Thread Number: 70957  /  Tag: Recipes, Cooking Accessories
James Beard: America's First Foodie
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Post# 939513   5/20/2017 at 11:29 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I watched the whole show at this link. It was a joy. At 19:51, there is a picture in Julia Child's kitchen with the Westinghouse electric range at the far left. I knew I remembered that. At 24:2X there is a picture of a Frigidaire French Door wall oven. At 49:20, someone is talking about cooking in James Beard's kitchen with the electric burners.


Not all of the dishing is done in pans and serving pieces and that is fun, too.


You look at the pictures of events pictured here and you see so many wonderful souls who have gone on ahead and will be at the party when we get there.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Tomturbomatic's LINK

Post# 939633 , Reply# 1   5/21/2017 at 08:17 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Great documentary! Thanks for sharing. His face was familiar, but I didn't know he meant so much for the cause of fine food and dining. Considering all the casserole recipes with soup it sure was time for some evolution.

Post# 939656 , Reply# 2   5/21/2017 at 11:07 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Have Mr. Beard's Pastery/Pie Book

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Nearly new as hardly cracked open the thing. Got it ages ago as part of those Doubleday ten (or whatever the amount) books for a few dollars promotion.

Matter of fact have eggs and some cheese that wants doing something with; if weather remains cool this week will do a quiche from Mr. Beard's book.

Post# 939741 , Reply# 3   5/22/2017 at 06:56 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I used his recipe for zucchini bread from Beard on Bread for years when I baked it. I have versions where I doubled and tripled it to fill up ovens with loaf pans of the stuff. Before I stopped baking it, I even bought the 1 gallon Cuisinart for the job. Alas, time moves on and youth is gone.

Post# 939767 , Reply# 4   5/22/2017 at 12:41 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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I remember James Beard saying how terrible it was for people in the US to ruin a perfectly good meal by drinking milk with it. I like milk. Although it's not that great for someone like me, my late partner used to say I drank milk like most people drink water. We had tons of it delivered when I was a kid. I think my mom had an innocent crush on the hot milkman Louie.

Post# 939770 , Reply# 5   5/22/2017 at 12:48 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I'm with you Joe, I love milk too. While I don't usually drink it with a meal anymore, I do pour whole milk on my raisin bran every morning. And if we go to a fast food restaurant, which is seldom, I always order a carton of milk because I can't stand the horrible soda that is now dispensed out of the self service machines in all these fast food outlelts. How the hell can you mess up Coca Cola? But they've found a way, yuk!

This post was last edited 05/22/2017 at 18:13
Post# 940052 , Reply# 6   5/24/2017 at 15:09 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
The Cooks' Catalogue

Does anyone remember or have a copy of The Cooks' Catalogue, published in 1975 and edited by James Beard, Milton Glaser, Burton Wolf and Associates of the Good Cooking School? 


The subtitle is:

A critical selection of the best, the necessary and the special in kitchen equipment and utensils. Over 4000 items including 200 extraordinary recipes plus cooking folklore and 1700 illustrations produced with the assistance of the world's leading food authorities. Introduction by James Beard.


I sort of got carried away and lost the distinction between the necessary, the special and what I just had to have, which might be why my sister politely said that my house was stuffed with merchandise, but maybe she was thinking ahead to the estate sale.  One of the few pieces that I seriously considered want/needing and then decided I did not was the Farberware 12 inch brazier with the domed lid, but it is in the book. Farberware cookware got good reviews.


They realized after publishing it that there was no economic way in hell that it could be issued as a periodically updated work, but fortunately, the internet came along a generation later and the problem was solved. For more exotic wares there was an international version, too.

Post# 940222 , Reply# 7   5/25/2017 at 12:56 by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

I do have that book, and I absolutely loved reading through it years ago.  It really was a fantastic book.  It was 20 years out of date when I got it, and it would be over 40 years out of date now.  But I wonder, how much has really changed in all those decades?  The only new (legitimate) gadgets I can name that post-date 1975 are the plunge blender and silicon bakeware.  Of course there have been improvements for some items, like portable countertop ovens (and major loss of quality for most everything else)—but is there really anything that is completely new?


I need to dig out that book and read through it again.  Thanks for the reminder.

Post# 940245 , Reply# 8   5/25/2017 at 18:00 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

They sure liked the Farber turbo oven, even if they got the placement of the heating element wrong.  They liked it and the Nesco roaster oven better than microwave ovens.

Post# 940248 , Reply# 9   5/25/2017 at 18:52 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Those countertop convection ovens

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Of the 1970's and 1980's such as those by Farberware, Maxim, Toastmaster, etc... had much to recommend to them, and often were vastly better than microwave ovens.

Despite claims otherwise, most soon caught on early that microwave ovens were *not* the promised savior often claimed. You cannot truly roast, bake or anything requiring the Maillard reaction in a microwave. However those small countertop convection ovens could do so and how.

Those countertop convection ovens were and are great for whipping up trays of various hors d'oeuvres such as mini quiches. You can also bake, broil and pretty much anything else that could be done in full sized oven. Certain cakes or other baked goods perhaps were best done without convection however.

Have pretty much gone back to using my microwave for reheating leftovers, doing frozen or fresh veggies, making individual bowls of porridge and such. Find my small collection of counter-top convection or toaster ovens far better for mostly everything else.

Post# 940260 , Reply# 10   5/25/2017 at 20:40 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
Countertop convection ovens

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I've told this story before. Sorry for those who remember and are bored to death! But my mother got one of those Farberware convection ovens to replace a broken regular oven. It was just a handy, reasonably cheap fix. But she ended up really liking that oven, and came to appreciate convection ovens as superior. (And it's worth noting the broken oven was, apparently, the best conventional oven she ever used.)

Post# 940288 , Reply# 11   5/26/2017 at 00:29 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
Back to James Beard

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I valued a couple of his cookbooks when I was first cooking. I think my mother had a copy of The New James Beard, and that was one I studied quite a bit. I don't know that I made many recipes, but I do know I made some.  But what I really liked was how readable the book was. It was also the first time that I got a clue that quality of food had gone down. IIRC he talked about how much better the meat was when he was growing up.


Then, when I started baking bread, I used his Beard on Bread heavily.


My father had a bread baking phase of his own not long after he left my mother. I think he had a copy of of Beard on Bread, and he planned to bake his way through it.

Post# 940339 , Reply# 12   5/26/2017 at 13:54 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I think that most of the "foodies" of that generation would be delighted with induction cooking.

Post# 940477 , Reply# 13   5/27/2017 at 01:55 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Yes,I have the Cooks Catalog-GREAT book.Also have a new one that came out a few years back.Loved the comments on the various pieces of equipment!My Mom has one,too.

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