The Rosenbach Podcast: Episode 17

Rosenbach Test Kitchen: The Third Course.  Curator and Senior Director of Collections Judith M. Guston and Librarian Elizabeth E. Fuller Critique the Rosenbach Test Kitchen Dishes.

The cooking is done, the dishes are prepped, the table is set, and Rosenbach Test Kitchen judges are ready to critique the submissions! Grab a next at the dining room table with Rosenbach Curator and Senior Director of Collections Judy Guston and Librarian Elizabeth Fuller, as they critique dishes inspired by Rosenbach collections items that contestants prepared in the previous episode. The judges critique dishes cooked by Director Kelsey Scouten Bates, Registrar Jobi Zink, and Associate Curator Alex Ames in five categories: flavor, texture, presentation, authenticity, and historical interest, before crowning one special winner of Rosenbach Test Kitchen.  What dish will it be?  Tune in for the answer! 

Note: This episode was recorded live around Registrar Jobi Zink’s dining room table, with the noise of a buzzing, busy kitchen in the background.  Thank you, Jobi, for letting us take over your kitchen and dining room for the podcast!

Associate Curator Dr. Alexander L. Ames dishes up second helpings of Director Kelsey Bates’s delicious Rosenbach Test Kitchen submission, a decadent, Southern-style mac-n-cheese. Photo by Jobi Zink.


Rosenbach Test Kitchen Competition Recipes 


Historic Peach Julep  

  • 2 oz. white or aged rum*  
  • 1 oz. VSOP brandy 
  •  ½ oz. peach schnapps 
  • ¼ simple syrup 
  • 3-4 mint leaves, plus extra for garnish 

* Note: White rum will allow the sweet, peachy flavor to be dominant, while using aged rum gives the cocktail a more complex flavor with subtle peach. 


  • Muddle mint and simple syrup in a mixing glass.  
  • Add rum, brandy, and schnapps. Stir with bar spoon.  
  • Fill silver julep cup with crushed ice, pour julep mixture over ice.  
  • Garnish with sprig of mint 


Lemon Ice Cream 

  • 1 tsp lemon zest 
  • Juice of 2 lemons 
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • ½ cup lemon curd (optional) 

Mix 2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1 cup sugar, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Pour mixture along with into ice cream maker (hand cranked or electric) and mix (or crank) until it reaches soft-serve consistency. Fold the lemon curd in the mixture. Pour mixture into freezer-safe container, freeze 2 hours.  


Ginger Beer 

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (you can adjust to taste) 
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and grated fresh ginger (about 6 to 7 3-inch pieces) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried champagne yeast 


  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, ginger, and 1 quart cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour to steep. 
  • Add syrup into a 2-liter soda bottle or cambro container, add cold water to within 2 inches of top. Cap and cool in refrigerator about 65°F (18°C). 
  • Add champagne yeast. Cap bottle and let stand at room temperature for about 2 days, checking bottle pressure intermittently by squeezing it or releasing the cap slightly and briefly. 
  • When ginger beer has achieved desired carbonation level, strain through fine-mesh strainer and funnel into bottles. Transfer to refrigerator.  
  • To serve, strain into glass to remove any remaining ginger fibers. 


Mocktail Mule Recipe 

  • Juice of 1 lime (1-2 tablespoons juice) 
  • 1 TBS simple syrup 
  • 3-4 mint leaves muddled, plus extra for garnish 
  • 3-4 oz. Ginger Beer  
  • Crushed ice 


  • In the bottom of a copper cup, muddle lime leaves with simple syrup 
  • Add lime juice and mix  
  • Fill the cup about halfway with ice. 
  • Top with 3-4 ounces of ginger beer  
  • Garnish with mint leaves and a lime wedge if desired, and serve. 


Kelsey Scouten Bates’s Mac-n-Cheese 

  • ¾ 1lb of short pasta (like elbow macaroni, penne, or rigatoni) 
  • 3 tbps butter 
  • 3 tbsp flour 
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard 
  • 3 cups milk (I use 2%, but whole would also be good) 
  • ½ cup onions, chopped (optional) 
  • ½ tsp paprika 
  • 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt 
  • ½ tsp black pepper 
  • 12 oz shredded cheeses (I like to use a mix of half gruyere or fontina and half cheddar) 
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, whole or sliced in half (optional) 
  • ¼-1/2 c grated Parmesan 


Boil a pot of water for pasta. Once it’s boiling, add salt and pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside while you make the rest of the dish. 

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium/low heat and whisk in the flour to make a roux (the mixture will be like a thick paste). Add the mustard and whisk. Over medium heat, slowly whisk in the milk. The mixture will be thick at first as the milk combines with the roux and thinner as you add more milk. Take your time so it’s not lumpy. Stir in the onions (if using) and tomatoes. Add paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir the milk mixture with a wooden spoon until it thickens (about 7-10 min) but don’t let it bubble. 

Off the heat and stir in ¾ of the shredded cheeses. Once they have melted, add the pasta and stir. Add the rest of the shredded cheeses as a top layer and then the grated parmesan as the very top layer (this will make your mac and cheese have a crusty top). 

Bake for about 30 minutes or until you see bubbling. Once it’s bubbling, set the broiler on high and broil for a few minutes until it reaches the crispiness/darkness you desire. 


Turkey with Oyster Sauce 

“To prepare turkey in an oyster sauce, I looked to Hannah Glasse’s Art of Cookery for guidance.  If you’re interested in experimenting with the dish, we’ve reproduced the recipe in Glasse’s book below. ” — Dr. Alex L. Ames

Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy (London: Printed for the author, 1747). Rosenbach call number EL2 .G549a.

Potage à la Julienne 

“The soup I prepared for Rosenbach Test Kitchen was based on this recipe, and it’s definitely one I plan to prepare again!  Enjoy.” Dr. Alex L. Ames