Last New Year’s Eve, I received an e-mail from my husband containing four recipes he was planning to make for me and my mother.
At the time, I was working at a sales-oriented company, and New Year’s Eve was the end of quarter for my team. Because of that, I was planning on working late, then coming home to help with whatever Winston and my mother had scheduled for us for the evening.
One of the recipes he sent to me was called Spinach Madeline.
I’d never heard of it before, and I didn’t think much about it after reading over the ingredients until I was home for the evening, playing sous chef to Winston as he orchestrated our elaborate New Year’s Eve dinner.
It was simple, understated and utterly delicious. (And it turned out OK, even if I wasn’t making the roux exactly like the directions had stated!)
Since then, I’ve been a fan of Spinach Madeline.
However, I never thought about or wondered who Madeline was until I received an assignment for 225, wanting me to drive out to St. Francisville to meet the woman who created this delightful recipe.
So I took a morning and made the drive north. There, I met Madeline Wright at her home. She explained to me that her namesake recipe was a happy accident. She had purchased some jalapeno cheese and didn’t know what to do with it, so she added it to creamed spinach, and it was a huge hit. She was in her late 20’s when she first created Spinach Madeline, and I was blown away thinking about how she created a recipe that is known and loved all over the country when she was my age.
It was fascinating talking with Mrs. Wright, who owned a bed and breakfast for years, and I had a great time photographing her around her beautiful home.
It’s not every day I get to meet someone who has made a last impact on the culinary world, and I enjoyed the time I spent with her.
Two days later, I visited a local restaurant that serves up homemade Spinach Madeline. I didn’t try it, but I’ve heard wonderful things. And I bet Mrs. Wright would be pleased to know that Baton Rougeans are still eating and enjoying her recipe.
To read more about Madeline Wright and her spinach recipe, you can check out Maggie’s article here.
And to make Spinach Madeline, click here for a recipe.