A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 06, 2006
Flowerpots (baked Alaska)

Helen Corbitt operated the Zodiac Room at Neiman-Marcus, and she created “flowerpots” (baked Alaska, served in an edible “flower pot"). Corbitt was a Texas culinary legend who wrote several cookbooks, but her “flowerpots” (like baked Alaska itself) is seldom served today.


9 September 1948, Dallas Morning News, “Party Line” by Nina Thompson, section I, pg. 12:
Ice cream topped with a flower will be served in miniature flower pots.

9 May 1957, Chicago Daily Defender, pg. 16:
EDIBLE FLOWER POTS—Desserts which delight and deceive the eye are these frosted cakes which simulate tiny flower pots. The cakes, made with golden shortening, are sprinkled with shaved chocolate and topped with fresh or artificial stem flowers to add a final note of reality.


13 April 1958, Los Angeles Times, “How America Eats: What’s Cooking in Texas?” (Helen Corbitt recipes) by Clementine Paddleford, pg. K32:
Of course I must have the flowerpot ice cream, the dining room’s most ordered dessert; a super-spectacular.

Take one clay flowerpot, four to five inches high, for each serving. Boil to sterilize. Chill in freezer. Line sides and bottom of chilled pot with halves of ladyfingers. Fill generously with pink peppermint candy ice cream. Top with meringue piling to a high peak. Into this insert two short cuts of sipping straws. Run under broiler until the meringue is lightly tanned. Store dessert in freezer until ready to serve. Insert a rosebud into each length of straw just before dessert is carried to the table.


16 September 1965, New York Times, “Neiman-Marcus and the Last of the Big-Time Spenders” by Charlotte Curtis, pg. 57:
The seven-story main store, which is recovering from a $10 million fire last December, is famous locally for its Zodiac Room, which attracts important Dallas businessmen at lunchtime. It is run by Helen Corbett (sic), whom Mr. Marcus refers to as “the Balenciaga of food.”

The menu lists such dishes as jellied avocado soup, red snapper poached in white wine with dill hollandaise, and the Fresh Flower Pot. The last is a baked Alaska served in a miniature flowerpot topped with two red roses.


4 November 1973, Chicago Tribune, pg. 13:
Now Henrici’s admits they’re experimenting at one of their other Steak and Lobster operations with a dessert comprising an individual baked Alaska in a flower pot with a red rose garnish.


12 November 1976, Daily Review (Hayward, CA), pg. 14:
Of course, all this means nothing unless you know that Mrs. Corbitt has been known to serve baked Alaska in clay flowerpots and makes a stunning fruit dessert that looks like a stained-glass window.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, August 06, 2006 • Permalink