Saturday, January 9, 2016

Mini Reviews, From Mad to Mature

Three more mini-reviews!

"Dine like Draper and Drink like Sterling," reads the back cover of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, Inside the Kitchen, Bars and Restaurants of Mad Men, by Gelman and Zheutlin and published by SmartPop. The 70 recipes are inspired by specific Mad Men episodes and offer a culinary trip to the 1960s. Recipes were culled from vintage cookbooks and magazines and were kitchen tested. Recipes include cocktails, appetizers, salads, main courses, desert and sweets.

My childhood family gatherings always featured Whiskey Sours. One year I had a cold and was given a sip; it was supposed to help. It was the last Whiskey Sour I ever drank, but here is the recipe from the book (Season 4. Episode 10):

Whiskey Sour from Playboy Host & Bar Book by Thomas Mario
2 ounces blended whiskey
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lemon slice
1 maraschino cheery (optional)
1. Add whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar to ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well.
1. Strain into prechilled glass. Garnish with lemon slice and cherry, if desired.

Mom made a Wedge Salad. (As a kid I never ate her salads; I didn't like her dressing made with half catsup and half Miracle Whip, or the Iceberg lettuce.) The Palm's Wedge Salad (Season 3, Episode 2) is almost like Mom's:

Wedge Salad
2 Iceberg lettuce hearts, quartered and cored
1 large ripe Beefsteak tomato, sliced
Crumbled bacon to taste (added to original recipe per Roger's preference)
3/4-1 cup Blue Cheese Dressing
1. Place w iceberg wedges on each of 4 chilled salad plates
1. Top with bacon, place slices of tomato alongside. Serve with dressing on the side.
*****
Menswear Dog: The New Classics by David Fung & Yena Kim and published by Artisan, NY, was gifted me because the model is a Shiba Inu.
The amazing photographs are such fun, especially for Shiba lovers. The elements of a four season wardrobe are presented. But the book also imparts useful fashion advice, including fit, step-by-step pictures on the four-in-hand tie knot, decoding clothing care labels, stain removal, packing clothing, and shoe care.
Our best-shod Shiba Inu Kamikaze
*****
I had time to read a book on my real, not virtual, book shelf and picked up Ethan Canin's Carry me Across the Water, a 2001 book from Random House.

August Kleinman has based his life on his mother's advise to "take no one's advice." Together August and his mother escaped Nazi Germany, leaving behind his in-denial father, and forged a new life in Brooklyn. August falls in love, serves in the Pacific theater during WWII, and takes the risk to start his own brewery and makes millions. Now in old age August takes stock of his choices, plans to give away the burden of wealth, and hopes to amend for his action the war, involving a return to Japan.

Memory, violence, father and son relations, expiation, art, and faith are all touched on in this slender volume about one man's life that illuminates the human experience.

Read the first chapter at the New York Times here.
He was in the doorway between boyhood and manhood, and any piece of evidence that indicated his fearlessness came upon him like a sudden break in the mist that enveloped his trajectory. He caught a glimpse of himself as a man. Not the halting, indolent creature he was now but a person of action: unflinching, dauntless, a breaker of the rules that otherwise would not have afforded much to a ruby-faced, ill-proportioned boy like himself.