From ‘Mad Men': Party Like It’s 1969

1960s old fashioned“Mad Men,” scheduled to begin broadcasting its final season April 5, slavishly recreates the 1960s in every detail, from desktop ashtrays to skinny ties and go-go boots. Drinks – poured straight from bottles in the office – often get more air time than food, but the show’s stars flit past canape platters at parties and order chicken Kiev and cherry cheesecake at restaurants.

1960s stuffed celery For a virtual Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook Finale Party, I honored the party theme by making Old Fashioneds as well as Cocktail Nibblers (with Chex cereal) and Stuffed Celery. Continue reading

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Winter Salad from the Turf and Field Club Era

Winter Salad 2

Leave it to my grandmother, Hanna, to clip every newspaper recipe that remotely interested her and then stash it away where she couldn’t find it again. I came across dozens of yellowed clippings inside a book for Royal Baking Powder recipes that I inherited from her kitchen clutter. It’s hard to say exactly when she clipped this Winter Salad recipe, but my best guess is in the 1930s. Continue reading

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In My March Kitchen

IMK March iciclesNever mind these icicles I passed while walking to work and the snowiest February in Boston history. Spring arrives March 20 and I’m beyond ready! In the meantime, I’ve been reading recipes for inspiration – and looking at the monthly IMK posts hosted by Celia at figjamandlimecordial.

I found a new trove of my grandmother’s hand-written recipes, tucked into a Royal Baking Powder cookbook. Gelatine salads, here I come!

IMK March 1930s

But I started with her version of cinnamon and clove-spiced applesauce bread.IMK March applesauce bread

I also plan to make a few 1960s recipes to prepare for Mad Men’s final season, which begins April 5.

IMK March Mad MenIn the meantime, I’m picking fresh rosemary that I grow on my windowsill and putting it into everything I can think of, including martinis. Anything for a little green! I’ll be watching for the crocuses to poke up from the snow.

IMK March rosemary

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Portrait of a Cider Cake

Whistler book coverAnyone with an interest in 19th century art has studied American artist James McNeill Whistler’s iconic portrait of his mother, which now hangs in the Louvre. We’ve also heard Mr. Bean, the British comic character, call Mrs. Whistler in her portrait “a hideous old bat who looked like she’d had a cactus lodged up her backside.” Hard as it may be to believe from this description, Mrs. Whistler did like to cook. Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln’s Corn Meal ‘Rail Splitters’

Lincoln rail splitters
Presidents’ Day, celebrated today, started to honor George Washington. Since Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was February 12, he also receives special homage in February. Since I’m still making recipes from the1860s, I found a Lincoln-inspired recipe for “rail splitters” in The President’s Cookbook, by Poppy Cannon and Patricia Brooks (1968). Continue reading

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A ‘Cheap and Quick’ (and Comforting) Pudding from 1862

Confederate pudding cooked 2In any era, wartime cooking brings out the spirit of making do with whatever can be scrounged up when most supplies go to the war effort. The Confederate Receipt Book, published in Richmond in 1862 as the Civil War entered its second year, advertised itself as “adapted to the times.” Continue reading

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In My February Kitchen

IMK Feb iciclesWhat’s going on outside my kitchen this month dominates everything right now. In the past week, more than 40 inches (about 1 meter) of snow has fallen on Boston and another storm is supposed to arrive tomorrow. These icicles have taken up residence in the past few days – the opposite of what Celia at figjamandlimecordial, the In My Kitchen host extraordinaire, must be experiencing in Australia this month.

IMK Feb orchid

Though soup and tea help soothe after rounds of snow shoveling, I’m trying to think tropical by blaring reggae as I cook and buying produce from warmer climes. Continue reading

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