Vincent Price’s Bloody Mary & Bookbinder’s Snapper Soup

The first time I ever connected Vincent Price and food was when I discovered this little slip of paper tucked within the pages of my copy of The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930)

Vincent Price Bloody Mary

I thought it was delightfully odd. But I never thought anything of it and just put it back into the book.

Well, then I discovered Silver Screen Suppers and the Vincentennial Cookblog and learned of Mr. Price’s life outside of Hollywood–as an extremely influential gourmand and cookbook author!

treasuryNow here I am celebrating, with a whole slew of folks from around the globe, the 50th anniversary of the Treasury of Great Recipes by Vincent and Mary Price!

I am lucky enough to own an original 1965 copy of the Treasury (thanks to the Christmas that my mum discovered ebay), so when I was invited to join in on this cookalong, I was ready.

First off, I made Vincent’s Bloody Mary, which appears on page 416 of my edition.

We like to serve our Bloody Marys before lunch, especially in the summer when my Mary and our sun-loving firends melt around the swimming pool. I retire with my drink to the fern garden where the cool greens make a lovely background for the orange-red Bloody Mary, and I can sip it while contemplating a new fern frond unfurling (Try saying that after one of these!)

The recipe in the Treasury is exactly what was scrawled onto the pink paper above. Vincent does note at the end of the recipe: Our Bloody Marys are hot and sweet-sour and they show their fist!

Vincent Price Bloody Mary

Please note Velvet Elvis peeking around the corner

Vincent wasn’t lying about the Bloody Marys being sweet-sour. I know that I’ve never made a Bloody Mary with sugar before. And they do “show their fist” since it’s 6 jiggers of vodka for 4 cocktails. Hot? Not so much. There was no indication of what the garnish should be, so I went with celery, olives, and lemon.

The sweet-sour flavor may be appealing to others, but it didn’t do it for me. I ended up throwing in a ton of horseradish and Old Bay.

Of course.

Now! Let’s go onto the main event!

It should be noted that the cookbook truly is a Treasury of Great Recipes because all of the recipes are from famous restaurants, both in America and abroad. Sadly, a lot of the establishments are no more, like the Old Original Bookbinder’s in Philadelphia, which shut its doors in 2009 (although they did re-open-ish this year as The Olde Bar, which looks fabulous).


The 1964 menu. Click on it for an enlarged version

I never had the chance to dine at the original Bookbinders but I chose Bookbinder’s Snapper Soup because in the early aughts, my brother and I lived right down the street from their Richmond, VA location–which is still open!

Our favorite thing on the menu was the Snapper Soup. Every once in a while as a treat we’d go eat in the bar and for dinner just have this soup and a salad.


Photo from The Treasury

In Vincent’s words:

The dish for which Old Original Bookbinder’s is most famous is their Snapper Soup, made from five-pound snapping turtles. These creatures are not the most commonplace things to find in a market, but with persistence you can sometimes line up a fish store that can get one for you. If not, you can make a sort of “mock snapper” soup using a red snapper….With either the mock or the authentic snapper soup, the snapper is that you serve a beaker of sherry with the soup, and each person laces his own portion with the wine.

The beaker of sherry is indeed the snapper. It may be the best part of the soup. But anyhoo…

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Posted in Beverages & Cocktails, cookbooks, Food, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes, Soups & Stews | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

I Made Milk Chicken So You Don’t Have To

You know this card. It has been passed around the internet again and again and again. It inevitably ends up on lists of bad retro foods.

milk_chicken cardAnd rightfully so! Look at that gravy–it’s like someone poured a vat of plaster on those chickens and then garnished it with banana slices.

Yes. Those are banana slices.

This piece of art is a Marguerite Patten Recipe Card (1967, Paul Hamlyn, Ltd.). And no, I didn’t just pluck this from the internet. I am a proud owner of this set of cards.

marg cards

this picture is from etsy

(You may recall that I made Golden Cap PuddingSausage Boatees, and Hot Cross Buns)

But what in the world would compel me to make MILK CHICKEN???

  1. this year Marguerite Patten would be 100
  2. there is a blog-along happening in honor of Ms. Patten’s birthday, to which I was invited.
  3. I made this so you don’t have to! 

Here’s the recipe (which I totally lifted from Vintage Recipe Cards because I am lazy and my computer is being a complete bitch when it comes to uploading images):

Cooking time: 1 – 1/2 hours
Preparation time: 15 mins
Main cooking utensil: large saucepan
For 6-8 people you need:
2 small roasting chickens, approximately 2 1/2 lb. (when trussed)
2 stalks celery
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
1-2 hard-cooked eggs
1-2 bananas
cooked mixed vegetables
1. Put the whole chickens (or joint them if pan is not sufficiently large) into pan, add diced celery, water, and seasoning.
2. Bring to boil; remove any scum from the top of the liquid, cover pan, lower heat, simmer gently – allow 45 minutes for jointed chicken, 1 hour for whole birds – until tender but unbroken; lift onto hot dish.
3. Blend flour with half the milk, stir into stock, cook until thickened.
4. Add the butter and the egg blended with the remainder of the milk, and COOK GENTLY without boiling for several minutes.
5. Strain some of the sauce over the birds, then garnish with the sliced hard-cooked egg, bananas, and vegetables.
TO SERVE: With the rest of the sauce and mashed potatoes
TO VARY: Serve with cooked macaroni instead of potatoes; add a little cream and sherry to the sauce at stage 4.

To begin my celebration, I invited one of my besties, Miss Iris, over and we got our Marguerite on…

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The Vampire Gimlet

Happy Halloween, you little goblins!

In honor of the holiday, I whipped up something in my cauldron (and by cauldron, I mean cocktail shaker).

Vampire Gimlet

This recipe is courtesy of Miss Marvelous Memories (and, Smirnoff Vodka). She picked it out just for me!

If you follow me on FB, then you most certainly follow her! Go check out her blog here.

Well, when she sent me this Smirnoff ad–and oh what a doozy it is–I knew I had to make it. Because:

1. I had all the ingredients already in my house (is 100 proof so much more different than the 80 proof in my freezer???)

2. I like Gimlets

3. who the hell puts a black olive in a vodka Gimlet?

So….was this libation a Trick or a Treat?

smirnoff vodka vampire gimlets

Survey says….

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83. Filet of Sole a la Lindor

I wrote this post on Sunday, October 4th. It was a special day. The Jets and the Dolphins played in London. At 9am. Let’s take a trip in the wayback machine…

I got up this morning at 8:30, finished up my Cider Slow Cooker Applesauce (will post later), and then put on the game. I cleaned the house (because I have guests coming at 4), put away my laundry, took a shower and then came down to the kitchen.

Which is where I am now. At 12:52 pm. I haven’t “live-blogged” a meal in quite a while, so, why not today?

filet of sole a la lindorsummerfall 008

OK, looking at the card here, here are a few items that I can do ahead of time. I decide to start with the baked tomatoes.

But what does one put in baked tomatoes? Cheese and breadcrumbs, no? Hm. But I need bread crumbs for the fish and I don’t have that much. OK, I look in the fridge. I have a lot of cheese. And oh, lookie here!

summerfall 010

I can make some bread crumbs out of that!

12:57 I crush the panetini with a rolling pin. I use the bag that they came in, so I don’t have to use a new Ziploc. 

1:00 I clean the tomatoes and hollow them using a melon baller. I reserve a little bit of the tomato guts to mix with the garlic bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. I also add a bit of olive oil.

1:11 I pat the tomatoes dry and stuff them.

1:17 I sprinkle them with some Penzey’s Frozen Pizza Seasoning and put them in the fridge.

1:18 I take the frozen fish (flounder because the Giant doesn’t have sole) and defrost it in a colander.mydesign

OK, I couldn’t help myself! Writing in the first-person, present-tense just sounds like Will Graham describing a grisly murder scene.

1:23 I fear the fish will take a long time to thaw….due to all the  Hurrican Joaquin business, I took a look at my emergency kit earlier this weekend and relized that since I’ve moved, I haven’t put together a new one. So I started one. And I bought these little cans because they (who is THEY? FEMA?) say that you should have enough food and water to last 3 days. And, well, they’re individually sized, so they don’t need to be refrigerated. So they’re perfect for an emergency kit, right?

Is this an emergency?

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Old Bay Sherried Crab Dip

Happy OBtober!

Ok, that’s not a thing but maybe it should be. Maybe October should be Old Bay October. At least that’s what my pal Taryn over at Retro Food for Modern Times thinks. And I agree.

You guys know how much I love Old Bay. I write about it a lot. Well, since I write about it so much, Taryn (who lives in NZ) and Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers (who lives in the UK), have been extremely curious about this most magical of spices.

Because they can’t get it there.

So I sent them both little packets of Old Bay and some Maryland-themed cookbooks to give them some idea of what to do with the Old Bay when it arrived.

Well, Taryn apparently loved it. She made two dishes:

Old Bay Barbecued Corn and Prawn Tostadas

Old Bay Shrimp B(r)oil

Both of them look amazing! I want her to fly to Baltimore and make them for me. Especially the tostadas.

OK, so in the spirit of the season, I made an Old Bay dish, too! I had two lump crab cakes that were left over from an Orioles game at Camden Yards so I decided to turn them into one of Baltimore’s most Baltimore-y dishes–Crab Dip!

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Mike Kalina’s Pittsburgh Potato Cheese Pierogies


One of my most favorite foods. Growing up in Pittsburgh, pierogies were everywhere. Everywhere! The best are the ones made by church ladies, and my Aunt Bonnie (goddamnit, why do I not write down the dough recipe when I see her?).

My Gramsy was one of the pierogie ladies at St. Mary’s Church in Lawrenceville. “She went to pierogies” as she’d like to say, for years. She even had a “St. Mary’s Pierogie Princess” t-shirt. Which I now have. It is, obviously, one of my favorite t-shirts. I wish I had a picture of it.

But anyhoo, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at them, but just never did. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long. But over the weekend I finally–FINALLY! made them.

Which is fitting because October 8th is National Pierogie Day!!!!

Mike Kalina's PittsburghSince I cannot remember Aunt Bonnie’s dough recipe, I consulted  Mike Kalina’s
Pittsburgh Cookbook
(1991).  My mum got this for me this Christmas last year. I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t know who Mike Kalina is (apparently he was KDKA’s Phantom Diner!). Regardless, I think this cookbook is very  cool because it includes menus and recipes from Pittsburgh restaurants (some still there, some not). And weird little facts and old Pittsburgh photos.

But holy shit, I googled Kalina and THIS turned up.  Apparently he committed suicide in 1992 after it was suspected that he was accepting money from restaurants for favorable reviews in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He was apparently an extremely successful writer and tv personality and was on the cusp of going national in a big way but an investigation was to start, and he may have gotten throat cancer, so he ended it.

Ugh. I just found out all of this now. After I made the pierogies. Which were awesome. Seriously awesome.

So let’s forget all of that suicide shit and talk little dumplings, OK?

I chose this recipe because Kalina says that it’s his favorite pierogie recipe (there are 2 others in his book). I also chose it because it is a combo of onion, potato and cottage cheese filling.
pierogie recipes
pierogie recipe

Those are my favorite fillings. Well, that and sauerkraut. So I decided to take a look at another recipe for the sauerkraut filling. This one comes from a Ukranian Cookbook called Baba’s Cook Book  by Emily Linkiewich (1st published 1979).

Baba's Cook Book

IT’S A CANADIAN BEST SELLER! And a fun little book. The beginning provides the recipes for traditional Ukranian Christmas Eve and Easter menus. But here is the Pyrogi recipe… Continue reading

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Bourbon Bonfire

It’s National Mulled Cider Day! So I have to pull this one out of the archives, like I do every year.
Is it autumnal where you are? It’s still a bit stuffy here. But I think starting tomorrow we might be entering sweater weather…

Dinner is Served 1972

Welcome to autumn, bitches!

There is definitely a chill in the air here in Baltimore. Fall has FINALLY arrived. To ward off those nippy nights, here is a little cocktail I concocted that is a twist on a Bourbon Furnace, which is traditionally hot cider, bourbon, whole cloves, and a cinnamon stick. I wanted to make mine a little saucier, a little spicier. So I added some spiced rum and some additional spices and the result was a Bourbon Furnace with an exotic kick. So I give you the Bourbon Bonfire!

In a sauce pan combine:

3 cups cider
1 whole nutmeg
1 star anise
2 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala.

When hot, stir in :

3 shots bourbon
1 shot spiced rum

The result is sweet, peppery, and warming.  And boozy. Deliciously boozy.

I need to buy some cider, find myself a a boy (good luck with that one…

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Well, I feel like I’ve missed it all!  Seriously. I’ve missed the blog, you guys.

I’m going out on 4 dates this week. Four. All with different guys. One already happened (very nice young man. Army. I’d definitely give him a 2nd date if there is an offer). But because I was out, I missed the 1st episode of Scream Queens. Did anyone watch it? Was it any good? Or The Muppets?

Well, the remainder of this week’s dates I am totally building around my television viewing schedule. Seriously. Tonight is a happy hour date so I can be home in time for Empire.

Because how can I not watch this?


That is some Joan Collins Dynasty shit right there. And I am living for it!!!

Over Labor Day weekend I watched all of season 1. I have a hulu plus account now just because of this show. But it got me to watch Fargo, so thanks hulu!

And tomorrow night I will be ending my dinner early enough to get home to watch How to Get Away With Murder at 10.

Although nothing they do on this show can ever top this:


Sunday I am doing an NFL Sunday 1 o’clock game brunch/lunch date. Because of fantasy. I can’t NOT watch the games. There is too much at stake! I’m going into week three in 1st place. Because I am a boss. Yay, Team Hannibal Lecter’s Face Mask!

Insert obligatory Hannibal gifs:



Oh, and that reminds me–guess who is going to see Gillian Anderson in May on stage in A Streetcar Named Desire?


I’m sooooo stoked. I have some David Duchovny-related news (because, duh), but I’ll save that for later.

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60. Orange Duck

I can’t remember how long ago it was that I made this dinner, just that I prepared it in my parents’ kitchen. When was the last time before the last time I was home?

(checks calendar)

Oh. May.


Well, here’s a DiS! card!

60. Orange Duck

Anyway, I chose to make 60. Orange Duck when I visited Pittsburgh back in May because my dad LOVES duck. He’s absolutely bonkers for it…

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Happy Labor Day 2015!

This is an updated version of a post that appeared in August, 2012. There are more delicious dishes than last time!

Hi, darlings! I want to give you some ideas for your Labor Day cookouts, picnics, clam bakes, or whatever it is that you do to celebrate the labor of the, um, we remember the people who? OK, what the hell are we celebrating for Labor Day? Unions? Yeah, it’s unions. It’s gotta be. Right?

Whatever. It’s an excuse to get out of town, drink, eat and enjoy a long weekend. And for your holiday weekend, here are some dishes that would be welcome at any shindig….

Barbecued Chuck Roast! Look how deliciously charred that piece of beef is! And it’s paired with a corn relish. And that’s a macaroni bake. Who doesn’t love Mac & Cheese?

Yum. This was delicious!

Also, your guests will marvel at the 8th Wonder of the World: Frosty Melon:

This potato salad is the best potato salad I’ve ever had and would be perfect to bring to a pot-luck.

Or this lovely linguine salad!


Another option is to bust out the slow cooker and do a Yinzer take on BBQ Pulled Pork with my Pittsburgh Chipped Ham Barbecue Sammiches with Church Lady Slaw.

These sammiches really are delicious, you guys. And cheap! I want one right now.

Do you have to bring dessert to a barbecue? How about the classic Watergate Salad?


Ruth is a boss and knows what she’s talking about when it comes to molding things.

Speaking of molds, Perfection Salad could be just that–perfect.

Vegetable Jello

So there ya go. Those are just a few ideas. So don’t say I never did anything for you.

Happy Labor Day! I’ll be back next week!

Posted in 1970s, Beef cuts, Food, Jell-O, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments