Ah, after almost a year and a half the time had finally arrived for the return of Don Draper. While thousands of people across the nation were hosting Mid-Century Modern Man Men parties in honor of this glorious occasion, Cleve and I celebrated in a more low-key manner with a Mad Men Tete-a-tete.
Hosting a Mad Men-themed soiree is old hat for me. True story.
Picture it, Pittsburgh 2009: in the decaying building that once held the Phantom in the Attic comic book shop, a ragtag crew toils day in and day out in the hopes that their independent candidate would be elected the next mayor of Pittsburgh. Knowing that all of their work would ultimately be futile, two gentlemen conjured up a brilliant morale booster: Mad Men Mondays. Jeans and sneakers were out. Suits and skirts were in. A Manhattan (or 2) at lunch was required and those Lucky Strikes weren’t going to smoke themselves. And sometimes those days ended with cocktails and a casserole at my apartment. Dinner was ready by the time the menfolk arrived. Ah, good times.
Fast forward to present day. Which is’t too far off. I can still rock a major bouffant and I’m still whipping up cocktails and casseroles for my man. For Mad Men Sunday I chose to prepare some dishes from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin. I’m a big fan of the book–it’s a cookbook, episode guide, and a culinary historical text all wrapped into one well-written and beautifully photographed package. If you don’t own it yet (and I think you should), you can buy it here.
My Mad Men Sunday menu:
- Don’s Old Fashioned (Page 11)
- The Oak Bar Manhattan (Page 66)
- Playboy Whiskey Sour (Page 69)
- Chutney Spread Canapes (Page 104)
- Keenes’ Caesar Salad (Page 146)
- “Steak Mad Men”
Here’s Don’s Old Fashioned, which was arguably the best cocktail of the night.
The Playboy Whiskey Sour. I topped it off with soda water, as they do in Here’s How! By Stouffer’s cocktail guide. It was a little weak that way. But still good.
I chose the Chutney Canape Spread because I had all of the ingredients: chutney, curry, coconut, etc. already on hand. I liked this one a lot. I made my own melba toast.
Keenes’ Caesar Salad. Or not.
The dressing was a bit bland for my taste so I went crazy and added Dijon mustard, black pepper and Crystal Hot Sauce. So this was more my salad than Keenes’. But their crouton recipe was pretty damn good.
I chose Steak Diane or as I’m calling it, “Steak Mad Men,” after reading an article on lost foods of New York City by Leah Koenig for Capital New York. The recipe she includes is her adaptation from one in Arthur Schwartz’s New York City Food.
This recipe is a keeper. This was rather easy and very quick. Beef in a shallot-Cognac gravy? Yes, please! I would definitely make this again–the piece of meat was under $4!
All in all, my Mad Men dinner was a success!
What did you do for last night’s episode? Did you do anything special for the big show–have a marathon in advance? Cook up a retro treat? Mix up some martinis? Maybe you dressed up?
Yeah, we dressed up. The precedent had been set after all.
Mr. Cleveland, Junior Partner:
Here I am channeling Betty Draper-Francis, the epitome of disdain. She should hang with Brian.
Yesterday was also an excuse to wear the matching fur hat. A hat that looks eerily reminiscent to my actual hair.
Anyway, I’m gonna Zou Bisou Bisou outta here. What did you think of last night’s show?
Hit it, French girl (who looks like Patty Duke)!