Cooking While Inspired by Food Posters….

We’re writing about food, and if  you’re like  most  folks, writing  about  food makes you  start thinking about food, and thinking  about  food might lead to you actually cooking something, so I decided to match some of our food  posters with  recipes…  just in case  you felt like whipping up  some kitchen goodness (or goodness in the kitchen, depending…)

1934 Original French Art Deco Poster, Chocolat Fortin - Igert
1934 Original French Art Deco Poster, Chocolat Fortin – Igert
chocolate caramel

I couldn’t decide which of these chocolate tarts I would like more (this one or this one) + as they both looked pretty idiot-­‐proof (my first pre-­‐requisite for any recipe), I am including them both. Report back and let me know if they taste as good as they look (I’m in pre-­bathing suit mode and trying to be good, so chocolate is – at least in theory – off the diet plan).

Amalfi Cost

I was lucky enough to have been able to travel from a young age. In the summers, my mother would lead my father and my brother and I through some of the most magnificent places on the planet (most often in Europe) and dutifully read from at least one guide book as she did so. My father would roll his eyes and complain, my brother and I would sneak off, but all of us enjoyed the experience (and now I do the same, more or less, with my own son, in spite of myself!)

Original Art Deco Limonade De Vichy Label

One of the places we visited, which I loved loved loved was a hotel called Il San Pietro on Italy’s Amalfi coast. It is the kind of place where movie stars stay and regular humans – when they are fortunate enough to pass through – remember for decades. Laundry arrived back from housekeeping in wicker baskets, tied with ribbons, there is an elevator built in a cliff (which usually works, except when it doesn’t) which takes you from the lobby to the beach, and at the time when I stayed at the San Pietro, its original owner/designer, Carlo Cinque, was still very much a live and in residence.

Carlo was a force of nature – gay, flamboyant and fabulous. He served something he called Elephant Milk and I believe it was – essentially –lemonade with almond extract. If I had to guess at a recipe it would be roughly a pitcher-full of lemonade made from real lemons, a teaspoon of almond extract, sweetener or sugar (if you want to be very posh you can make a sugar syrup instead of just adding sugar), and a whole lot of panache. Carlo had panache a plenty and so did his Elephant Milk. Perfect on a hot summers day on the Amalfi coast or in your backyard. Chin chin!

I love ginger ale. It’s simple, it seems elegant to me, and I just like the taste. Rumor has it that ginger ale can provide short-­‐term relief from pregnancy-­‐related nausea and vomiting, but I just like it when I feel a little too full from having over-­‐indulged… I found a bunch of drink recipes which use ginger ale here… including a recipe for something called A Night in Old Mandalay (now that’s a drink name… where precisely is Old Mandalay?)

1930s Original Italian Art Deco Maquette, Ginger Soda
1930s Original Italian Art Deco Maquette, Ginger Soda

Maybe he’s going to Old Mandalay??

Usually when I cook I just forage through my fridge and cabinets to see what’s getting a little old and what should be cooked up. Sometimes I doctor up what I find

with coconut milk and Indian spices (my new fav), occasionally I will add rehydrated Porcini mushrooms (I bring them back from Italy and make the airport sniffer dogs a little nuts), and sometimes I add bouillon cubes (more often I use my own bouillon which I freeze in little containers).

Vintage 1930s French Advertising Carton PAT Potage Carton
1930s French Advertising Carton PAT Potage Carton

Old Fashion Bouillon Cubes – I’m not so sure French home-­‐chefs used them, but you never know…

And, truth be told, after a long hot night in the kitchen, I have been known to sneak over to the bar and snatch a drink or two of Porto, or Cognac, or sometimes, if its been a really long day and night, one of each…

1956 Vintage Art Deco Booklet, Le Porto et La Bonne Chere
1956 Vintage Art Deco Booklet, Le Porto et La Bonne Chere



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s