Seize the Jell-O Mold!

Carpe Kitchen! The door of the Peter Pauper vault has swung open to release our legendary old-school cookbooks . . . for your e-reader! This latest crop of PPP ebooks features fetching mid-century recipes sure to fascinate the modern chef. The first five sally forth next week. If you're interested in review copies, send a note posthaste to!

Sift that sugar! Fold that heavy cream!Nostalgia buffs will find themselves transported back to the lacy curtains, checkered tablecloths, and linoleum floors of 1950s kitchens. The age of the avocado-green electric mixer lives on in these wonderful little culinary compilations!

Titles include:

  • The ABC of Cooking series, covering everything from Barbecue to Wine Cookery.
  • The Simple Cookery series, spotlighting global cuisines.
  • Early American Cooking, a duo of cookbooks resurrecting the flavors of U.S. history.
  • And Eating Rich, for those seeking a taste of the life Rockefeller.

Concocted by PPP culinary matriarch Edna Beilenson and illustrated with flair by Ruth McCrea, these whimsically piquant compilations spill the beans on 50s and 60s foodie faves, from Anchovy Deviled Eggs (The ABC of Canapes) to Neapolitan Pork Chops (The ABC of Wine Cookery) to Strawberry Cheese Tarts (The ABC of Cheese Cookery) to Tyrolean Horseradish Soup (Simple Viennese Cookery) to X-tra Good Cherry Soup (The ABC of Jiffy Cookery).

I wish I could write you a beautiful ballad; I can't, so I'll make you a beautiful salad.Treat your friends and family to a "Jiffy Picnic Supper Menu for Six"—Grilled Franks with Cheese, and Bacon and Fruit and Vegetable Kabobs on the side, per the The ABC of Barbecue. Or prepare a “Hawaiian Luau Menu,” culminating in Waikiki Cocoanut Pie, as Simple Hawaiian Cookery suggests. Revive the art of the Jell-O mold. “Don’t overlook the importance of cheese” (The ABC of Cheese Cookery). And, if you’re feeling a bit primal, keep your spit-roasted meats tender by "basting frequently with grease-soaked cloth tied around end of stick" (Roast Guinea Hen, The ABC of Barbecue). End the day (and possibly your ability to see straight) with a classic cocktail from the heyday of the three-martini lunch (The ABC of Cocktails).

These ebook versions include complete recipes, accompanied by witty rhymed verses and lively spot illustrations.

WARNING: Heavy cream, Sherry, butter, egg yolks, various sodium products, paprika, and mayonnnaise are used to magnificent (albeit occasionally overwhelming) effect.

To whet your appetite, we'd thought we'd share a recipe!

Romano's the flavor I just can't resist; whenever I use it, I'm sure to get kiss't!HOT CHEESE SOUP
Serves 6

1 small onion
2 celery stalks
1 green pepper
2 carrots
4-1/2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock or consommé
3 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons Sherry
Salt, pepper

Chop onion, celery, green pepper and carrot in fine pieces. Melt butter over low heat and cook the vegetables about 10 minutes. Now stir in flour as smoothly as possible and add the stock or consommé. Cook, stirring constantly, until soup boils and thickens slightly.

Add cheese, continue cooking and stirring until melted, then add the milk and Sherry gradually and season soup with salt and pepper. Place kettle of soup over a pan of water and heat 15 to 20 minutes or until soup is heated through. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

A cook in the kitchen, a bird in the pot, wine in the bottle, oh, happy my lot!


Monday Mood Booster: Gems from Julia

"I was a six-foot-two, thirty-six-year-old, rather loud and unserious Californian. The sight of France in my porthole was like a giant question mark."
Julia Child, My Life in France

The French Chef.
International spy. 
TV trailblazer.
Breast cancer survivor.
Even has her own holiday.*

Everyone's celebrating the life of the extraordinary Julia Child, who, with her "way with a whisk on camera" (New York Times), revolutionized the American kitchen.

In honor of the observance of what would have been her hundredth birthday this month (August 15), here are a few of Julia's bons mots to go with your bonbons!

"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."

"In department stores, so much kitchen equipment is bought indiscriminately by people who just come in for men’s underwear."

"I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it — and, more important, I like to give it."

"Everything in moderation . . . including moderation."

"I have trouble with toast. Toast is very difficult. You have to watch it all the time or it burns up."

"Noodles are not only amusing, but delicious."

"The tomato hides its griefs. Internal damage is hard to spot."

"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."

"The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It's doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile. I think of my strawberry soufflé. I did that at least twenty-eight times before I finally conquered it."

"I like beer."

Her quip, "I think every woman should have a blowtorch," made while caramelizing a crème brûlée, inspired PPP's mini gift book of the same name, which is filled with "Fiery Thoughts for Feisty Females" from everyone from Mae West to Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Happy Birthday, Julia!

*"Yes, Julia has a holiday! Her alma mater, Smith College, holds Julia Child Day in her honor each November. Dining halls prepare meals from her recipes, and speakers hold forth on subjects related to her accomplishments and passions. For more information, see"
–Talia, PPP editor and a Smith alumna with fond memories of Julia’s legacy

Image of Julia Child courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. UH Digital Library.