was blown when I saw that you can add chocolate syrup and marshmallow fluff! I am always on the lookout for a brightly-painted shack on the side of the road and scan the menu for refreshing fruity favorites. It is a tradition my family continues to enjoy and has introduced to many out-of-state relatives and friends.
Executive Director, Riversdale House Museum
Independent Researcher & Maryland Cookbook Chronicler
My favorite Maryland food memory is picking blackberries with my grandmother along the roads of Greenbelt and baking them into a pie which we'd eat straight out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A day’s work with a big, sweet payoff.
Supervising Archaeologist, WSP USA
Many of my fondest food memories growing up was cooking with my grandmothers. The memories of my mother’s mother are the strongest, and I can remember helping her pit cherries for her famous spiced cherries (blood red fingers for days!). Also helping pick crabmeat from the blue crabs we caught off the end of the dock all summer. But perhaps the strongest memory was helping her clean turtles to make Creamed Terrapin, which was my grandfather’s favorite. Cleaning the meat out of a turtle is no mean feat because they have lots of bones and cartilage. One had to be very careful to extract all of the edible meat, and I remember feeling proud at being considered old and skillful enough to help. The lean meat was sautéd in butter and then mixed into a creamy white sauce, garnished with hard-boiled eggs and flavored with a splash of sherry. We still had a Terrapin in the freezer (at least a decade old) when we finally sold the house on the Elk River. Rather then throwing it out, I gifted to an archaeologist friend, who defleshed the bones/shell and added it to a his faunal identification collection. Always got a kick that my grandfather’s last turtle ended up advancing scientific research.
Office & Events Manager, Hammond-Harwood House Museum
As a nonnative, who recently moved to Maryland from Greece, I am excited about creating new traditions and memories. If Maryland had a taste, for me it would be crabmeat with Old Bay Seasoning. I love the taste of warm, fresh crab cakes. The image of your beloved friends and family sitting together around a table with paper tablecloth while laboriously picking crab meat out of the crabs, and the joy this gives you, has resonated with me. In fact, adding Old Bay Seasoning to my Greek lentil soup has become a recipe with a Maryland twist in my kitchen!
Executive Director, Hammond-Harwood House Museum
In 1973, when we were just married, my husband and I moved to Annapolis. We rented a tiny apartment on Green Street. One of our favorite places to eat was Old Towne Seafood, at the bottom of Main Street near where Hats in the Belfry is now. We learned a lot about Maryland seafood at that diner -- crabcakes, rockfish, oysters. When we marveled at the broiled oysters, the cook gave us his simple recipe: Open oysters and lay them on a baking sheet; top each with a slice of cheddar cheese and a piece of cooked bacon. Broil until the cheese melts and the oyster sides curl up a bit. Serve with a dash of hot sauce. Over the years, Old Towne Seafood disappeared but we made oysters this way many times. When our now-grown children come back to visit, this is one preparation they always ask for.
Trustee, Hammond-Harwood House Museum