Yesterdish’s First Anniversary

Dori’s amazing cake pop display is just half of our birthday treat.

As a big brother, you never really want your little sister to be better than you are at anything, but the truth is, she’s been the one teaching me baking for the last three years.

A year ago, when I started Yesterdish, Dori offered little bits of help here and there–buying the stamps we use to make the cards, suggesting different recipes. Finally, I asked if she’d volunteer some of her knowledge in recipes, and ultimately, my little sandbox here became our little sandbox. Best decision ever. Thank you for everything, Dori.

And thank you (yeah, you!) for being a part of it! So far, we’re at 1371 posts and 1344 recipes out of 19 recipe collections (that’s including the Yesterdish originals). That’s an average of a bit more than 3.75 posts per day.

It has occurred to me, at times, that trying to read Yesterdish is a bit like drinking from a fire hose. I haven’t figured out if I should recalibrate the posting schedule yet, but the occasion of a year of Yesterdishery is a good time to highlight what I think represents some of the better posts that we’ve made.

These aren’t ranked in any meaningful way, they’re just examples of what I think is some of the more interesting stuff we’ve done in the last year. I’ve skipped lots of options, naturally, and of course I love all of my children equally, but if you want to show someone what Yesterdish is about, here’s…

A Tasting Menu From Yesterdish’s First Year

Clara’s Energy Bars

Think of all the places that sell energy bars: grocery stores, drug stores, health food stores, gas stations, gyms–even big box stores that sell computers often have cases of energy bars for the hardcore gamers who don’t want to stand up to get a pizza. They’re arguably the most widely available food in America. So where’d they come from?

Short answer: space. Long answer here.


The exact origin is in some dispute. [ . . .] Like any other dish that represents two cultures shuffled together, the truth is both indecipherable and largely irrelevant to the merits of the dish. More interesting is that it was served in the White House in the 1930s.

By Eleanor Roosevelt. More here.


Of course, like anything delicious, fudge had some rather Victorian opponents who felt it was a vice. Remember, after all, that a generation earlier, it was thought women needed bland food that wouldn’t upset their frail composition.

A rare case where the supposed accidental origin is probably the correct one.

Matzoh Balls

To talk about the origin of matzoh balls, you need to talk about the origin of matzoh. But that’s sort of tedious, because the history of matzoh is probably the best-recorded legend in the entirety of food.

I mean, the original recipe for matzoh was reported by Moses, a little-known Egyptian writer better remembered for his travel essays…

Also for his writing in stone, but I hear he had a holy ghost-writer for that. Learn more.


Watergate Salad

Let’s put aside for the moment the fact that I can find no record of a pistachio pineapple delight recipe. […] Let’s just focus on this: if this pistachio pineapple delight recipe was invented to accompany a product that launched in March of 1976, then why were so many versions floating around in 1973 and 1974?

So why would someone cover up the origin of a salad? Follow the money.

Hummingbird Cake

I could go on for hours–it wasn’t just New York and Texas. Before 1978, there are mentions of this cake in newspapers from Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, Virginia, Indiana, and Maryland, and that was just from searching one source. This was not an arcane recipe suddenly popularized by Southern Living.

The only way you could not know this recipe was older was not to look.

Or, I guess, if you were an actual hummingbird, you wouldn’t know either. Flutter this way.


Salina Journal Cooking School

What changed in 1940 was the involvement of the Federal Office of Defense, Health and Welfare Services. Now, these cooking tours had to serve not only to disseminate household wisdom and an array of fine products from sponsors–they had to disseminate the American way of life (via “The Pledge of Health,” retyped below) and to encourage the audience to buy defense bonds and stamps.

Want to win a stove and learn how to take stains out of a silk tie? Line up!

German’s Chocolate Cake

As the mythology goes, Mrs. George Clay submitted a recipe she titled German Sweet Chocolate Cake to the Dallas Morning News. It ran in the paper’s “Recipe of the Day” feature on June 3, 1957. […]

That’s all true. It’s just that it kind of ignores a hundred years of cake-making. The implication of the story is that the German Chocolate Cake jumped out of Mrs. Clay’s imagination like Athena from the head of Zeus. And it didn’t work that way at all.

A cake from a man named German (who wasn’t German) who worked for a man named Baker (who didn’t bake). But the chocolate is real.



(Naturally, I had to include some original selections.)
Yesterdish’s Ciabatta and Zoccoletti

Cavallari set up an “experimental bakery” near the family mill, and would go back and forth, coming up with different flours to try in his different methods. Ultimately, what he came up with was a flour he called typo 1 Italia, which has a protein content of about 10% and generally resembles a slightly less refined American bread flour. To this, he added only the ingredients he felt should go into bread: flour, salt, yeast, and time.

The inventor of Ciabatta saw this post and I talked to him on Facebook. True. Fact.

Yesterdish’s Vanilla Cupcakes

I mean, they really are the perfect party dessert. Cupcakes are easier to frost than a regular cake, they don’t require plates and forks, no one has to stand around trying to cut “just the tiniest piece” for everyone, and you can easily offer different frosting options for people (sprinkles!). Best of all, when done right, cupcakes are better than cakes. They are lighter and fluffier and more fun.

As one of the most popular recipes on the site across social media, I had to make sure you had a taste. Just don’t forget the frosting.


So thank you for reading so far and enjoy the cake pop recipe!

Still hungry? Here's a small sample of people, fictional or otherwise, Yesterdish explained this year.


  1. Congrats on 1 year!!!
    Keep ’em coming!

  2. Michel Marsh

    I came upon your site quite by accident, lucky me. One thing that caught my eye was the handwritten recipes. One looked so much like my mom’s handwriting that I smiled out loud. She passed in 2007:( I read so many of your recipes – well, from where I started to here, about a bazillion, and was so happy to see the recipes written by the hands of people who really made this stuff – noticed the spills on some of them! – and just love it. I have some of my mom’s handwritten recipes. Keep on doing what you’re doing, this is so heartwarming! Thank you so much!

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