The techniques, flavors and ingredients of those days influenced everything she cooked. That blue notebook of mimeographed recipes from her classes still sits comfortably in the far right hand corner of Ethel Ann’s kitchen. And though she would never call herself anything more than “a mediocre home cook” ---- her meals are legend in her family and social circle. And her baking, though quintessentially Southern, has a continental twist.
Ethel Ann has said many times that anyone who loves to cook only has to do it “when they want to.” “Have four children,” she says, “and see if you still love it.”
On the phone, when our chef/owner finally confessed his plans to her, she reminded him of that and announced, “ . . . and doing it professionally is just CRAZY!” But she also had two new recipes for him. “Just to see if they would work,” she said.
So in December 2009, using Ethel Ann as their guide, our chef/owner and his husband left Chicago after almost 30 years and moved to Madison, WI to open a bakery business. They built a commercial kitchen in their basement and started making their savories and sweets and selling them at Madison’s Westside Farmers Market. The name just seemed to fit under their bright orange tent at the far end: Ethel Ann’s Savories and Sweets. So it endures.
After some starts and stops, over almost eight years, with a new brand and a new logo, this wholesale bakery will be our chance to share Ethel Ann’s wisdom and talent with more than just the six people in her family and the occasional crowd at a south Georgia dinner party. It is our hope that ETHEL ANN’S SAVORIES AND SWEETS will bring the heart of our Ethel Ann’s kitchen in Georgia to the rest of the world. We, maybe, might throw in a little bit of ourselves as well. And don’t forget Sennie Mae.
And as Ethel Ann would say, “What’s not to love about that?”
"Oh, darling, don't say you don't like champagne because that means you've just never had a decent bottle. "