Recipes for Vintage Books and Magazines

More Vintage Restaurant Recipes

May 15, 2016

A few more gems from the Ford Times Cookbook.

My German father frequented the old world German establishments of the city, but we never went to Jager House.   We were regulars at Luchow’s and The Blue Ribbon, and when we went up to Yorktown to eat at Kleine Konditorei. Now I wish we’d gone to this place; the goulash is appealing. Look at that meat-onion ratio! And then imagine grating six pounds of onions…..


I feel like I can almost see this one, modest sentinel outside the current New York Times building. I love how evocative that chef’s posture is. And I love the fact that this down to earth restaurant was using fresh spinach in the spanakopita.  Looks like an excellent recipe. IMG_5459

And last, this hodgepodge of a Pacific-rim restaurant in Washington D.C serving Korean style chicken. Isn’t it strange to think about the fact that even in a restaurant the cooks were using powdered ginger and garlic instead of the real thing?IMG_5460

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And Now a Little Less

May 14, 2016

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As promised yesterday, here is a little taste of The Less Cookbook.

One of the things I love about this book, is how thoroughly the concept is executed; the More Cookbook is white, the Less is Black. The More Cookbook uses a fat serif face; Less is lean sans serif. Here’s the end of the introduction (for the beginning, read yesterday’s post).

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Most of the recipes in the book are sophisticated and appealing. But these first two…. are decidedly strange.

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More or Less

May 13, 2016

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This is one of my favorite cookbooks; I’ve had it since 1969 when the Hammermill Paper Company sent it out as a Christmas present to publishing customers like my father.  It is, I think, fairly rare; I can only locate a couple other copies.

The two volumes – each exactly the same number of pages – were meant to show how different a book would be depending on the paper selected. The More Cookbook is almost twice as hefty as the Less Cookbook.

Beautifully designed, with great illustrations by David Levine….

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it’s written in a wry tone

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and contains remarkably sophisticated recipes.

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Tomorrow, a few gems from the Less Cookbook…

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On the Road Again

May 12, 2016

IMG_5458Michelin had the idea first, but it was a good one.  The Ford Times Cookbook might not offer quite as many restaurants “worth the voyage,” it does offer a wonderful window into the great American road trip of the sixties.

The interstate highways did away with too many of these old motels; it’s nice to have a little reminder.




In addition to pretty pictures, there are also a few scrumptious looking recipes. Stay tuned for those tomorrow…

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Ramp it Up!

May 11, 2016


That’s Rick Bishop of Mountain Sweet Berry Farm sixteen years ago, and if you’re wondering who’s responsible for the ramp mania that’s swept the country over the past few years, he’s a good candidate. This photograph is from the April 2000 issue of Gourmet; Food Editor Kemp Minifie bought some ramps from Rick at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, and we were all so excited about them that we decided to investigate Rick’s ramps.

The article informs you, among other things, that the name does not come from Aries the Ram or from the tramp you need to take through the woods to find them.  The name comes from the Old English word for wild garlic, hrmasa.  (The French name, incidentally, is l’ail des ours – garlic of the bears. Indeed, bears love the stuff.)

In the article Bishop suggests chopping ramp leaves, stir-frying them  in olive oil and serving them on pasta. Gourmet’s cooks, however, had a couple of better suggestions.

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Flipping through that April issue of Gourmet, I came upon a tribute to Craig Claiborne, who had just passed away.  The piece, written by his old friend, James Villas, is fairly astonishing. Right from the start: it opens with Craig calling to be bailed out of jail.  “Drunk driving again,” he says.

In his typically curmudgeonly fashion, Villas weighs in on Claiborne’s contributions.  “Despite Beard’s saintly legacy and Julia’s phenomenal celebrity, the truth is that it was Claiborne who really pioneered this country’s gastronomic sophistication back in the 1950s when he invaded the Women’s News pages of The New York Times.”

Parse that sentence; it offers a lot of food for thought. And it is entirely true; Craig Claiborne changed the way America ate. Without Craig (who gave voice to, among others, Paul Prudhomme, Madhur Jaffrey, Diana Kennedy, Marcella Hazan and Virginia Lee), American food history would have been very different.




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