Sunday, June 3, 2012

Prohibition-era dinner

We're having some friends over to dinner tomorrow night and I've spun my interest in prohibition-era cocktails into an entire prohibition-era dinner! Turns out I'm just as enchanted by reading about food from different eras as I am about booze from different eras, and I'm contemplating doing other decade-themed meals. But, one thing at a time, right? Right. Here's what I'm planning for tomorrow:

- Chicken ala king. I've never eaten this, but food history tells me it was invented in the 1890s in NYC, and continued to be very popular throughout the 1920s.  I can't decide if I should serve it on biscuits or rice though. Or pasta, I guess.

-Ceasar salad. We all know what this is, and it was a 1920s smash hit. Nothing like ground up fish in your dressing (no, really. there isn't)!

-Ambrosia. Funny story: I've never made ambrosia. When we were kids my grandmother used to buy it for my brother and me at the deli counter when we spent the night with her, but no one in my family ever made it. In fact, my mother is probably learning that we even ate it right now, and is horrified. Anyway, Robert said his mom used to make it and he'd get her recipe. And you know what it calls for?? Pineapple tidbits! OK, maybe that's not super funny, but the name cracks me up. I told Kenny about it and it cracked him up too (side note: he and Jenny have only used the tooth powder once so far, but they like it!). Neither of us were sure what a pineapple tidbit was (crushed pineapple?) which surprised and amused Robert. He tells me it's like pineapple chunks, only "sliced more".

-Jello "salad". Again, never made this. Not sure what I'm going to do exactly, but something with Jello and fruit. Reading recipes on the internet turned up something I hadn't thought about in, oh, 30 years. It's a dark Jello (blueberry? grape?) with matching fruit and walnuts. Or maybe the walnuts are their own layer, my memory isn't *that* clear. And on top is a layer sour cream. Amazing the things our brains hang on to. Kenny remembers it too. I'm not making this though- I draw the line at dairy in my Jello. Standards, I haz them!

-Cocktails: thinking colony cocktails and french 75s for this. They both seem very light, which would be a nice counterpoint to the rather creamy meal, right?

I am soooooo excited to make (and eat) this meal. I will probably even take pictures!

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