Looking to add an architectural zing to your holiday meal? Simply grab the nearest greens and drizzle them with dressing favored by Frank Lloyd Wright, whose low-slung buildings give new meaning to “hidden valley ranch.” Whipping up a batch of Taliesin Dressing is as easy as combining three cups of Mazola oil with three cups of vinegar, adding one tablespoon of sugar and six cloves of garlic (mashed), stirring in the juice of three lemons, and salting to taste. Extra credit if you wear a cape whilst preparing or serving your salads.
This recipe appears in Taliesin Diary: A Year With Frank Lloyd Wright, recently published by the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The book marks the first publication of a diary by a Wright apprentice. One Priscilla J. Henken kept it during her year at Wright’s home and studio in Spring Green, Wisconsin (after which she returned to New York City and resumed her job as a high school English teacher), and the book includes notes, essays, and contemporaneous photographs. Of one November 1942 day spent in the kitchen preparing dinner for the entire compound, Henken described the results: “the tenderest roast beef I’ve ever eaten, with oven browned potatoes, carrots, lettuce with Taliesin dressing, 4 squash pies, good hot coffee.” The meal was a hit. “Everyone complimented me, to say nothing of second & third helpings. When I came into the room, they all applauded,” she wrote. “Mr. Wright said I was a girl of all-round talents–cooking, proofreading, etc. From a genius–that’s a feather in my cap!”