Brown Bag/Local Lore: Family Heirloom Recipes from the Illinois State Fair

Since 2009, Catherine Lambrecht has judged Family Heirloom Recipes contests on behalf of Greater Midwest Foodways in Illinois and across the Midwest. Contestants enter their best scratch family heirloom recipe suitable for a family or community dinner. The recipe should have originated 50 years ago or earlier. Contestants bring to the fair a prepared dish along with a history of who passed the recipe down to them. The foods are sometimes submitted simply in their transport container, or more elaborately on the family’s china with relevant props of family pictures, kitchen paraphernalia and their loved one’s handwritten recipe. On Thursday, November 2 at noon, follow the judging experience during a special presentation by Lambrecht at the Ellwood House Museum.

Among the stories collected, learn how a contestant wanted a judge to settle a long-debated family argument, a rite of passage as a young boy’s pet pig may become his breakfast, and how a
family of mushroom collectors preserves old country traditions. “Family Heirloom Recipes from the Illinois State Fair” is part of “Brown Bag Lunch/Local Lore,” a free lecture series offered in collaboration by the Ellwood House Museum and DeKalb County History Center. Registration is available for in-person or online attendance; visit to register. Brown Bag Lunch/Local Lore is funded in part by the Mary E. Stevens Concert and Lecture Fund.

Register for attending in-person here

Register for the virtual option here

Ellwood House Museum is located at 420 Linden Place in DeKalb. Parking is available on-site.


Nov 02 2023


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Ellwood House Museum
Dekalb, IL


DeKalb County History Center