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HOW ABOUT RETURNING to the fundamentals of cuisine, as described in one of my older cookbooks? Good Housekeeping produced it in 1958, and it shows how healthy meals have evolved over the last six decades.
“Everyone wonders, sometimes,” the cookbook begins, “what it would be like to be invited to the home of some celebrated person. What would the talk be about? How would the dining room look? And most especially, what would be served to eat?”
In fact, many of the celebrities of 59 years ago would need mini-bios today. On the other hand, there are several who might still be known to modern readers. And, generally, their recipes sound delicious, if not always the sort of thing approved by today’s Good Housekeeping.
So buy some extra heavy cream. Separate those egg yolks. And enjoy the (fun)damentals of cuisine.
Bil and Cora Baird’s Sherry Roast Pork. The Bairds were that era’s equivalent of Jim Henson and his Muppets. Britannica.com observes that the Bairds “led the 20th-century revival of puppet theatre in the United States.” Their recipe for Sherry Roast Pork looks particularly appealing. My only modification would be to substitute a boneless tenderloin for the recipe’s loin.
Bob and Ray’s Paella. The satire of Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding has been celebrated here at SimanaitisSays. The cookbook says they collaborated on this paella recipe. As with the pork recipe already noted, I’d be tempted to swap its cut-up chicken for boneless, or maybe even some spicy turkey sausage.
Hitchcock’s Quiche Lorraine. Alfred Hitchcock is quoted as saying, “I’m not a heavy eater. I’m just heavy, and I eat.” His Quiche Lorraine is one of the more complex recipes in the book—and certainly rich in butter, eggs, bacon and cream. I include it here for historical perspective, and to remind me of the work I’m saving when I buy quiche readymade at Trader Joe’s.
Raymond Loewy’s Scallops St. Tropez. Raymond Loewy’s sense of design stretches from streamlined locomotives of the 1930s to Studebakers of the 1950s to the U.S. Postal Service’s eagle logo in 1970 and beyond. His recipe for Scallops St. Tropez is decadent as can be, but sure sounds elegant. I’d bet it would be delicious with shrimp too.
Peg Lynch’s Pineapple-Ham Loaf. Peg Lynch made a guest appearance here with her entertaining “The Couple Next Door” series. Her Pineapple-Ham Loaf is complicated and replete with ingredients I usually don’t shop for, but I recall the modern nutritional claim that “Pork is the other white meat.” It looks like a nice presentation as well.
Charlotte Montgomery’s Beans Très Bien. I searched Who’s Who for something slam-dunk easy, yet potentially tasty. Charlotte Montgomery, Good Housekeeping columnist and its 1953 Woman of the Year, came to my culinary rescue with Beans Très Bien. The only thing I need to buy, adding a 1958 touch, is the can of French-fried onions.
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2017