Good and rich conversation easily flowed among the 53 guests of the Estero Historical Society’s Tasting of Olde Estero from the Evelyn Luettich Horne family recipe book. The tasting took place on the back deck of the Historical Society’s newly renovated Hall Collier Hanson house, and soon to be renovated Estero’s First School House, conveniently located in our Estero Community Park, just off of Corkscrew Road.

We ate, chatted and enjoyed some delicious food from Evelyn Luettich Horne’s recipe book. All the food was prepared by the wonderful Estero Historical Society members and Evelyn’s family members. The cooks in the kitchen included: Sis Newberry, Marlene Fernandez, Darlene Horne Johnson, Carla Morris, Linda and Billy Horne, and Lois Fein. The mood was the outstanding tastes of Fish Chowder, Bratwurst and Sauerkraut, Southern style cornbread, Chicken and Rice, Tomato Gravy, and moist nut and fruit cakes and coffee bars, all with a spread of Honey Butter, that were OUT OF THIS WORLD. Additional recipes that can be found in Evelyn Luettich Horne’s Recipe book (available to purchase and perfect for a stocking stuffer), would be an additional treat on your holiday tables.

I sat with Evelyn’s children, Darlene and Billy, and their spouses Herby Johnson and Linda. They were thrilled to talk about their family gatherings as they rushed home when mom called. As children they would often play in the orange groves, The Flowery Grove (currently where Villages of Country Creek is located) and Evelyn’s deep and echoing voice saying, “DINNER TIME, COME HOME” was the only warning that they needed that supper was on the table. A family tradition was the gathering of 40-50 people every Sunday after attending the Estero United Methodist Church service. The BBQ, Smoked mullet fish fries with hush puppies (described as perfectly moist and seasoned to perfection), and always homemade southern style cornbread, typically served with lima or great northern beans) and brewed iced tea.

From Evelyn’s recipe book the section entitled: Just Plain Folks, the author states: “Evelyn learned to cook from Molly “Grandma” Johnson, who lived off of Coconut Road near the Weeks Fish Camp (located near the Hyatt). Evelyn adored Grandma Johnson and she taught Evelyn that the key to cooking is SIMPLICITY. To prove this point Grandma Johnson would make her family famous “unforgettable biscuits”. These biscuits were some of Evelyn’s first recipes that she collected. Evelyn made it her ambition to collect and prepare recipes that she gathered from family and friends. She had a knack for making these recipes “her own”. And boy did the family love that!!!!

Be sure to stop by and visit us at the Park. You will be amazed at our rich Estero History and the depth of knowledge that all of the society members share. For the Estero Historical Society open house hours contact Jean Pryal at 498-5296 or visit them at EsteroHistoricalSociety.com

Estero Historical Society support writer: Terri “Sunny” Molle