Friday, February 22, 2013

A taste of Mad Men

This past weekend, my parents came to town for a couple of days.  They wanted to see my new apartment, my new boyfriend, and my brother, who has been living on my couch for a month.  (Note to self: When a sibling asks to stay with you for a few days and avoids giving you an exact departure date, they are planning on staying a while.  Just say no!)

Anyway, the boyfriend was perfectly charming and passed the inspection, so I wanted to plan a special "thank you" meal for him to show how I appreciated him getting along with my family.  What better way to say thank you than with comfort food, and what better comfort food than a vintage Good Housekeeping recipe?  I am all about theme dinners, so... Mad Men, anyone?

I found this incredible cookbook at a garage sale a couple of years ago.  I didn't have any cash on me at the time, but I loved it so much that the previous owner gave it to me for free!  This particular copy was printed in 1957, but the book itself was circa 1942.  The recipes inside of it are all so classic... and so unhealthy!  It is fabulous!

I flipped to the "poultry" section to find something to use up the ground turkey I always keep in my fridge.  (I buy a package and use part of it fresh, then break up the rest into individual serving sizes, put those into separate baggies, and freeze them for later use.  It is great because I can thaw just what I need for my own dinner, or when I need multiple servings, it thaws faster in the smaller pieces.)  Casseroles seem like a dying art these days, so I chose a turkey and cashew nut casserole recipe to be truly vintage.  The main ingredients were celery, Ritz crackers, and cream of mushroom soup.  There was actually less turkey in the recipe than anything else, but that is one of the quirks of the recipes in this book!

James and I decided that casseroles are like the burritos of the past... you can put anything in it and it tastes delicious!  I think we are on to a new fad, here!  I will share the exact recipe from the book this weekend, so check back tomorrow!

But what really stole the show and brought the Mad Men flair to the evening were the Manhattans I stirred up.  James likes martinis, which I find hard to drink because they are basically straight vodka.  Well, a Manhattan is basically straight whiskey, but I feel like whiskey at least has a sweeter flavor and is a little more palatable than vodka.  It was strong, and I could barely finish one myself, but it was still a fun thing to do in making a vintage style dinner for my man.

I used a vintage letter tray as the backdrop for the cocktail shot.  It was one my mother had kept in the garage for years, so I was very excited to find it and claim it as my own!

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