You’d probably assume Dan Nix knows a thing or two about making beef kabobs. After all, Nix owns Western Ribeye & Ribs on Evansville’s East Side. And if you’d like to know his secret recipe, all it will cost you is a $25 purchase of the new Lighting Up the Historic District Cookbook.
While some of the recipes are from chefs or restaurant owners, most aren’t. Dennis Au, the city’s historic preservation officer, offers up his recipe for muskrat. Bob Haynie of Haynie Travel shares his recipe for orange marinated pork tenderloin. And Indiana State Senator Vaneta Becker gives her instructions for creating the perfect breakfast casserole.
The book is a project of the Old Evansville Historic Association (OEHA), a neighborhood alliance that strives to maintain and improve the Downtown residential areas.
"We’ll have recipes from local politicians and local chefs,” says Elmer Buchta of OEHA. “You’ll recognize most of the names. The mayor’s recipe for Louisiana Hot Chicken Wings is included. When you’re looking at a recipe, you’ll know right away the name of the person and the group they are associated with.”
The cookbook is separated into categories, including: appetizers and beverages; soups and salads, vegetable side dishes; main dishes, desserts, and cookies and candy.
The idea was born at an OEHA meeting last summer, and it took about six months to compile the recipes and have them printed in a book. Buchta says people were happy to participate, since it gave them a chance to share old family recipes with the city.
The cookbooks are available at the Reitz Home Museum or Haynie Travel for $25. All of the proceeds are used to help put up new lights — which look like vintage gaslights — through the Historic District (see story on page 24). So far, lights have been installed for four blocks along First, Cherry, and Riverside.
For more information on the Old Evansville Historic Association, visit oldevansvillehistoricassociation.com.