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Mad, mad, '60s world
The new season of Mad Men starts on April 7th. If, like me, you fell in love with Mad Men from the beginning, you are anxiously awaiting what is supposed to be the penultimate season. Not too long ago, I found a very cool cookbook that is clearly tying into Mad Men fever, “The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Sixties Cookbook: More than 100 Retro Recipes for the Modern Cook”.
Even though I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, I enjoy this book’s ‘60s era recipes because I’ve seen them in movies, in Mad Men or in other television shows from or set in the period, or because my parents talked about them. I confess that this cookbook restores my love of the Deviled Egg, a 60’s staple hors d'oeuvre.
Taking advantage of Mad Men mania, some of the recipes included tie to specific meals in the show. Throughout its chapters it offers meal plans, one of which recreates Betty Draper’s “Trip Around the World” dinner party featured in episode 8 of season 2. The Around the World dinner party includes:
Pre-Dinner Cocktails and Hor d’oeuvres
Leg of Lamb with Gravy and Mint Jelly
Grandmother’s Noodles with Sour Cream and Poppy Seeds
Green Beans sautÃ©ed with Butter and Almonds
Buttermilk Dinner Rolls
To Drink with Dinner
Coffee and tea
And as dinner music, the authors suggest some vintage ‘60s: Ultra-lounge, Bachelor Pad Royale; Cocktail Mix, Martini Maddness; Esquivel, Infinity in Sound, vols. 1-2.
The great tid-bits of 60’s food history and culture make this book fun. Even if you don’t end up making any of the recipes, it is just a great read. When looking at the above dinner menu, I had no idea what Rumaki-a-Rama was, but I found out that it was a popular Japanese inspired pupu platter, made by wrapping chicken liver in bacon and marinating it in soy sauce before broiling. This book suggests making it with dates or pineapples, since chicken liver is not a popular choice in our modern world. Apparently, in episode 2.8, Betty mentions Rumaki as a main dish, but in reality, it was a finger food.
I think that the first thing I’ll try from this book is the Beef Wellington. I’d always dismissed this dish because the name sounded so unappetizing, but when I read the recipe and realized that it was beef tenderloin inside a puff pastry crust, I changed my tune. However, I may need a 21st century exercise regimen when I’m finished with this book.
For more Mad Men fun at the library see this Mad Men list. Maybe it will inspire you to hold a Mad Men party on April 7th.