Sky Full of Bacon

The Menu Pages of Dr. Phibes

Thanks to Helen at Menu Pages, my latest double linker. Who knew that posting about Wauconda was one of the secrets of blog success?

Elsewhere in the journalismosphere, Slate has a piece about cooking from a mid-60s Vincent Price cookbook, full of funny ha-ha surprise that Price’s recipes don’t contain human brains and the like. Apparently no one but me remembers any more that in addition to being a horror movie ham, Price was quite the culture vulture*, so renowned for his educated good taste that Sears put him to work picking art for them to sell next to the Kenmore washing machines:

A strange but true moment in American cultural aspirations, back when the middle class wanted to seem well-educated. Anyway, my point in bringing this up is to point out that hey, they’re not the first ones to cook from old cookbooks in search of sociological lessons.

* They also apparently don’t remember that he was in lots of non-horror movies like The Ten Commandments, Laura, Dragonwyck, His Kind of Woman, etc. He’s especially fun playing a sendup of his own hammy self in the latter.

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One Response to “The Menu Pages of Dr. Phibes”

  1. MikeLM Says:

    I was delighted to discover the handsome Price cookbook as a relic of the decade in which I became an adult starting in 1950: college, Navy service, graduate school. Okay, so I’m a relic, too.

    I found it very entertaining reading, as I like to read cookbooks, a habit I hadn’t developed in the ’50’s. At that age, I had very little experience in the finer restaurants of the world (still don’t) but reading his accounts of Durgin-Park in Boston, which I frequented in college in the early 50’s whenever I felt a little bit flush, Luchow’s in NYC where I was treated to my first really first-rate restaurant dinner around 1954 (the well-to-do father of a classmate hosted our party of five with appetizers, drinks, entrees, wines, sides, desserts, and digestifs which came to a – to me – mind-boggling $120, plus tip.)

    Finally, I enjoyed his recounting of the meals on the Santa Fe Super Chief, since I enjoyed an expense-account trip with my family on that train from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1963, and we ate pretty well.

    A blast from the past for me, and a valued possession.