Former Kaufmann Cook and Fallingwater Cookbook Author to Sign Copies of Book at Museum Store Sept. 3
Elsie Henderson, the inspiration behind The Fallingwater Cookbook: Elsie Henderson’s Recipes and Memories, will sign copies of the book at the Fallingwater Museum Store on September 3, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The Fallingwater Cookbook features recipes for dishes that Henderson served at the acclaimed Frank Lloyd Wright house as baker and cook for the family of Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar J. Kaufmann. Wright designed Fallingwater for the Kaufmanns in 1935, and the house served as the family’s weekend retreat from 1937 until 1963.
At Fallingwater, Henderson prepared dishes such as The Wright Crab Salad and Daffodil Cake with raspberries for notables such as Albert Einstein, Isaac Stern, Ted Kennedy and even Wright himself. Intertwined with her recipes are stories about her adventures with the Kaufmann family and their guests. Ms. Henderson will celebrate her 98th birthday next Wednesday, September 7.
The cookbook is the result of a longtime collaboration and friendship between Henderson and Suzanne Martinson, former food editor and writer for the Pittsburgh Press and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Chef Robert Sendall and the late Jane Citron, longtime cooking instructor, also contributed to this unique volume. At Fallingwater, Elsie had done the baking and prepared lunches, breakfasts and side dishes for dinner. But because the butler cooked the meats and seafood, she had few recipes in those categories. Citron and Sendall filled in the gaps.
Recipes from the Fallingwater Café, from then-chef Mary Anne Moreau, round out the cookbook, along with stunning four-color pictures of the Fallingwater landscape and artfully composed photographs of delicious food.
The Fallingwater Museum Store is located at the Fallingwater Visitors Pavilion, 1491 Mill Run Road, Mill Run, PA 15464. Copies of The Fallingwater Cookbook: Elsie Henderson’s Recipes and Memories, are available for $29.95 at the museum store and at fallingwatermuseumstore.org.
To view Fallingwater as part of a visit to the museum store, a grounds ticket may be purchased for $8. Tickets for regular Fallingwater tours may be purchased for $20. For more information, visit fallingwater.org.
About Elsie Henderson
Elsie was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 7, 1913, the youngest of 13 children. She left Pittsburgh’s Schenley High School after the eleventh grade to help support her family. At 17, she began working in the accounts department of Kaufmann’s Service Center, but eventually left to pursue her keen interest in cooking. Elsie had minimal culinary training, yet she found a way to meet the high standards of Pittsburgh’s rich and famous, cooking for several prominent city families. Her longest and most memorable job was as a cook and baker for the Kaufmanns at Fallingwater, from 1947 to 1964.
About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region’s quality of life by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish ten state parks, conserved over 230,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 140 community gardens and greenspaces that are planted with the help of 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 11,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org.
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy