Saturday, June 30, 2018

Gourmet takes on deviled eggs, sandwich loaves, and molded desserts

It's almost July! That means accidentally opening the front door to find the pretentious neighbors inviting themselves in so they can prattle on about the exciting trip to American Samoa they have planned. That's right. It's time for the July 1977 issue of Gourmet.

I'm beginning to suspect someone must have been trading IQ points for money if the preferred destination in the middle of the summer is a tropical island when readers were urged to visit Moscow in February. I'm clearly missing out on something in Gourmet's choices for destinations.

This month, the magazine features quite a few riffs on middle-class party food, so we'll start off with an easy appetizer: deviled eggs.

Rich people's deviled eggs don't feature mayonnaise from a tub and maybe pickle relish if someone is feeling creative. No, they're full of olives, anchovies, olive oil, and capers. (Invasion of the Body Snatchers leaves me quite content to let the rich hog all the capers...)

I tend to think of sandwich loaves-- those loaves cut lengthwise and stacked with various fillings into layers, sometimes frosted to resemble a cake-- as a mainstay of ladies' card club gatherings and maybe children's parties. Gourmet offers its own take on them, though the picture reveals that rich people are too fancy for cream cheese "icing."

And the layers are based on flavored butters that actually sound pretty good and fresh, crisp veggies rather than canned pineapple with cottage cheese and potatoes or pimiento cheese with dates.

(Sorry for the wonky formatting, but I couldn't scan the full page and had to combine a photo with a scan.)

Then finally for dessert, a mold. In a midwestern cookbook, that would mean breaking out the Jell-O. Gourmet doesn't roll that way, of course.

The Cherry Rice Mold starts with kirsch-marinated glacéed fruit and a rice-pudding-like base with real vanilla bean. It's all brought together with egg yolks (rather than red gelatin), filled with cherry compote, glazed with currant jelly and more kirsch, then finished with whipped cream.

I can't help reading through this list of recipes and feeling like I've been sucked into a ladies' luncheon in an alternate universe from the one Betty Crocker inhabited....


  1. Maybe the point of going to a tropical island in summer, and Moscow in Winter is to make you think that the place you live in has pretty good weather all things considered. -20 degrees outside didn't sound so bad when my friend who lived in Alaska talked about it being -50 there on a regular basis.

    1. Yeah, but I could stay home and imagine -50 for free AND not be subjected to it. Win-win. Going to experience it still seems dumb.

    2. I never said that rich people are smart. Just listen to the news...

  2. I thought the island cover looked more like the before of an incoming tsunami. Oh, rich people, never change!

    1. As grandma liked to say, some people have more money than sense.