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Blog 3 - Ridiculous meanderings from our Chief Cook and Tablecloth Maker, Sarah

Howdy Folks - I’ve gone all state side on myself this week! If it wasn’t for Cash in the Attic burring in the background, I could well be living in a loft style apartment on 26th
Street
– on the corner of 40th and 3rd - I have no idea what this means but it sure does sound grand, if rather overcomplicated. I’ve never been to America but a friend once sent me some KRAFT Cheese so I am not a complete novice.



The reason for this departure into all things American is in part due to the fact that we are of course planning our 1920’s Secret SupperParty. It is however mainly due to my overdosing on Mad Men (The programme that is). Who is Don Draper and how does he manage to stay sober all day and still drive home? That’s what I want to know but in the mean time I better get working.


Speaking of which (and this is very loosely ‘working’) we’ve been testing our Chicken A La King this week and what a divine dish it is. Chicken A La King is a lovely main course of
creamy chicken,
Marsala,crunchy peppers and sweet, garlicky mushrooms.


There are so many stories about the origin of Chicken A la King – many with similar/the same themes. All have a glamorous, overly expensive hotel at the centre – most have a

chef with a demanding guest/famous guests/royal guest – all are called
King/Keene/or are actually kings......Jeez Louise I’m bored already! But the story I like best doesn’t have all these carbon copy composite parts. My favorite ‘origin story’ is that Fannie Merrit Farmer published the recipe in her 1911 cooking book entitled The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook. This book is now in it’s 13th edition (Fannie Merrit Farmer didn’t do them all) and the last one was 1996. How’s that for longevity. That’s a fact or at least Wikipedia thinks it is.



I’m made my Chicken al la King (both of which are classic 20’s dishes) on Saturday along with Chocolate Chiffon Pie. I took a picture of my Chicken A La King
(complete with candles and wine). I was going to take a picture of the Chiffon Pie but I ate it all before I remembered why I made it. I’ll have to make that one again. Darn.


The 1920’s were an all round interesting time for American Food. The introduction of the
refrigerator, a shift towards processed foods, Ketchup was beginning to grace
all the best dinner parties and Spaghetti Hoops (which I always felt were
rather modern) were common place. Del Monte were canning Peas – Strange - I thought he only said yes to tinned peaches and Captain Charles Birdseye froze his first fish finger in 1920. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been for the ‘
Iceland’ family at this time. They couldn’t have planned it better if they had tried.


The 1920’s were fun filled and that was just the food. Of course prohibition was also massively exciting. Oh, and then there’s
the flappers – which I would have loved to have been! They drank, they smoked,
they drove cars..... hang on that does sound rather like me anyway, without the
driving bit – which of course is the bit that requires the effort. I am a lazy
flapper living in the wrong decade. I’m
not sure I like that look. The wrong
decade, the wrong country.....still I guess I know my way back to Maddison
Avenue – I’ll just hang here for a couple of decades and drink myself silly
with Mr D

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