Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Parties of Yesteryear

Adorable illustration of glasses for different bevvies. 
I'm working on something - a short article - that has me pulling out all the vintage cookbooks I've collected over the past few years.

I keep them stacked upstairs in my office. They're out of my usual line of sight, so sometimes I even forget they're there. Until I need some historical perspective on something...then I go digging. And that's when I remember, all over again, how totally entertaining and awesome old cookbooks can be.

For this project, I'm looking at recipes for winter cocktails (I know - some days it's hard to be me). In the search, I pulled out a big binder of a book called the Look and Cook Cook Book. It was written by Lillian Langseth-Christensen and Tatiana McKenna and was published by Brown and Bigelow in 1956. I picked it up a few years ago from Etsy, on the recommendation of my old friend Tracy.

The book is pretty comprehensive, including a wide variety of recipes plus several sections dedicated to menu planning, party-throwing and general fabulousness. I love this bit about menu planning:

We live in an era of scant clothing and great diet consciousness. [Ed note: You ladies hadn't seen anything yet!] There are no vast skirts or flared coats under which the results of too much roast goose can be hidden. Our entire eating habits and thus the making of Menus, must be adapted to giving nourishment, health an all the pleasures of eating, without the penalty of a roll about the waist.

And this, about planning a cocktail party:

The frequent answer to this question is...ask everyone you know, make some spreads and dunks, and have something in the refrigerator for the people (they are no longer friends at this point) who will not go home. Then fall exhausted into bed; and never, never give another Cocktail party - for at least a week.

Pure hilarity.


Cail said...

Milk Punch is the greatest winter cocktail of all time.

Kit Pollard said...

Weirdly, I had a milk punch-adjacent dream last night. It involved Martha Foose. Like dreams do.


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