Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

You’re a Waldorf Salad!-cole porter   Leave a comment

It’s Friday! Time for the weekend to begin!

I hope you have something interesting planned…..a swanky luau inspired party perhaps?

No?

Perhaps an intimate soiree with just a special someone?  A few records on the turntable and a cold beer sliding down your throat?

Let’s hope you have something inspiring to put on the turntable, unlike this lady who is apparently going to be listening to herself.  Ha!  Hopefully her Living Stereo album does not feature the sound of slurping beer….but I digress…

Perhaps as an alternative you’d like to serve something that has both historical and suave connotations to impress your swell friend or family?

The good ol’ Waldorf Salad has been around since approximately 1893-1896 when it appeared on the menu at the posh New York hotel, the Waldorf Hotel….which later became the Waldorf-Astoria.  The salad has many interpretations, but the original did not include nuts….at least not until somewhere between its invention and the late 1920’s. After that they appear on a regular basis in the salad. One constant ingredient, however is the use of apples.  One of my Better Homes & Gardens from 1961 devotes a large two page spread to the subject of the glorious Waldorf salad, which was enjoying a surge in popularity in that decade. It was served even in school cafeterias…which was where I first, at a very tender age, had my virgin voyage with the stuff.

In case you want to add this mid-century version to your repertoire,  here it is!  I see nuts and sugared grapes!

Did you know that the Waldorf Salad was even immortalized……or at least mentioned in this fun Cole Porter song?  And this version has old time photos to go with the lyrics too!

Yes, “You’re a Waldorf Salad”!

Or at least you know how to  make one from the 60’s now!

Enjoy your Friday and take time to savor your food and loved ones this weekend.

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Happy Fri- DAY-O! Winning Ways With Bananas..or something to that effect.   Leave a comment

I like old cookbooks.

I like them for the unmistakable soft focus illustrations that appear in many of the pre-World War Two volumes, and the often kitschily garish color photographs that show up in many 50’s and 60’s tomes. I also like them for the sometimes outlandish….err…creative…dishes they promote.  Especially if they are written to promote a certain product.

It just so happens that I own a very small booklet that was published in 1929 written for the homemaker to extend her creativity with bananas.    Hey! Culinary creativity, you wiseacres!  (As my dad would have said)

Our mainstream love affair with the banana seems to have occurred sometime around the late 1870’s when its availability became more widespread. By the early part of the 20th century, bananas were a big business.  As sometimes happens with some big businesses, there were also, at times, questionable episodes associated with the business of producing bananas.  I suspect that the average American homemaker would have not been aware of such things…especially back in the 1920’s.  Bananas were a popular commodity, and the occasional shortages in availability may have led to this song, written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn, and released in 1923

At any rate, this particular little booklet was urging the queen of the kitchen to utilize the banana in all manner of possible ways, and reminding her that since they are covered by their peel….“Bananas come to you in Nature’s sealed packages”….and are therefore pure and sterile.  Whether these recipes caught on, I certainly don’t know…some of them look downright strange and unappetizing.  But then again, that’s part of their charm for me!  So bad, they’re good….and good for a laugh and a smile on this Friday.   Take a look….

Whether the point was flavor or just being creative, I don’t know.  First impressions would lean heavily on the side of creativity being the predominant goal here.  But what do I know!  Maybe it’s a good way to get little Billy to eat his potassium, B6 and Vitamin C…..make it look like a carnival of delights!

This one, I think I will rather not comment on, except to say that it might be well received at a ladies’ luncheon!

This one I might actually try….at least it has possibilities.

But I doubt this one will make it to my table….however “enticing”  the illustration….

Believe me, there are more.  But I will leave them for another discussion later.  No doubt these need time to sink in. Time to digest.

And because it’s Friday…………I must leave you with this.

I present to you….

The Breakdancing Bananas.

Enjoy your DAY-O!

Spring Brings Birthdays….and Cake!   Leave a comment

Sometimes just the vision of sugarplums or a beautifully turned out cake is enough to get my heart racing!  This past week marked my daughter’s birthday and her cake request was for a certain creation found at one of Northeast Ohio’s most delectable bakeries, Michael Angelo’s Bakery (and Chocolatier!).  Their website alone is drool-worthy to say  the least.  When one of their confections lands in your  mouth, you know you are experiencing something special.  We asked for standard flowers as the decorative element….I liked the way they placed small leaves along the side of the cake as well….it’s the details that make it special.  And it was way too tall to fit under my cake cover…another nice detail!

Absolutely fresh ingredients and an abundance of beautifully sculpted and piped whipped cream icing, that happens to be lighter than air and not at all overpowering, are the hallmarks of their lovely cakes.  This one happens to have fresh strawberry custard as the filling.  Yum!

A beautiful Spring cake makes the celebration even more memorable, and it’s sad to see the last piece go!

A cold glass of milk, a sunny Spring day, and even the fork looks happy!

Posted April 3, 2010 by freshairfour in Food

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