I’m putting the finishing touches on a dinner party tonight. I gathered the gals to help me. Julia Child offered forth her beef boogie, Madeline Kamman suggested spaetzle as an accompaniment, and Molly Kazan whispered her honey poppy seed dressing for my salad of butter lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, and splashed with diced red and yellow peppers. I didn’t think twice about cracking open Mastering and In Madeline’s Kitchen we chat quite often. It was Moosewood that sent me sailing down memory lane.
I bought the book in 1980 as noted inside with my reacquired last name. It was during my culinary hay day. Careening across Boston working 2 jobs and still not making ends meet. I was learning my profession and loving the challenge. I marveled at the simplicity of the book. Hand drawn pictures and random asides garnishing the pages. My book was in good shape but I remember several restaurants where I had worked that Moosewood was go to cookbook. I must have made Tempura Vegetables because the page has food ooze on it. Marinated Vegetables also got some use. This was the bible for Hummus, Baba Ganouj, and Tabouli. It was the cookbook for the Age of Aquarius, Vietnam War, and budding vegetarians.
It was a time to shed the constraints of Joy and dip into Whole Wheat Macaroni-Russian Style. We learned about tamari, filo dough, polenta and nut butters other than peanut. Chopsticks were infiltrating the silverware drawer. Beans were soaking and seeds were sprouting. We were young and vibrant.
A few years ago I went to Ithaca on a college viewing extravaganza with The Princess. There it was! The Moosewood of my youth! We HAD to eat there! As with most things it wasn’t what I had thought. The spare menu stated “fine international cuisine”. The menu topped at $6.50 for lunch entrées. An area was set aside for aging hippies to buy memorabilia (I bought a sweat shirt). It was~O.K.
I wonder how I can explain the magic of the time and memories that the Moosewood Cookbook unleashed, to a younger generation. Maybe it’s not worth it and I should call up old friends and go down memory lane with them instead…They would understand…