All posts tagged: vintage recipes

Baking Amid ‘Caps Popping’: Sheriff Normand Starring in (Spiced Chocolate) Fruit Cake

The Big Easy comes with a certain amount of home-spun drama that seems locally sourced and without end. This week road rage and ego-driven childish behavior senselessly claimed the life of local football hero Joe McKnight. The all too familiar scene of crime on the streets of New Orleans. A sad loss for everyone and as a community were are still trying to wrap our collective heads around the tragedy. The unrest in the ‘Easiest of Bigs’ is so high right now. Our community leaders are crumbling under the pressure and the citizens are peacefully protesting themselves into a frenzy of misunderstanding and discontent. During times of stress, we all need calm reassurances – it’s what makes us human. When Sheriff Normand took live to the air during the news conference this week, he did just the opposite. He lost his shit in a very public foul-mouthed rant that surprised even moi.  His behavior reminded me how under stress you can either crumble or you can be calm despite your fear. Inspired by a man who failed to find …

Whipped Cashew Cream, My Newest Luxury Condiment Obsession

GP featured it in her latest book of yummy eats, It’s All Easy. It has been available on snazzy connoisseur deli shelves with the sadly added preservatives for years. Easily whipped up after the soaking process, this version is a simple and wholesome delight. An accoutrement with endless creative options or with fresh fruit as a dessert plate this recipe impresses me every time. I use Jacobson Sea Salt (based in Oregon) as my constant companion in the kitchen, I never would advise using sugary fake syrup – invest in the real deal or use a suitable substitute  and enjoy this new way of savoring the cashew. Cheers! Whipped Cashew Cream 8 oz unsalted cashews, soaked in water for several hours to soften pinch of course sea salt 1/2 water 1 tablespoon real maple syrup, or agave nectar small dash of pure vanilla extract *Blending until smooth and achieving the desired amount of whipped-ness, refrigerate.

The French 75: Heaven With A Twist of Lemon

Louis Armstrong sings about a lady going to his head like the bubbles in Champagne. The truth serum of all spirits is likely the bubbles. I, like Satchmo; adore the lovely tipsy state this elixir induces. Good with brunch or dinner, I have yet to see someone act ugly on a good bottle of Moet. *jinx*   French 75 2 oz gin (I prefer Hendrick’s) 1 sugar cube freshly squeezed lemon juice to  taste fill the rest of the flute with your favorite Champagne garnish with a lemon peel spiral, and rub the rim with a lemon wedge CHEERS!  

Gin and It: A Cocktail of the Gilded Age

Gin and It 3 parts gin 1 part Italian sweet vermouth a dash of your favorite bitters (traditionally orange is used) *serve with shaken and strained through ice into a chilled glass Imagine a pre-prohibition America. A more simple time in the world than we know it to be today. Quiet, picturesque landscapes free from power lines and paved roads. It was the Gilded Age.  Thomas Edison had invented the first version of a move camera. Conflicts with the Native American’s continued to be fought in the plains. It was a time when tensions were high, a moment ripe for the American craft cocktail to have taken shape. The IT being short for Italian, this classic drink was a staple most everywhere liquor was slung. Whether gin has its origin is Holland in the 1700’s or in Italy as some rumors suggest, it is certainly the star of the oldest version of a martini. The Italian sweet vermouth makes this whistle wetter different from most versions which feature dry vermouth. Traditionally served without ice, the chilled glass is a delightfully nice …

The Pickle: Not Just a Fancy Cucumber or a Girl’s First Lovah

The art of pickling goes as far back as the bible. Developed out of the need for preservation of food, it has become woven into almost every aspect of our condiment repertoire. Native to India, the cucumber was widely believed to have healing properties. George Washington was rumored to have several varieties at his disposal. I personally believe there is a link between his hemp use and the craving of pickled products. A pregnant woman is rumored to crave pickles as well, hmm. They are ever-present in my older cookbooks as a staple appetizer and ‘tv snack’. I plan on devoting an entire entry on these so called ‘tv snacks’ of the 1950s. I digress. I used a Peruvian cucumber in these photos. Happy Pickling people! Pickles 1 large smashed garlic glove 1 small cucumber, sliced into thin rounds 1 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider) smudge of salt to taste Combine all ingredients  except the garlic & cucumber slices in a pot of water (about 1/2 cup), once boiling remove from heat and pour onto the garlic and cucumber. Let pickle …

Screaming, Screwing and Baking The Best Biscuits EVAH

Sometimes you want to scream, throw something, screw madly or create. It thunders loudly where I sit now, the sky ominously pointing the finger at days ahead to be spent indoors. How rude, and after the day I am having thus far! In a concerted effort to tame the beast which is my monkey mind, I am opting to bake. Falling into the category of creativity, baking bread is about as rote of a process I can imagine. All of that Dr. Seuss like waiting. Waiting for the dough to rise, punching the dough, waiting again for the dough to rise, waiting for the dough to bake and so forth and so on. There is a certain equanimity to it, relaxing the mind from worry. Requiring Buddha like patience, baking a dramatically good loaf of homemade bread will attract everyone within sniffing distance like a bear to honey. I  am certainly  not advocating gorging on mass amounts of carbs. However surprising  a loved one, friend or neighbor with a gift of your fresh baked goodness will polish your …

Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House Cookbook

  Let me begin by admitting that Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House Cookbook is my personal bible. I cannot complete a conversation about food without making reference to her magnificence. Miss Mary Bobo and her husband Jack took over the Salmon boarding house in 1908 from a retired physician in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Aside from her rather homely looks, Miss Mary demonstrated a fearless approach of farm to table food. Her recipes are as nourishing to the body as they are to the senses. A bowl of Miss Mary’s soup is as soothing as it is a gift from the culinary gods. A midday ‘supper’ is still served here daily, featuring the vegetables grown in the dual gardens on the premises. In a town famous for the Jack Daniel Distillery the county is actually dry, consequently Miss Mary’s only serves sweet iced tea and water. Regardless of this fact, many of her recipes famously include Jack Daniel’s whiskey. The vibe at Miss Mary’s house is in perfect retrograde. Rocking chairs line the front porch inviting guests …

Adventures in Good Cooking and The Art of Carving in the Home, by Duncan Hines

“Tested recipes of unusual dishes from America’s favorite eating places.” I am lucky enough to have the 1953 version or the 25th printing out of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Mr. Hines (March 26, 1880- March 15,1959) was born in Kentucky to a father who was a confederate soldier. Because his mother died while at such a young age, Duncan was raised by his grandmother. This fun fact I like to imagine is exactly why he was so accomplished in the kitchen. Coupled with his early career in writing it wouldn’t have taken a soothsayer to predict his wild success. More than just a name on the adult-easy-bake-mix we are all accused of succumbing to on occasion, this man was molded by his grandmother  – therefore breaking all barriers of his and her cooking approaches. Ground breaking, well; to me anyhow.  As luck would have it, Mr. Hines was known for visiting the Midwest during the final years of his life and thanks to the bibliophile gods, my copy is signed. A most glorious treasure indeed! Not a coffee …