The Argyle Club’s Cuban Black Bean Soup (1961)

This recipe comes from a very recent acquisition–Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook (1961). My mum gave me this one for Christmas this year, and lemme tell ya, this one seems like a goody, especially since it features illustrations by Andrew Warhola!

Yeah, Warhola as in Warhol.

As I was flipping through the pages I realized that Vanderbilt’s cookbook is chock-full of recipes that are interesting, practical and appealing! It has the potential to become a go-to book for me.

For my first dish from this cook book I chose Cuban Black-Bean soup because one of the main ingredients was ham. And I had ham to burn–even after making my split-pea soup.

black bean recipe 2black bean recipe 1

I didn’t change it much. Instead of using a chicken boullion packet in lieu of “beef extract” and subbing basil, parsley, and tarragon to replace the “herbes fines,” (whatever the hell that is). I also switched out bacon for salt pork.

So it was basically the same recipe–except for those 3 changes I just mentioned.

When I put in that hunk of meat, I expected that I would have to bring it out and chop it up at some point, but after 4 hours, it just fell apart into lovely little strands.

I also thought that this soup would be WAAAAY too mild for today’s palates, but I think I was wrong. It was a very nice soup and didn’t need much in the way of extra heat. It was perfect if you have a big group who like varying amount of spiciness.

But if you wanna kick it up, I would recommend adding a small can of green chiles while cooking, or adding 2 tsp or so of salsa verde when serving, or just letting everyone add cayenne and/or chili powder at the table to taste. I did both the salsa verde and cayenne pepper with some sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese (and homemade baked tortilla chips, of course).

black bean soup finished

Anyway, this was tasty and used up a good deal of ham, So right on, Amy Vanderbilt! And right on, Argyle Club of San Antonio for creating this dish!

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A Groundhog Day Menu (1971)

Cue up the Pennsylvania Polka! For the 2nd year in a row, I have decided to delve into my copy of Gourmets & Groundhogs (1971) to properly celebrate Groundhog Day.

And to do so, I referred to a favorite Groundhog Day menu from Miss Gretchen Green of NYC.

I do not know why Miss Gretchen Green was such a Groundhog enthusiast, but it is nice that she was a hospital volunteer!

I sure as hell wasn’t going to make this entire menu, so I chose the Blue Grass Bread and the Reveille Soup and ran with it. Mostly because booze was an ingredient in both.

I am going to assume that the Blue Grass Bread is called that because one of the ingredients is bourbon. As in Kentucky Bourbon. As in the Blue Grass State.

Kentucky is the Blue Grass state…right?

Whatever. 1/4 cup of Jim Beam was enough to make the batter smell reaaaally boozy.

Sadly, my toaster oven over baked it a bit. The top was really hard. And more than a golden brown. Whoops.

Now the soup!

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Locke-Ober’s New England Boiled Dinner (1965)

Firstly, just because I am posting a New England post today does not mean that I am endorsing the New England Patriots in this Sunday’s AFC Championship.

Because, Steelers. Duh.

Also, I actively hate the New England Patriots with a fiery passion.

And doesn’t everyone by now? I totally don’t understand the people in Baltimore who are all still like “boo, Steelers!” Um. C’mon! I was totally rooting for the Ravens vs. Pats that year that the Ravens made it to the Super Bowl and Beyonce shut the mutherfucker down.

I’d be all-Ravens all-day if the roles were reversed. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, no?

But back to the Pats–on Sunday I want Tom Brady to be pressured (ok, hit #sorrynotsorry) a lot in the game. Not just because, BRADY. But when it happens, he gets all pissed/frustrated and does Tom Brady Tiny Mouth



But anyhoo! Although I am anti-New England, I am pro-New England food.

So let’s get to Locke Ober’s New England Boiled Dinner!

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BH&G Vegetable Cook Book Split-Pea Soup (1967)

When I drove back to Baltimore from Pittsburgh after Christmas, in my car I had Brian, Margot, a new immersion blender, new luggage, and a giant hunk of Christmas Eve ham.

Over 2 pounds of delicious, perfectly cooked and smoked, Herb Brittner ham. The ham that my mum drives out to Butler County for every year. I don’t know what it is about this ham….

But I do know that I write about ham and Herb Brittner’s a lot. A lot.

Brittner’s should be paying me for advertising because I wax poetic about their ham at least once a year. I wonder if they’d ship a ham…?

But anyhoo, what does a girl do when she is sent home with a log of Christmas ham?

This year I made soup!

There are so many different versions of the classic split-pea, but I decided to go with this one from the BH&G Vegetable Cook Book (1967)


I picked it because it was simple. Like, super-simple.

While making this soup, nothing bizarre happened, nor were there any trip-ups. This just ended up being a delicious soup.

Seriously, I didn’t add a single thing or takeaway anything from the BH&G recipe. I seasoned it exactly as directed.

The most I did was add some homemade croutons that were covered in a mix of salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, and marjoram.

This was extremely good.

I already invited Rick over for dinner this week and we had it for dinner. He loved it! I am happy because this soup is good to freeze so I will have many a luncheon from this one dish.

Also, there was so much ham I even made another soup! Keep an eye out for some black beans, yinz guys!

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The Affinity Cocktail (1930…or 1929)

Happy Happy Hour!

Here’s a little libation to heat things up while the US of A is under a bit of a cold spell.

A bit o’ Scotch will warm your tootsies!

Check it out!

Also, ignore the big watermark thingie. I’m seeing if I like this editing platform before I buy it. Although I do think I like it because it reminds me of back when I used AVID. Which I don’t think is even a thing anymore.

But I digress, ignore the big watermark thingie.

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Antoinetta Pelligrina Pica’s Shrimp Scampi

And now a quick take–it’s Antoinetta Pelligrina Pica’s Shrimp Scampi!

Well, few recipes get easier than that!

I made a serving for 1. So I went with a 1/4 pound shrimp and adjusted the amount of the other ingredients accordingly.

A little linguini, a little Parmesan cheese and BOOM, a quickie dinner is served! 

A very nice recipe for a quick weeknight dinner. There will be more dishes from Italian American Favorite Recipes: A Book of Favorite Recipes Compiled by the Friends & Members of the American Committee on Italian Migration (195o-ish???)

And now, a coda for 130. Hamburger Wheels…… Continue reading

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130. Hamburger Wheels (1973)


Welcome to Dinner is Served 1973! Ready your self for 84 more dinners full of Jell-o, tarts, questionable foreign fare and canned tuna.

I made this inaugural dinner when I was home for the Christmas holiday. I had my parents pick what dinner they wanted. Out of selections like Cheese Nugget Spaghetti, Chicken a la King, Polynesian Tuna and Zippy Sirloin Strips, they picked 130. Hamburger Wheels.

When my mother was flipping through the cards she stopped and exclaimed, “Mystery Meat!”

My dad’s ears perked up. “Meat roll? I loved meat roll!”

Long story short, apparently the same company managed the cafeterias at both colleges my parents attended, so meat roll a.k.a. mystery meat was a staple when my parents were in school in the early 70s. My father was one of 2 people that my mum knew who liked mystery meat/beef roll.

Whatever you call it, Hamburger Wheels was their selection. Although my father was worried that there wasn’t a gravy.

There was. It was basically canned  cream of mushroom soup.

An FYI, Hamburger Wheels makes me think of Wagon Wheel Watusi. Hit it, Cher!

But I digress, let’s get to the matter at hand, shall we?

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Happy New Year from Brian & Margot!

Thank sweet baby Jesus that 2016 is over. I was so over it I was under it–and being suffocated by it.

But as a palate-cleanser, and maybe a forecast of what is to come, I bring to you this Moment of Moments:

new year cat kiss.gif

Brian and Margot sharing a midnight kiss!!!

I couldn’t have staged this if I had tried. I just put Margot in front of the little decoration, Brian arrived at the top of the stairs, and I starting clicking.

It was like the end of Titanic with the grand staircase and the clock.



If this year can be just an iota of how wonderful that moment was, we’re all going to be A-Okay.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2017, my friends.

Remember, we kick off the 1973 series tomorrow!!!



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Esquire Cook-Book Romaine Salad (1955)

I received a copy of the Esquire Cook-Book as a Christmas gift last year (thanks, mum!)



Now, mine didn’t have it, but here is the original book jacket:


So, yes, being Esquire, it is directed to men. To teach them the basics of cooking and entertaining, not much different than the The Playboy Gourmet (1977)and Playboy’s Host & Bar Book (1971).

The Playboy Gourmetplayboy-host-bar-book-1000x1333.jpgplayboyparty

But unlike those cookbooks with glossy color photos, this one is peppered with adorable drawings.And some of the copy is absolutely fabulous.

inner manrabbitpig partsspecialty meats

The cover says: For the pioneering male with a taste for fine food, and for the woman who wants to be the perfect hostess, here is a beautiful, unique, and practical guide to the best in eating, with over 750 delicious recipes. More than 200 illustrations in color by CHARMATZ.

I love that a man who would want a cookbook in 1955 would be considered a “pioneering male.” To boldly go where no man has gone before–the kitchen. Don’t guys realize that one of the best ways to impress a chick is by cooking for them?

Oh. Speaking of men–I’m online dating again. I’m Bumbling. OK, well I’ve always been bumbling, but now I’m on Bumbler. It’s a stupid name, but the whole situation is stupid, so it’s fitting.

So I’ve been doing the app and chatting and have gotten to the place where it’s like, “let’s make plans!” with two different guys. Well, we make the plans and then I text to confirm the day before or that morning, “are we still getting together?”

I received this response from Guy 1:

“Here’s where I am…I went on a couple dates with someone else and I think that’s the direction I’m going. I’ve done the multiple person dating thing and it can get tricky, especially if I like you. So we should cancel tonight. I kinda botched that, I am sorry.”

And then this response from Guy 2:

“Hey Emily…so sorry about yesterday. I’ve been cramming in last minute stuff for the semester. Unfortunately, I’ve met someone I’m really interested in dating and I’m not the type of person to date multiple people – it just takes a lot of time and energy that I don’t really have.

You seem like a super great woman, Emily, and I wish you all the best on finding a great guy!”

Basically I have been rejected twice without even meeting the dudes. TWICE. And with essentially the same text message.

But I guess I’m super great…?

Yeah, so I’m back at it. I hope that all of you are happy.


But now back to the cookbook!

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Jo Funkhouser’s Punch (1966)

It’s been a while. Because I’ve been super-busy.

And maybe because everything just went to shit!

In the first part of November Brian and Margot got fleas. The fleas then somehow turned into Brian peeing on things. This is basically what my house looked like for a good part of last month:

It was a fucking war zone.

All I did was vacuum and do laundry for about two weeks.

So then I hosted my parents for Thanksgiving, which was nice. But the holidays can be stressful, amiright? Throw in there that Mr. Kinsey and I kinda got back together and then totally got un-together,  and that November is the busiest month of the year for me work-wise, and that the fleas were never REALLY gone so I had my house bug-bombed for both the fleas and the assorted insects that are coming over from the vacant house next door–it’s been a bit much.

Also, even though the bug-bomb happened, the fleas came back. And Brian started peeing on things again. So for almost a week I was sleeping on in the guest bedroom (because he was peeing on my bed!). And doing so much laundry.

Anyway, I went to get a massage earlier this week because my neck was so sore–the masseur said that he’s never seen such tight shoulders!–so I guess I’m a wee bit stressed.

That could explain why I’m drinking like THIS.

BUT! I did throw a party for the Mayor’s Christmas Parade two weekends ago!

Here I am, drink and American flag in hand, so, so, so excited for Darth Santa to appear!

And for my party I made Jo Funkhouser’s Punch.

It is from the Recipes That Please Cook Book compiled by the St. Alphonsus Mothers’ Club of Springdale, PA (1966)

punch recipe

DSCN2472[1]I did make a few changes (of course). Frozen lemon juice? Is that a thing? I dunno. I used a can of lemonade. I had canned pineapple juice so I used that and not frozen. Also, they don’t have frozen pineapple juice at the Safeway.

You know what else they didn’t have? FROZEN STRAWBERRIES. So raspberries were the next best thing.


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