Sunday, September 22, 2019

American Food, a Review

The subtitle of American Food, one of Abrams’ newest releases by Rachel Horton with illustrations by Kimberly Allen Hall is “A Not-So-Serious History,” the whimsical focus in this delightful romp of American cuisine. Those of us who remember the ‘70s will, particularly, get a kick out of this book. I felt as if I had walked into my past seeing the recipes using Velveeta cheese, mounds of ketchup, and deli meat, those manufactured, artery-clogging ingredients that made everything taste so darned good.
From the colorful, cheerful images, to the wonderful illustrations throughout, this is a must have for anyone interested in American food, or seeking to reminisce about the good old days.
While there is a lot of serious information in this book as far as early history and uses of food, much of it is written tongue-in-cheek, with the intent to inform, but also amuse. Who can resist the colorful table of contents that jumps out at you as soon as you open the book? Ambrosia, Eggs Benedict, Green Goddess, Monterrey Jack, Orange Julius, Queso, Red-Eye Gravy; these are the foods of my youth.
If you are at all familiar with this blog, then you know that Red-Eye Gravy is really my thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter on this, and, knowing nothing of the origin, now feel quite well informed.
One thing I found most intriguing was is the recipe for Vinegar Pie. Despite the fact that I was an avid reader/watcher of “Little House on the Prairie,” I don’t recall any mention of Vinegar Pie. I took an unofficial poll of friends and family, and no one had heard of it, so my plan for later in the week is to give it a try. Naturally, I will report.
Anyone who remembers Clam Night at Howard Johnson’s, eating Velveeta cheese dip, or Mock Apple Pie, will enjoy the wonderful trip down memory lane that this book provides. It is fun to read, whimsically illustrated, and would make a perfect gift. Get one for yourself, get one for a friend, and enjoy the trip together.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Abrams Publishing Company as part of being a member of #AbramsDinnerParty.

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Cee Pluse said...

This is just the sort of book on food that I love to read! I have added it to my list of
Amazon purchases for next month.

Although I've never eaten it, I actually have heard of Vinegar Pie - I though it was an Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch thing (I grew up in Pennsylvania). And I do remember mock apple pie and Velveeta as the cheese in just about everything (including peanut butter and Velveeta sandwiches!). Where we lived, Clam Night was at the JC Penney cafeteria once a week (remember when JC Penney had a cafeteria?).

Looking forward to a trip down memory lane when my copy of the book arrives - thanks for the review bringing this fun read to my attention!

Linda said...

Yes I remember all those things; the 70s were a great recipe time for me, as I was in my first years of marriage and loved to cook. Love the illustrations in the cookbook.
I'm a pie person, and your Vinegar Pie looked good on your Instagram feed. I wonder why your aunt didn't like it.
What are Dreamy Creams, mentioned in the index? said...

What a fun book Pattie! When I read the table of contents, the Vinegar Pie did jump out at me, can't wait to hear what's in it!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Linda, the Dreamy Creams are nothing more than vanilla ice cream in an ice cream cone into which fresh blueberries are put first. I suppose the idea is that the ice cream is supposed to melt around the blueberries. Actually, it doesn’t sound bad.

Cee and Jenna, the pie recipe will be featured tomorrow!