The other night, Cooper's mom handed me a little book she'd found someplace in her house. It's a compilation of recipes called "Culinary Capers," published by the Boys' Latin Parents' Association. It's one of those garden club-style cookbooks with plastic binding, awkward typewriter text and member-contributed recipes. The kind that get crumpled up pretty easily, but are total go-tos when you're looking for hors d'oeuvres to serve your grandmother.
The book is older than we are - it doesn't have a publishing date, but one of the ads proudly boasts, "In business 50 years in 1972," which I hope means the whole book wasn't published when Cooper was at BL in the '90s. It's so much better for having those extra 20 or so years, too.
Patsy thinks someone gave it to her as a gift when Cooper was in school, and she passed it on to me because she knows I can't resist old cookbooks, especially ones that are full of recipes contributed by actual housewives of the day. And this book delivers: on the very first page, there's a recipe for something optimistically called "Frisky Puppies." I won't name the contributor, but the recipe goes just like this:
1 lb. cocktail hot dogs or 1 pkg. hot dogs, cut into 1/2 inch lengths
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. catsup
2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
about 1/2 c. brandy
Melt sugar with a little water. Add catsup and mustard, and the brandy to taste. Fry hot dogs in butter until brown; add to brown sugar sauce and simmer. Serve on toothpicks. These are very popular at a cocktail party; also, good ham glaze. Mix with bread crumbs and cover ham before baking.
Hot dogs and brandy. So perfectly Mad Men, right? Easy, boozy, repulsive. I love it. This is the kind of stuff I'm going to cook when I really get down to business wearing those caftans.