Huntington Family Recipes by Mrs. Howard E. Huntington (Leslie)

By Nancy Armitage

Mrs. Howard E. Huntington (Leslie) was Henry E. Huntington’s daughter-in-law. She is one of the unsung heros of the Huntington story. In my Huntington research, I found many Huntington recipes of Leslie Huntington’s.

Leslie was married to Mr. Howard E. Huntington (Henry E. Huntington & his 1st wife MaryAlice’s son). Leslie & Howard Huntington lived in sunny Southern California in a exclusive area called “Oak Knoll” in Pasadena, CA. “Oak Knoll” was really a part of the San Marino Ranch at one time. Oak Knoll was owned by Henry E. Huntington & his company, Huntington Land & Improvement Co. In the early 1900’s, the land was being sold off in large parcels 1 acre or larger. Oak Knoll was advertised to wealthy people on the East coast: Come & enjoy sunny Southern California warm weather in the cold of winter.

Hotel Huntington, a luxury hotel since Mr. Henry E. Huntington opened its doors in 1914. Now in 2021, it is called the Huntington-Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif. with Mt Wilson behind it. The property is surrounded by “Oak Knoll”.

Menu of the Hotel Huntington (1924)

10th Anniversary & Formal Opening of the Huntington Hotel

January 10, 1924, Huntington Hotel, Pasadena, CA

Luncheon-Tea Menu

Hors d’oeuvres varies

Essence de Volaille Madeleine

Celery Mignonette Olives Amandes Salles

Ris de Veau a la Creme

Toast Melba

Dinde aux Champignons, Huntington [Roast Turkey Medallions with Mushroom Cream Sauce, Huntington Hotel style]

Spiced Satsuma Plums

Punch Mont-Blanc [a punch made of vanilla ice cream or cream with vodka & Chambord raspberry liqueur]

Salade Oak Knoll*

Petit Sandwiches [Small triangular shaped tea sandwiches: egg, cucumber, salmon, chicken salad, olive & cream cheese]

Meringues Glaces, Bellevue

Gateaux a l’Orange [Fancy French Orange Cake]

Mocha and Mints

Document: Ephemera Folder of Special Collections, Pasadena Museum of History, Pasadena, Calif.

Note: Henry E. & his wife Arabella Huntington with Howard & Leslie Huntington and the Holladays were most likely at this event.

Spring Chicken Roti, Huntington (1924) Huntington Hotel, Pasadena or “Chicken Saute” [with Mushroom Sauce] (1922) by Mrs. Howard Huntington

This is a Huntington family recipe, also served at the Hotel Huntington in 1924. Mrs. Howard Huntington’s recipe came from Castelar Creche Cookbook written in Los Angeles, in 1922 (one of Mr. H.E. Huntington’s rare books). This recipe is adapted from Mrs. Howard Huntington’s recipe. In the 1960’s, there was a fine dining restaurant in San Marino, CA called Woody & Eddy’s; they had a similar dish called “Capon of Chicken with Mushroom Sauce”, it was truly sublime.

1 (4 lb.) roaster chicken

cayenne pepper, salt & pepper

flour & garlic powder

1/2 c. browned sweet butter

[Mushroom] Sauce [with French Tarragon]:

1 c. mushrooms, sliced & sauteed

1/2 c. white onions, minced & sauteed

1-2 garlic clove, crushed

1 T. demi-glace or 1 cube of chicken stock

1 c. Chardonnay or Sauterne white wine

Sprinkle cayenne pepper

several sprigs French Tarragon, minced

fresh garden parsley & sprinkle with chives on top

In a saucepan, sauté mushrooms & onions in butter & olive oil. In a small bowl, add flour, s & p, & cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the seasoned flour on chicken. In a Dutch oven, brown the butter & place the chicken & brown for 20 mins. Add sautéed mushrooms & onions & garlic. Add wine & demi-glace or bouillon. Add a handful fresh French Tarragon minced leaves. Cover the Dutch oven, cook the chicken for 30-40 mins until the chicken is white. Place the chicken on a platter, spoon over mushrooms & onions. Sprinkle French tarragon, & minced baby chives on top. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4 people. Recipe: Nancy Armitage

Huntington Hillcrest Mansion, “Oak Knoll” Pasadena

The Howard Huntington mansion was at 1450 South Hillcrest Ave. in Pasadena, California. It was technically on the San Marino Ranch (the most western portion) & just across the street to the Hotel Huntington in Pasadena. Howard & Leslie Huntington had 6 children in the early 1900’s. Their children were Elizabeth (1906), Margaret (1908), Harriet Green Doerr (1910), Howard Edward Jr. (1913), Leslie Alice (1916) & Henry Edwards II (1921). Howard & Leslie were members of these social clubs: Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena, the California Club & Jonathan Club in Downtown Los Angeles, & Midwick Country Club [Alhambra] & Bolsa Chica (near Huntington Beach, CA.

Advertisement invited Easterners to come to Pasadena in the wintertime. Roses blooming in the dead of wintertime, so nice & warm in Pasadena, Calif.

Mrs. Howard Huntington’s “A Refreshing Drink” (1914)

I am happy to say, Leslie Huntington was a herbalist. This is a very refreshing Spring or Summertime Minted Lemonade Punch. Leslie would have made it for entertainments for her 6 children who would have loved it; maybe she made it for Arabella & H. E. “Edwards” Huntingtons “Sundays at the Ranch” (San Marino Ranch), too.

Put into a punch bowl:

1 c. granulated sugar

juice of 6 lemons [Meyer Lemons are the best]

12 sprigs Spearmint or Peppermint

2-3 bottles [Canada Dry] Gingerale

Leave out the ice until you are ready to use it. Add 12 Sprays of Green Mint [Spearmint or Peppermint]. 1 qt. (at least) Pounded ice. Stir well for a minute and pour from a height into the punch bowl 2-3 bottles of Gingerale. Recipe: Mrs. Howard Huntington. Book: Tried Receipts of Pasadena Benefit for Scripps Home (1914)

Young Victorian girls playing afternoon croquet on the lawn.

Miss Leslie Green & Howard E. Huntington got engaged (1905)

Leslie Thayer Green (Huntington Brehm) was born abt.1881 in Northern California, probably Berkeley, CA. About June of 1905, Howard Huntington asked Miss Leslie Green to marry him. A diary entry of E. Burke Holladay [Howard Huntington’s fraternal uncle]. The entry stated in Berkeley, CA: “Friday Jun. 2, 1905, “Carol [his wife, Caroline Holladay] & I after dinner went to Berkeley & called upon Miss Leslie Thayer Green at 2627 Dwight Way [Berkeley, CA]. She being engaged to marry Howard E. Huntington, we later called on Col. & Mrs. Greenleaf. ” By Saturday, June 10, 1905 Young Leslie Green is being introduced to the whole Huntington family. Henry Huntington is at the Potter Hotel in Santa Barbara with 2 of his daughters, Clara Huntington & Elizabeth Huntington Perkins (Gilbert Perkins- her husband in Santa Catalina Island). Henry E. Huntington took the ladies & the Holladays in his private railroad car south (the Lark) to Los Angeles. The Holladays live in San Francisco. Mr. Huntington took them all to the elegant Van Nuys Hotel in downtown Los Angeles where he engages several rooms & baths for the whole Huntington family. The next day, Sunday, June 11, Howard meets his sister, Marian & his fiance, Leslie in Santa Barbara. Then, they boarded a private [train car] & traveled south to the Bolsa Chica Gun Club, [by Huntington Beach, CA] where they had lunch & dinner. Monday night, June 12th, the whole H. E. Huntington family & the Holladays about 10-12 guests enjoyed dinner & a toast to the happy couple at the California Club in downtown Los Angeles. Tuesday, June 13, 1905, the Huntington family enjoyed a delicious luncheon at the Jonathan Club in downtown; where H. E. Huntington & Howard lived on the top floor in 2 large suites. Also, H. E. Huntington is also the President of the Jonathan Club. That same evening for a formal multi-course dinner the Huntington Family were guests of Mr. William Dunn at the country club. [could be SGCC, Wilshire CC, Midwick or LACC.] Document: HEH Coll HEH MS 53/2 uncat (Holladay Family Papers)

In the Boone Gallery at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. -There once was a collection of silver pieces of the Huntington’s. This teapot had the initials “VN” it was most likely from the luxury Hotel Van Nuys in Los Angeles. They probably gave it to Mr. H.E. Huntington as a gift for housing his whole family at their hotel on numerous occasions. Illustration & photo credit: Nancy Armitage

Mr. & Mrs. Howard E. Huntington (Leslie) get married & enjoy European Wedding Tour (August 1905)

Howard & Leslie married up in Berkeley, CA on August 16, 1905. The San Francisco Call newspaper documented it: ” Berkeley, CA: “Married under a canopy of ferns & pink tiger lilies, Miss Leslie Green becomes the wife of Howard Huntington. [Lovely photo] The wedding of Miss Leslie Green & Howard Huntington took place at 8:30pm o’clock this evening at the home of the bride’s parents: Mr. & Mrs. Adam T. Green of 2629 Dwight Way [Berkeley] in the presence of about 150 invited guests. Society of Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, & Los Angeles was interested in the affair….a Episcopal marriage service was read by Rev. Dr. W. H. Hopkins, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Berkeley. Miss Green one of the most charming & beautiful girls of Berkeley was gowned in soft satin, relieved only by rare old lace, worn at the throat & wrists…She carried a bouquet of Lilies of the Valley. Four bridesmaids were Miss Elizabeth & Marian Huntington, Miss Elizabeth Livermore, & Miss Ruth Knowles… Miss Ruth Green, sister of the bride, was maid of honor… Hugh Stewart of Los Angeles supported the groom as the best man. After the wedding service an elaborate supper was served. The bride & groom left for San Francisco at the conclusion of the [wedding] banquet & tomorrow will journey south & from there to Europe, where their bridal tour will be made”…. Document: San Francisco Call Newspaper Vol. 98 Number 78 Aug. 17, 1905

The Old Mill was home to the Howard E. Huntington Family

In the early 1900’s, Mr. H. E. Huntington & Huntington Land & Improvement Co. owned the Old Mill at one time. For their wedding, HEH must have gifted the farmland to Howard & Leslie; they were allowed to live in the Mission Viejo “Old Mill” in San Marino, CA . On a biography of the Howard Huntington’s, it stated that in 1910, the “Howard Huntington family lived on a farm on Old Mill Rd. Pasadena [actually the Old Mill in San Marino, CA itself]. Howard was 34 years old & Leslie was 29 years old. [At the time] they had 3 children, & 5 servants, a gardener, a cook, nurse, & 2 general servants. 3 children: Elizabeth, Margaret & Harriet”.

The Howard E. Huntington Hillcrest mansion was right up the hill from the Old Mill. When their family get too large they most likely moved from the Old Mill to the Hillcrest Mansion. Most of their babies were born in the Hillcrest mansion, too. A wonderful parcel of land with lovely rolling canyons & wonderful views (from Mt. Wilson to San Gabriel Valley) , especially from the sun porch. Harriett Huntington Doerr, one of their daughters stated that they had a nurse named Edie Pink, she was English/ Cockney. They had a tutor, named Miss Hutchins, who came to work in Pasadena by the local streetcar train from Monrovia. Many happy memories were made at the Old Mill & the Hillcrest Mansion in Pasadena, CA.

Largest Entertainment at Mr. & Mrs. Howard Huntington’s Hillcrest Residence:

April 14, 1915 Reception & Tea for 400 guests at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Howard (Leslie) Huntington, Oak Knoll, Pasadena, CA Reception & Tea: 4-6 PM More then 400 guests were bidden! “[At the home of] Mr. & Mrs. Howard (Leslie) Huntington ‘Oak Knoll’ was the scene this afternoon of one of the prettiest affairs of the season when from 4-6 pm Mrs. Huntington [Leslie] entertained with a reception & tea. The house was a gower of spring blossoms & foliage, while the gardens were aglow” [some of the guests were]: Mrs. Fred Bixby, Mrs. Ernest Bryant, Mrs. Wm Ellsworth Dunn, Mrs. Fred Sears, Mrs. Geo. J. Denis, Miss Katherine Banning, Mrs. Henry M. Robinson, Mrs. Ella Brooks Solano, Mrs. Allan C. Balch, Mrs. Tod Ford, Mrs. Rob. Pitcairn, Mrs. Edw. Robbins, Mrs. John S. Cravens, Mrs. Wesley Clark, Mrs. Jefferson Paul Chandler, Mrs. Geo. Flint, Mrs. Henry E. Huntington [Arabella], Mrs. George P. Patton Jr., Miss Annie Wilson, Miss Anita Patton, Mrs. Albert Sherman Hoyt, Mrs. John Barnes Miller, Mrs. Randolph Huntington Miner, Mrs. Richard Jewett Schweppe, Mrs. I. N. Van Nuys, Mrs. Edwin Jessup Marshall, Mrs. Granville MacGowen, Mrs. Dean Mason, Mrs. Irving Armstrong, Mrs. Volney Craig. ” Document: Los Angeles Evening Herald No. 141 Wed. April 14, 1915. Leslie & Howard Huntington lived on Hillcrest Ave. in Pasadena, CA “Oak Knoll”. Mr. Henry E. Huntington paid for everything, he even sent 100’s plants over to Mrs. Leslie Huntington garden to make it looks fantastic for a springtime garden party. Many of these ladies mentioned were dear friends of Mrs. Arabella Huntington, too.

Patches of bright beautiful color in one’s garden, just glorious! If you want to show color in your garden- this is how to do it. Showy large gathering of the same color. Yellow, hot pink, and magentas really pop, also.

Howard Huntington dies in March of 1922

Howard sadly died in March of 1922, it was said he had a stomach ulcer and died of stomach cancer. He left behind his wife young Leslie, & 6 little children, their baby was only 1 yrs old. By about 1924, Leslie remarried a wealthy investment counselor, James R. Brehm. They were members of Church of Our Savior Church in San Gabriel.

In fact, Arabella Huntington invited them to a “Sundays at the Ranch” in June/August of 1924. it is written that Leslie lived in the Hillcrest house for 55 years. The Old Mill stayed in the Huntington family for 60 yrs. until they generously gave it to the City of San Marino, CA.

Mrs. Howard Huntington’s “Frozen Pudding” (1914)

1 qt. [Heavy] cream

1/4 c. rum


3/4 c. sugar

1 c. candied fruit [citron, apricots, cherries or ginger or brandied peaches]

8 lady fingers

Cut fruit in pieces & soak for several hours in brandy to cover. Mix cream, sugar, & rum then freeze. Lina a 2 qt. melon mold with lady fingers, crust side down; fill with alternate layers of the cream & fruit. Cover. Pack in salt & ice & let stand for 2 hours. Brandied peaches cut in pieces with some of their syrup added greatly improves the pudding. Recipe : Mrs. Leslie Huntington Cookbook: Tried Receipts of Pasadena, Wm. A Scripps home, Pasadena, CA 1914

Mrs. Howard Edwards Huntington (Leslie), the woman

Leslie Thayer Green or “Mrs. Howard Edwards Huntington” to Pasadena Calif. society. She sounds like a vivacious bubbly woman with a lot of spark. It sounds like she loved her husband & 6 children very much. She ran a large household with a lot of people & servant staff, too. Howard & Leslie hosted many Huntington formal family dinners, usually 14-20 people including their children. Especially when Howard’s sisters visited from San Francisco, CA, they entertained a lot.

In 1915, was their largest entertainment, Howard & Leslie hosted a very large garden party for 400 people at their lovely home in “Oak Knoll”. She loved a pretty garden, which Mr. H. E. Huntington donated a huge amount of flowers, trees, & herbs to her garden on Hillcrest. She was a herbalist, making “Minted Lemonade Punch” for their Huntington entertainments. She had a lot of friends & played the piano often for the family & friends. She was a really talented piano player, teaching lessons in San Francisco in her youth. Mr. Henry Huntington & Leslie attended Pasadena Art Assn. meetings together to promote art & artists in the Los Angeles area. She attended & hosted cultural events, education events, musical, eventful, & educational. She volunteered for many different fundraisers; contributed to several cookbooks as fundraisers like the book: Castelar Creche Cookbook (1922) & Tried Receipts [Recipes] of Pasadena to Benefit for the Scripps Home in 1914. She had a servant staff of 5 people, cook, maids, & nanny.

Mr. Howard Edwards Huntington (B. 1876- D.1922)

He was born, on Feb. 11, 1876 in St. Albans, West Virginia. His father was Henry “Edwards” Huntington & his first wife, Mary Alice Huntington. He had 3 younger sisters, Marian, Clara, & Elizabeth Huntington. When Howard was a older, the Henry E/ Huntington family moved to a mansion in San Francisco (on the corner of Jackson & Broderick). Howard was smart and graduated from Harvard University. When Howard was 18 about 1894, he started working for his father (HEH) in the engineering department of the Southern Pacific Co. in Arizona. Then in the early 1900’s, Howard worked for the Los Angeles Railway Co. as a executive. Then he worked as a Railway Manager for LA Pacific Electric Co. ; by 1922, Howard Huntington was the President of the Company. Henry E. Huntington had retired a decade earlier.

A beautiful colorful rose arrangement in yellow, peach, color, hot pink and orange. Photo credit: Nancy Armitage

Howard & Leslie met at the Bixby Ranch, Long Beach

About 1904 or 1905, Howard & Leslie met at the Fred Bixby Ranch actually called Rancho Los Alamitos in Long Beach. Fred Bixby had 28,000 acre of land. Miss Leslie Green was visiting her older sister, Florence Bixby (Aunt Polly) who had married Fred Bixby. Young Leslie was invited to play the piano one evening & she was quite talented, she even taught piano lessons she was so good. Anyways, Howard must have been quite smitten with her. The Bixbys were famous for their parties especially in the summertime and their Christmas Eve party. The H. E. Huntington family & Howard were dear friends/relatives to the Bixbys; invited one another over often in the 1920’s. Document: Haunted by Memory story about Harriet Huntington Doerr LA Times Article

Mrs. Howard Huntington’s “Cheese Soup” (1922)

This soup would be lovely on a cold Autumn or Winter lunch.

3 eggs

1 t. flour


1 c. grated [cheddar] cheese



Heat the milk in a double boiler, reserve a little to mix with the flours. Add the flour & cook thoroughly. When ready to serve add the cheese” Recipe: Mrs. Howard Huntington Book: Castelar Creche Cookbook, Los Angeles, CA 1922, page 31

Luncheons & afternoon tea enjoyed almost daily with Leslie & Belle. Photo credit: Nancy Armitage

Mrs. Howard Huntington & Mrs. Arabella Huntington dear friends for luncheon & tea almost daily

Mrs. Arabella Huntington always wanted Leslie “to call” at the Huntington Mansion on the Ranch. Remember Mr. & Mrs. H. E. Huntington were only at the San Marino Ranch about 3-4 months out of each year. They traveled to their New York City mansion, their “Homestead” estate in Westchester Co. NY & off to Chateau Beauregard in Paris in the Spring. In Leslie’s affidavit, she states that she was at luncheon or tea particularly everyday when the Huntington were in California.

Mrs. Howard Huntington’s “Fruit Cream” (1914)

“Peel 4 bananas & rub through a sieve.

Add the pulp & juice of 2 oranges.

1 T. lemon juice

1 T. Sherry wine

2-3 c. powdered sugar

1 1/4 T. Granulated gelatin (Knox)

Dissolved 1/4 c. boiling water

Cool in ice water, stirring constantly and fold in whip from 2 c. [heavy] cream [Whipped cream or Cool-whip] Add 1 c. candied fruit [orange zest, citron, dried apricots or cherries] Recipe: Mrs. Howard Huntington. Book: Tried Receipts of Pasadena Wm. A. Scripps Home, Pasadena, Calif. 1914

Howard Huntington & Leslie Huntington Brehm daughter:

Mrs. Harriet Huntington Doerr

Mrs. Harriet Huntington Doerr (daughter of Leslie & Howard Huntington):

In a article called “Haunted by Memory” in the Los Angeles Times. Written on Feb. 8, 1998 12AM. Harriet Doerr is a fictional writer, her book are ‘Stones for Ibarra” & “Consider This, Senora”. She recalled all her large family visiting her grandfather’s San Marino Ranch & expansive gardens & grounds. Harriet states: “We were encouraged to say what we thought, as long as we used good grammar”. She said, “It was a dream of happiness to play there: All orange groves… the library wasn’t there [1919-1920 the Huntington Library was built]. The Japanese garden was there, & it fascinated us– such destructive children! There was absolutely no supervision; it was like being on a desert island.”

When the Howard Huntington children were rounded up a very different behavior was expected. Henry E. Huntington’s Head Butler, Alfonso Gomez tells a very different story about how even their grandchildren “had to be announced” to Mr. & Mrs. H. E. Huntington (“Edwards & Belle”) in the large Library. Alfonso would joke around with the children in the mansion hallway, but then they were excepted to be on their best behavior at their grandfather’s at Huntington Mansion, San Marino Ranch. Harriet Huntington Doerr stated that her mother, Leslie Huntington instilled culture in the children lives. She would take them to hear Rachmaninoff in the old Philharmonic in Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles, to the old Orpheum theatre on So. Spring Street; to see the famous Houdini & Annette Kellerman (a famous swimmer at the time).

Ice Cream in a cone, one of the best thing in life…whether you are 2 or 92 years old.

Document: HEH Coll. HEH MS 53/2 uncat (Holladay Family Papers) at Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Document: HEH Coll HEH MS 19 1-18 uncat) (Alfonzo Gomez interviews)

Document: HEH Coll HEH MS 37/1-18 uncat (Affidavit of Leslie Huntington- in Arabella D. Huntington Estate papers)at Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Book: Southern California Social Register (1920)

Rare Book of Mr. H.E. Huntington’s: Castelar Creche Cookbook, Los Angeles, CA (1922)

Rare Book of Mr. H.E. Huntington’s : Tried Receipts of Pasadena Wm. A Scripps Home, Pasadena, California, 1914

Wikitree Bio of Howard Edwards Huntington (1876-1922)

Document: San Francisco Call Newspaper Vol.98 Number 78 Aug. 17, 1905

Document: Haunted by Memory story about Harriet Huntington Doerr LA Times Article.

Document: Los Angeles Evening Herald No. 141 Wed. April 14, 1915

%d bloggers like this: