Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Welcome to the Past!

While anxiously waiting for my novel BREATHE to come out, I'm deep into the past researching and writing a brand new novel, which is set in the late 1950s in a suburb of Boston, where I grew up.  I found my old cache of hilariously awful old cookbooks (check out the photos.  I think the dish with the franks in a star pattern is particularly attractive). This particular cookbook advises you to boil veggies for 45 minutes so they will be "nice and tender" and encourages wives to "let hubby toss the salad."

Because I got so nostalgic, I flash forwarded into the future and dug out my old high school yearbook, which bypasses the buttoned up fifties and is well into the hippie era. That's me, a portrait of the artist as a young hippie, in the ironed hair, black boots, love beads, wrist band and hippie dress, 4th from the left, in a Russian Club photo.  Of course, in my high school, there WAS no Russian club, and I am actually the only one in the photo beside the Russian teacher, Mr. Corcoran, with the dapper mustache, who took Russian class. Everyone else just showed up for a photo op and so they could put "Russian Club, President" on their college applications.  It's funny, I look at this photo and I can feel the way I felt back then, overdramatic, desperately in love with the wrong boy and sneaking out to be with him every chance I could get, aching to be a writer, and lost in my own world.


Gaylen said...

Is it my imagination, or do at least 4 of these dishes include mashed potatoes?! And what are the "stuffed franks" stuffed with? Mashed potatoes AGAIN? How is it possible to do this?! I have trouble making a pocket in a chicken breast, let alone a hot dog. I love the way the mashed potatoes were piped decoratively around the flank steaks.

Nice black boots, by the way!

Leora Skolkin-Smith said...

no wonder the ow-carb diet was popular in the mid-sixties...this looks so delicious and utterly deadly.

Caroline Leavitt said...

Oh yes, it is a mashed (instant) potatoes bonanza in these recipes! And I think the franks are stuffed with...mashed potatoes (it's THAT kind of cookbook.)