Saturday, February 3, 2018

Rich people pretend to breakfast in France or down on the farm

It's February, and that means another check-in as to what the rich (or at least aspiring-to-be-rich) jerks were daydreaming about in the February 1977 issue of Gourmet.

The cover is of cows grazing in Auvergne, France, the destination recommended for those wishing for a gourmet holiday. (Rome is recommended for shopping in this issue, and oddly for February, Moscow is recommended for a weekend getaway. Apparently it's not exciting enough to freeze for free at home; a Gourmet reader should spend more than I make in a month to freeze in the Russian winter for a change of pace.)

Since there's a full-color spread of winter breakfasts, we're going to look at a couple of those.

The magazine doesn't specify that the menus are supposed to suggest any kind of a theme, but I suspect readers are expected to imagine one anyway.

This minimal spread is supposed, I think, to make one imagine a morning in France if the reader is obstinate/unfortunate enough to stay home:

Okay, I know nothing about furniture, so I'm not sure how French it was to lounge about on wicker furniture, but the breakfast of croissants and coffee is certainly meant to give readers a mini taste of the continent.

They would certainly need plenty of leisure time (or a well-paid personal cook) to make this seemingly-simple breakfast:

Even though they're petit, the croissants will take nearly a full day to make.

Prep is much easier if you want to pretend you're off for a weekend in the country.

Even though the country breakfast has more components (home-mixed sausage, apple rings, blueberry muffins), making everything (aside from the hands-off overnight sausage chilling) will take less time than the croissants. (Maybe make breakfast yourself and give the cook the day off!)

I guess I expected a few more herbs than the bit of sage and allspice for the Herbed Sausage Cakes, but it is a modest country recipe.

The sausage is sweetened up with (caramel) Sautéed Apple Rings. Accompany all with Blueberry Muffins...

...and you've got a rich person's fantasy of life in the country.

It's a fun fantasy, but not one that matches my memory. My country grandma tended to serve cereal, severely overripe bananas, bruised apples, and-- Don't tell anyone!-- cookies for breakfast. That's my breakfast for an imaginary weekend in the country, but I'm not rich...


  1. I like the instructions for the vanilla sugar. Rich people reused vanilla beans?!
    The sausage is definitely a recipe from the '70s when pork fat is a separate ingredient. That was just about illegal a decade later.
    For poor person croissant cravings...

    1. You couldn't just get on the internet and order more vanilla beans when you ran out back then, and it's not like they would have been super-easy to find. I guess even rich people had to be practical once in a while.

      I didn't even realize that pure butter puff pastry was available, but then again, I think I've only ever gotten puff pastry once in my life.

  2. My mother is a professional baker and even she doesn't fuck w/ making croissant. The dough is extremely temperamental

    1. I tried making them once when I was a teenager. It was part of a 4-H project. I'm not sure what made somebody think that was a great recipe for kids. They weren't a total disaster-- hard to fail too spectacularly when something is mostly flour and butter-- but they certainly weren't good enough to merit all the time I spent on them.

    2. Hmm, I don't remember those, but I can believe that 4-H would give such ab impractical recipe. They were good at picking duds.