Long before the advent of fat free, low-fat, and skim, there was suet tallow, buttermilk, and lard. Bacon grease chewed holes in dotted Swiss aprons, and sausage drippings bore holes in bunny slippers.
Why? Because almost all cookbooks called for corpulent gobs of fat, that, when met with high temps, became mid-century WMDs.
Confession: I'm a lousy cook. I can manage a hearty stew now and again, but that's all she wrote. Despite my shortcomings in the kitchen, and my heathy diet, I can't resist a meat-filled mid-mod cookbook.
I can't resist the dishy names of yesteryear like Kiss and Twirl Fondue, Bewitched Casserole, Hot Dog Whirlaways, and Hi-Yi Sandwiches. I'm enamored by the boomerangs, amoeba and atom shapes framing quirky typefaces and tiny drawings of Charles and Ray Eames-inspired kitchen gadgets.
Even if you pooh-pooh pork or ixnay the attyfay, these postwar volumes du victuals are a feast for the eyes and a soufflé for the soul.
On our thrifting junkets of late, I've been buying lonely, cast-off paintings, hoping to discover a bit about the unsung artist. I bought this floral signed by Dorothy Tracy for $3.99. On a lark, I googled her and found her obituary. She lived in Wallingford, Connecticut, played the Wurlitzer and painted until her death at age 97.
Little things like this make me happy.