The wilds of turn-of-the-nineteenth-century rural upper-Michigan must have been an exciting place for young Margie Alena Andersen. There, at her mother’s side, she learned the art of pioneer American cooking and the great traditions of the Scandinavian hearth. It was a powerful melding of early American and of the European Northland. As a young woman, the mysteries of the Native American cooking fire and the savior fare of French-style cooking of the Voyagers from her step-sister, a union of French-Canadian and Osage. It was a wonderful and varied melding of cooking traditions that Margie Alena brought with her to California and Hollywood in the “Roaring Twenties.”
Margie Alena was well known for her fresh baked bread, her savory dishes and wonderful, tasty things that came from her kitchen. Be it a few friends or the entire clan at the table, there was always enough to eat of the most wonderful food. Always seeking to make it better, Margie Alena was always busy in the kitchen. This herbed vinegar, that we have since named after Margie Alena, was a table staple that added a sparkle and zest to green vegetables, soups, stews and salads. Just sprinkle a little on your food and feel the tastes come alive. See if you can trace the influences that lead Margie Alena to derive this wonderful addition to your table.
Use clear glass bottles and fresh herbs as the eye appeal of the herbs in the bottle add to the experience. And be sure to follow the advice given to me the first time I asked Aunt Margie how to make her vinegar. She said, “Start with the finest white wine vinegar you can find…”