Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dinner and a Movie: Flesh and the Devil

Loin of Pork Roasted with Sweet Potatoes, Apples and Squash 
(Salad with French Dressing in the background)

If you follow me on facebook, tumblr or pinterest, you have probably guess that I'm back on a bit of a 1920s kick. I found some fabulous magazines and cookbooks on etsy recently from that decade, so I'm really looking forward to cooking from them. The Sunday lunch above is from the Woman's World Magazine Menu Book from 1928. I have to say it was absolutely divine and went perfectly with one of the best silent films ever, Flesh and the Devil.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Life This Week: January 29, 1940 and February 5, 1940

Chocolate Devil's Food Cake with Almond White Fudge Frosting is deeeelicious. I just had a bit of a problem getting the fudge icing to spread even though I followed the recipe and tried all the tips (like placing it over hot water). I was pretty disappointed mine didn't end up looking like the magazine photo! Since it tasted so yummy, I've included the recipe. I've made fudge frostings before and haven't had any problems. Maybe the house was too cold?  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dinner and a Movie: 1930s Hitchcock Triple Feature

TCM is showing The 39 Steps, Sabotage and The Lady Vanishes all in a row on Sunday evening, so I thought I'd talk about each film and make a '30s menu to go with them. I thought Finnan Haddie would be appropriate. This menu is a Sunday-night supper suggestion from my 1936 edition of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book.

Belgian Endive Salad
Epicurean Finnan Haddie
Toasted English Muffins
Devil's Food Cake

 Belgian Endive Salad

Monday, January 21, 2013

Life This Week: January 22, 1940

First up, there's an article about Katharine Hepburn's eccentric family. It's an interesting read if you're a big fan of Ms. Hepburn like I am. The photos are such fun, too. There's also one from The Philadelphia Story, which was on Broadway at the time. The article predicts that if the play becomes a movie, Katharine Hepburn will star in it but won't stay in Hollywood for long. I hope no one placed a bet on that prediction!

Every time I read about the Hepburns, I think I'd like to emulate their wealthy-New-England-liberal home life. I just don't want to have seven children.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

British Film and British Baking: Cast a Dark Shadow and Coffee and Walnut Cake

Coffee and Walnut Cake

In Cast a Dark Shadow (1955), Dirk Bogarde plays a widower with a big problem--his first wife, whom he married (and murdered) for her money, was on the verge of leaving him all her assets but she died before she could sign a new will, leaving everything but the house to a sister in Jamaica. So, Bogarde goes off to Brighton to do some wealthy-widow hunting and catches Margaret Lockwood. In a departure from her usual roles, brassy Margaret Lockwood proves a match for Bogarde when she refuses to give him control over her money. Cast a Dark Shadow isn't available on DVD, so be sure to catch it on TCM this Tuesday.

Delicious Coffee and Walnut Cake, photographed in front of the Houses of Parliament page in This Is London (1959), is just the sort of thing I imagine tea shops in Brighton would have served in 1955.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Life This Week: January 15, 1940

Movie of the Week: Rebecca
I've read the book, watched the movie several times and even seen the two television miniseries and I never get tired of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. While it's not totally the same as the book, Alfred Hitchcock's film version much more closely matches the source material than his versions of Jamaica Inn or The Birds. Plus, the casting is spot on. Laurence Olivier is charming yet tortured Maxim de Winter; Joan Fontaine is his adorable and bewildered second wife; George Sanders is oily and sinister Jack Favell; C. Aubrey Smith, Reginald Denny and Nigel Bruce play three examples of English (gentle)manhood and Judith Anderson is menacing and creepy as housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. Just go watch it! You won't be sorry. Rebecca is available on DVD and will be on TCM next Tuesday.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mandeltaschen and The Merry Widow

Keep pantry and refrigerator always well stocked with the most basic baking ingredients like butter, sugar, eggs, flour, yeast, nuts, chocolate, etc., so you will have everything ready if a rainy, snowy, or stormy day keeps you indoors. The best baking days are thus provided by nature herself.
-Lilly Joss Reich
We've had a good dusting of snow this week, so it's been the perfect time to bake some of these delicious, flaky, almond-y Mandeltaschen. Thanks to my recently reorganized pantry, I had everything on hand.