Texas Enchiladas That Fed a ‘Giant’

Enchilada Marfa landscape MS photo

Marfa, Texas                                                                                    Photo by Martha Schnee

Enchilada Cowboy Day Cook-AlongWhen the cast and crew of the movie Giant came to Marfa, Texas in 1955, they traded Los Angeles glitz for an arid, desolate landscape. “[Marfa] is located somewhere south and west of El Paso in a region of the damned…It was a hot, lifeless, boring place,” wrote Mercedes McCambridge, who co-starred in the film with James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizabeth Taylor.

I learned more about making of the film from Recipes4Rebels, a blog celebrating recipes from James Dean and his contemporaries. The blog’s Cowboy Day Cookalong  for the National Day of the Cowboy on July 23 sounded too fun to resist Continue reading

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An Icy Dessert from Garden Ingredients


Granita doneFrom Eden to Babylon, gardens for thousands of years have inspired legends. In America, the U.S. Botanic Garden opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 1820 and still operates nearby. Michelle Obama revived gardening on the White House Lawn in 2009; A White House Garden Cookbook tells you more about it. A garden also inspires Alexandra Risen, who has just published the memoir Unearthed. Continue reading

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‘Something a Little Exotic’ to Grill

Skewers - Price cookbookAmericans have long celebrated July 4 with picnics but they didn’t always grill hamburgers and hot dogs. The Food Timeline reports that at various times in history, Americans served whole, broiled hogs; cold meats; salmon with new potatoes and green peas; and “temperance” beverages.

If you’re in search of something different, but still all-American, look back to the 1960s. Continue reading

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A Cocktail From the 50th State

Rum punch Price TreasuryHawaii, coveted for its sugar plantations and its strategic location in the Pacific, didn’t become the 50th of the United States until 1959. Just six years later, history does not creep into Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes (1965). Continue reading

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Cucumber Soup from a ‘Culinary Landmark’

cucumber soup doneWhen I participated in the Vincent Price Treasury Cookalong with Silver Screen Suppers and many other bloggers in the fall, I had yet to pick up a copy of the 50th Edition of the Treasury of Great Recipes that Vincent Price co-authored with his wife, Mary. I’m circling back now because I just added the book to my shelf, Continue reading

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‘Shake Until Frost Forms’

Lemon cocktail CharlestonIn the 19th century, British sailors used to mix their rations of lime juice (to prevent scurvy) with rum, creating the gimlet and other gin-lime cocktails. This Cool o’ the Evening cocktail from the Charleston Receipts (The Junior League of Charleston, 1950) uses the same citrus-gin idea Continue reading

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Hurry Up Curry: Convenience from the 1930s

Hurry Up Curry 2 doneIn this age of microwave dinners and mail order meal kits, we all seem intent on erasing every extra second from food preparation. My Richmond grandmother, Hanna, was attracted to the same idea in the 1930s. Continue reading

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