I have just finished writing a review (find it at the www.ingoodtastestore.com website)of Two for the Road by Jane & Michael Stern. It's perfect easy- breezy summer reading for any passionate foodie.As I careened through the pages I was constantly struck by their passion for the food and people that cook it. On a monthly basis the Sterns write articles for Gourmet magazine and they have written over 20 books about their various passions. I delved into my library and discovered I have 3 other of their books.
For those who know me, and those who don't, I have a very high tolerance for kitsch. In my mind tacky is beautiful and as I write I can glance up at a picture taken last year of me in Las Vegas with none other than Elvis! Yes, he is alive and well! I do feel one can't be too over the top- a stray Hello Kitty here and a Flamingo there are just the right garnishes to make me smile.
The first book I have is The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste it extols the virtues of accordion music, aerosol cheese, bouffants,fake fur, maraschino cherries, wonder bread, and zoot suits.
Each submission is hilariously analyzed and justified as bad taste.
The second book is Square Meals, a romp through "taste thrills of only yesterday- from mom's best pot roast and tuna noodle casserole to ladies' lunch and the perfect living room luau." These are recipes gleaned from those little paperback cookbooks we used to find at the 5-10 cent store. Your party will be a success with Candlelight Salad. A simple recipe created by laying a ring of pineapple on a plate, sticking a piece of banana in the middle,dribbling some mayonnaise on top to simulate wax and inserting coconut and pimento to simulate wick and fire. Yum!
The third book I unearthed is American Gourmet "classic recipes, deluxe delights, flamboyant favorites, and swank company food from the '50's and '60's" . The Stern's turn their wit to entertaining and flaming skewers. The recipes embrace packaged food as most stay at home housewives did in the '50's-'60's. Nothing like Noodle Doodle & Cheese to fill the stomach. Just a quick dish with packaged macaroni & cheese dinner, cottage cheese frozen chopped broccoli, scallions, dried oregano and French fried onions, Manifique!
I do have my own collection of little dime store cookbooks and hope to share some pictures and recipes.
Do you have any favorites?