Welcome to “Cooking Through the Decades,” a 10-week journey through the 20th century, where you can let our revamped retro recipes take you back through history. Cook along with us for a chance to win cookbooks and an America’s Test Kitchen apron autographed by Bridget Lancaster.
SETTING THE SCENE: THE 1950S
The war is behind us, and nothing stands in our way in the gleaming kitchens of prosperous suburbia, where the homemaker has the important job of raising tomorrow’s generation of Americans. Not only may casseroles be prepared in a jiffy from cans, they are also a surefire hit with the men-folk. Grilling is especially popular with our men in these expansive backyards, because, as James Beard, the venerable authority on American cooking will tell you, it “gives them a chance to prove that they are, indeed, fine cooks. The ladies can do the planning and the marketing, the preparation and the hostessing, but the man will do the actual cooking over the coals.” Well-prepared food deserves to be attractively served, and a person should take the same care with her table setting as she would with her personal appearance. The supermarket is looked upon as one of the great institutions in the world, as it does much to enrich family life. The canned food item and the electric appliance have set us free, and how could you not be happy with the time, money, and independence to live the American dream?
THIS WEEK’S RECIPE: GRASSHOPPER PIE
With its bright green hue and the gelatin-induced puff, serenely projecting well-dressed culinary kitsch, the Grasshopper Pie was an attractive and tasty end to a 1950s meal. Chiffon pies were all the rage and this minty dessert, a popular cocktail in pie form, was especially enjoyed. It would be a fitting end to a dinner with the boss or a ladies’ luncheon, that purely feminine affair, or today, for a summer dinner on the grill (not exclusive to men).
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
Cook Like It’s 1956! But hold the sexist overtones. Men are, of course, welcome in the kitchen.
Cook this sweet mint and chocolate pie and send us a picture of you with the dish (or if you’re shy, just the dish is ok too)! Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “1956.” Be sure to include your name, mailing address, and blog or Twitter URL. Also, feel free to include a few lines about your experiences with this dish or decade.
Deadline: Tuesday, August 7 at 6pm E.S.T.
Two winning entries will will be featured on The Feed next Wednesday. The lucky bakers will win a copy of Blue Ribbon Country Desserts and an America’s Test Kitchen apron signed by Bridget Lancaster.