Category Archives: cleaning out the basement

Cleaning Out the Basement–Between Meals, An Appetite for Paris

Nostalgia for Paris, for a particular Paris, is rich territory. Were you there pre-war or post-war, and which war. It was always better before you got there–Belle Epoque, the Lost Generation, GI Bill expats, and now, perhaps even I can … Continue reading

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Cleaning Out the Basement–Thirty Recipes Suitable for Framing

My tattered edition of this portfolio was picked up at a small bookstore in western Massachusetts. The folder was torn and it was shoved into a remainder bin. After framing one image–Cherries Jubilee (we live in DC, cherries are a … Continue reading

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Cleaning Out the Basement–What Shall I Cook Today?

Spry was a vegetable shortening, says Wikipedia, first manufactured in 1936, and meant to compete with Crisco. Kind of like Hydrox was to the king of all cookies–the Oreo. Today, when we value natural, organic, artisanal, and local, cooking with … Continue reading

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Cleaning Out the Basement–The Boston Cooking School Cookbook

I feel about Fannie Farmer the way I do about McKim, Mead, and White. (Stay with me.) Just at the cusp of modernism, as Louis Sullivan was exploring form and function to develop a uniquely American style of architecture, MMW … Continue reading

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Cleaning Out the Basement–What to Serve at Parties

This is the best cover ever! The vibrating color combination, The paper’s subtle zig-zag texture, the signee ladies in slinky dresses and hats, and the graphic font layout. This pamphlet-style publication doesn’t include a year, but from those dresses and font, I’m … Continue reading

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Cleaning Out the Basement–TV Dinners and Other Media Munchies

At first glance, this looks like one of those jokey assemblages of well-intentioned, but dismal Mid-Century Modern meals. At second glance, it looks like a local celebrity collection of people who may be familiar from and with TV, but not … Continue reading

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Cleaning Out the Basement–Jonathan Swift’s Directions to Servants

You know Jonathan Swift as the man who recommended that, during the Potato Famine, starving Irish eat their babies, but this flint-hard satirist also explored power relationships in household employment. To anyone who straightens up before the house cleaner comes or who … Continue reading

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