Tag Archives: first

Early Influncer – JULIA

I can not talk about cooking without mentioning Julia Child.

We were allowed to watch Educational TV (that was what PBS was called back in the dim, dark ages) and THERE SHE WAS. Right in our Living Room.

Julia at work

Julia at work

Just like Miss Jean on Romper Room, she looked right into the camera and talked right at you. It was always Magic Mirror time with Julia.

I love the towel in the apron

I love the towel in the apron

But practically from the start -and by start I mean 1963 – The French Chef  was a presence in our house.


She was The French Chef, and yet she wasn’t French.

She cooked thoughtfully and fearlessly and with interest and curiosity.

Time Magazine

Time Magazine November 25, 1966

In this Time interview she says she’s tired of grey food and waiting to shoot a cooking show in color. For those of us with black and white TV, there was a whole grey world  that was no less magical for lack of color.

Julia tasting

Julia tasting

It wasn’t until the late ’70’s that I even read one of her cookbooks. I would take notes and cook from the shows. Unlike so many others, I did NOT start with boeuf bourguignon . She did LOTS of other things.

Julia and monkfish - where's the beouf?

Julia and monkfish – where’s the boeuf? I did not do monkfish, although I since skinned eels

I distinctly remember French Onion Soup, but it was not the first thing I made

Julia making French Onion Soup –

the episode is on YouTube

Tamar Hapsel at Starving Off the Land has a different version that is also great…


February marks the anniversary of the first airing of The French Chef, so there’ll be more then.

August marks the anniversary of Julia’s birth – I usually dedicate the month to reading her and cooking from her….So much Julia!

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Influencers, TV shows

Good Housekeeping

  1. What you want people to think when they come over
  2. A magazine since May 2, 1885.

    Good Housekeeping 1908

    Good Housekeeping 1908

  3. A Seal of Approval since 1909.

    Original 1909 seal of approval

    Original 1909 seal of approval

  4. A cookbook – mine is the 1963 edition.
    1963 edition of Good Housekeeping Cook Book

    1963 edition of Good Housekeeping Cook Book

    This is what the dust jacket looks like - I lost mine so long ago, I don't remember, but there's more then one image of this on the vintage cookbook e-bay place....

    This is what the dust jacket looks like – I lost mine so long ago, I don’t remember, but there’s more then one image of this on the vintage cookbook e-bay place….


But this is not just ANY cookbook….it is my FIRST cookbook.

Christmas, 1971.

This was a gift from my Aunt Eileen. She was my Grampy’s sister, so properly my great- aunt, although she might have better approved of the title ‘Grand-Aunt’.  She gave me books by the shopping bag full, to read what I was ready for, and to have something left for later.

Fill with books and call it Christmas - I learned to wrap from Auntie Eileen....

Fill with books and call it Christmas – I learned to wrap from Aunt Eileen….

She said cook books were great to read.

Every recipe is a story. And they don’t all have happy endings

Truer words were never spoken. Just because it’s written as recipe doesn’t mean it’s any good. Or that you’ll like it, no matter how precise your measurement or how gourmet your ingredients.

The foreword is by Willie Mae Rogers and in many ways shaped how I approach food and cooking and the whole foodways spectrum.

“A cookbook can be many things – depending on its author and its purpose. The only one element all are sure to possess is recipes.

This cookbook almost defies classification. It is so many things. It is years of Good Housekeeping’s knowledge of and respect for food – its preparation, its serving, its role in family life.

It is a loving compilation of favorite recipes from our famous cookbook series, a complete chapter of our teenage Susan’s cherished step by step directions for fabulous dishes, more quick-and-easy recipes than ever before. It is what to do to make those ever-present leftovers seem new and exciting. It is how to cook for that magic number – two. It is cooking with utmost confidence because the recipes have been tested and proved beyond any question.

It is the tremendous contribution of the food industry to our country – and the zealous care and protection of our government agencies.

Overwhelmingly, it is American women. It is the grandmother who writes from a small town in Montana to say: “My grandchildren’s birthday cakes have made me famous. I owe it all to Good Housekeeping.

It is the young bride who valiantly copes with the complexities of a new marriage, an outside job, no knowledge of cooking, and who says to us: Dear Good Housekeeping, what would I ever do without you?”

It is the “older” woman who says: “Now that my children are grown, now that our budget is bigger, I can truly enjoy and use all those wonderful ideas for gourmet dishes. Thank you for your food pages.”

It is the young high school or college graduate who writes to us: Dear Good Housekeeping, I’m being married in June. My mother says you taught her to cook. Please, will you teach me too?”

It is a Foods and Cookery staff that almost defies belief in its dedication and devotion, its enthusiasm and creativity.

But perhaps more than anything else, this cookbook is the spirit – the caring – the untiring giving of a magnificent food editor and a great and gracious lady, Dorothy B. Marsh.

It comes to you with the gratitude and best wishes of all of us at Good Housekeeping.”

The Chapter titles (The Story of Meat; The Best of Susan; Dreamy Desserts, The Macaroni Family….) and then sections like ‘Menu Planning Can Be Fun’ and so many of the sample menus……

There’s been some recent interest with vintage (I admit I’m having a hard time referring to my childhood as vintage) recipes which shouldn’t come back.

May I submit for your consideration :

Roast-Beef Hearty Party Salad

illustration from p. 311 ; recipe on p. 459


I have never been the least bit tempted to reconstruct this particular tableau

For 4 serving – 3 # of sirloin ….and then there’s the LIMA BEANS.

Lima beans turn up ALL OVER in this cookbook.

I come from baked bean people and pasta and beans (pasta fazoole) people, but not from lima bean people.  So much of this cookbook was like a visit from another planet when I was reading – and re-reading it – back in the day.

What’s missing from this book, besides the dust jacket, is smudges and smears and other evidence that I’ve ever cooked from it. I might very well have saved most of my cooking for other books, and newspaper clippings and  pages from magazines, and maintained this as my how to cook reference manual.

And I continue to view cookbooks as short story collections.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Influencers, The 1970's

Throwback Thursdays

I’ve been studying Thanksgiving professionally since 1980.

Semi-professionally since the Kennedy administration. My first area of expertise was the relish tray, specifically black olives,

Your Basic Black - olive, that is.

Your Basic Black – olive, that is.

the canned pitted ones that fit over your fingertips so you can wiggle them at your brothers.

This is not me, and yet it was me....olives are very philosophical, as well as tasty

This is not me, and yet it was me….olives are very philosophical, as well as tasty


My brothers were never the least bit squeamish, but they’ve always kept a respectable distance from black olives.

That first year of professional study was a fluke – a 10 week position as a Pilgrim at Plimoth Plantation.

I wasn’t going to make a CAREER out of it, and end up in Food Network Magazine’s Odd Job  or anything

How about a throwback to Thanksgiving? I hereby that Throwback Thurdays will be Thanksgiving themed here at Foodways Pilgrim

Here I am on How2heroes about the history of ‘the first thanksgiving’

1 Comment

Filed under Perception ways, Thanksgiving

The Second Day of Christmas

Day late and dollar short….
the dot dot dot is for you, Andrew.

I was going to begin on the First Day of Christmas, being a first, but life happened.

It seems the post nasal drip/sympathy sore throat for my son’s friend who had his tonsils removed thing that I was actively ignoring and in total denial about on Christmas Day was actual sickness.

So to my entire family, all four generations gathered in the old home town for Christmas – sorry.

I had been scribbling away all sorts of things about firsts and beginnings and starts (and fits and starts).

But most of life is in the middle of things, so I’m going to start there.

I’ve spent the last few decades researching food history  – an unlikely story in the first place and the only logical place for me to end up as well – and the dream document, the ONE THING that would make it accurate in every detail, would be some sort of record of one of the people connected with the site.

If only they had blogs in the past.

So this is a record of the present, full of food and how it got to my table, and what I think about it all, as well as the food related things, which is just about everything.

The problem is, I have a real short span of attention, and I’m not very good at navel gazing. Did I mention the easily distracted thing? Is that a squirrel????

And I have opinions. About everything. And I’m willing to share. None of them are carved in stone, and I’m always ready to modify/update/change and stand corrected.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized