Recipes for Snacks and Beginnings

Vintage Popcorn

September 7, 2015


File this under: Everything old is new again. From a 1984 issue of Gourmet, a whole slew of fascinating suggestions for gourmet popcorn.  Do not miss the bacon-Cheddar version!


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More Vintage Gourmet: August 1951

August 29, 2015


I love these old Rheingold ads.  With their perennially blond women doing their best to make a working class quaff classy, they say so much about the culture of the time,

But you don’t need to stick to the ads to for that information. The recipes also tell us a lot about the times.  Here, for instance, are a couple of dishes from Gastronomie sans Argent, the column the editors created for people with more taste than money.



Because we’re at the height of the peach season, here’s a recipe you might actually be inclined to make. A friend just dropped a load of windfall peaches on my porch, and some of them are destined to become peach leather.  What I love best about this recipe?  You do the drying in the sun.


And given our newly coffee-conscious culture, this ad leapt out at me.  I couldn’t find out anything about Senor Pinto, but I did discover that in the fifties coffee was San Francisco’s second most important industry. 


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A Vintage Surprise: Bindaeduk

August 28, 2015

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Today’s Gourmet is from 1982, but if you excise the airbrushing and the ads – mostly for cigarettes and booze – it’s easy to feel that you're floating in ambiguous culinary time. Sitting down with this issue, I’m transported to Cartagena (eating ceviches and rich soups), and then South Carolina, where I’m drinking an egg white cocktail (which was, of course, already retro in 1982.)

But nothing surprised me more than a recipe for  bindaeduk, the Korean mung bean pancake. For one, there aren’t any shortcuts. Can't wait to make this. 

For extra punch, use kimchee liquid to bind the mung bean and rice mixture instead of water. Just be sure you adjust the salt accordingly. 





And a delicious looking recipe for pyeonyuk, or pressed beef (above picture.) 





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A Country Weekend

August 22, 2015


It's the weekend.  And you are – if only in your dreams – in the country.  In June 1984 Gourmet offered a few recipes to celebrate summer. 


I particularly like the idea of this cold lettuce soup – accompanied by what were – at the time – very racy hot pepper toasts.  Today I'd probably use Sriracha – and top them with some of the fresh hot peppers which are starting to fill the stands at the farmers market.

And for dessert – how about this frozen cappuccino?  You'll note two things about this retro recipe: it was long before the coffee craze, so it asks for nothing more than instant coffee powder.  (The truth is that instant espresso powder was a Gourmet staple for years.)  It also predates the egg crisis, when salmonella became a household word, so while the whites remain raw the recipe lacks the now-ubiquitous warning about danger lurking in uncooked eggs.  












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Past Peppers

August 14, 2015


You and I are going to live longer!

That’s the takeaway from a new scientific report that eating spicy food reduces your risk of death by ten percent.  If you’re a hot food fan – and that includes just about everyone I know – this is great news.

But it turns out that Gourmet got there first.  Trolling through a vintage issue of the magazine, I came upon this article on chili peppers – an upbeat users manual – in a thirty-one year old issue (June 1984).

Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger walk us through a market in Guadalajara, describing the different notes of each pepper they come across. It’s totally instructional. Better yet, they offer this very appealing recipe for a corn and chili pepper soufflé.


The authors throw in a well-meaning (if patronizing) note of caution. Their disclaimer:

“Some cautionary notes are in order for novice chili pepper consumers. In cultures where large amounts are eaten, people develop a tolerance for their pungency.  The best way to achieve this tolerance is to begin by eating small amounts frequently.  If you are not accustomed to eating hot peppers, consuming a large amount at one time can cause a great deal of unpleasantness.”

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