Carpe Turkey!

…Or if your upper-body strength is more modest, carpe drumstick. The first round of Peter Pauper Press's vintage e-cookbook series is up, right in time for that bastion of culinary classics, Thanksgiving. To help you plan your T-day meal, we're offering Kindle versions of a few titles for free in the next week. Click the cover images to download them from Amazon.com!

This weekend (November 17-18) and from the day before Thanksgiving to Black Friday (November 21-23), we're giving away:

*The ABC of Barbecue will be free Nov. 17-18 and 21 only.

Several of these well-seasoned volumes offer prime Thanksgiving meal inspiration, with recipes that have stood the test of time. If you're still searching for that perfect side dish or ideal complement to the main avian event, allow me to serve a few other Thanksgiving recommendations, with mostly-topical, hopefully helpful comments:

Simple New England Cookery (Peter Pauper Press Vintage Editions)

Try your hand at classic dishes from Thanksgiving's birthplace! Perhaps it's because I've a soft spot for the region, being a Boston (well, Newton, anyway) girl by naissance, but this is one of my favorites. And I really do recommend listening to "Cape Cod Girls" as you cook. It's a New England shanty about the world's most resourceful cod aficionados. Codfish-ionados?

Conjure a mist-shrouded morning on Maine’s rocky coast as you prepare these New England classics! Hum “Cape Cod Girls” or “Haul Away, Joe!” as you break the crust on savory Sea Song Pies. Bake Cinnamon Apples with your hand-picked orchard haul. Marry the fruits of land and sea with Corn Oysters. Buttery Harvard Beets should prove edifying. Mop up rich brown gravy with classic Popovers. Omitting Pumpkin Pie would be positively negligent, and compiler Edna Beilenson comes through with a stellar rendition. From blazing fall foliage to briny green deep, and colleges to cornfields, this little primer offers a quintessential taste of New England.

 The ABC of Herb & Spice Cookery (Peter Pauper Press Vintage Editions)

This fun compendium dates to 1957, at which time I gather cooking with spices was something of a novelty. What better season for a book that revels in seasonings than autumn, heyday of the pumpkin spice latte and its ilk? I recommend this one because it compiles recipes with (per my gustatory sensibilities) a particularly autumnal bent well-suited to Thanksgiving fare.

A pinch here, a dash there, a judicious sprinkling all around—spice is, well, the spice of life. (The jury’s still out on what the herb of life is.) Add a little joie de vivre to your culinary life with this well-seasoned 1950s cooking compendium. Give everyone’s favorite magenta vegetable a kick with Spiced Beets. Add zing to your dough with Herb Dumplings, and pizzazz to your bread (not to mention your breath) with Julio’s Onion Bread. Douse your desserts in a cinnamon-and-nutmeg river of Hard Sauce. Piquant spice-themed verses and accompanying illustrations pepper pages with humor and verve.

The ABC of Casseroles (Peter Pauper Press Vintage Editions)

While this one contains several commendable suggestions for main-feast inclusion, I think its true worth bears out in the post-Thanksgiving days, when one's Tupperware runneth over with cranberry sauce and there's just. So. Much. Turkey. Contained here are several useful suggestions for repurposing your leftovers, casserole-style, thereby hopefully prolonging your enjoyment of them and putting off your turkey saturation point. (Don't tell me you've never stared down a refrigerated container of stuffing with rising dread.)

Whipping up a casserole is easy as 1-2-3, per this vintage A to Z compendium. Satisfy your palate on the quick with Eggs and Scallops, Ham and Sweet Potatoes, or Chicken-Spaghetti. Pop a London Fish Soufflé into the oven. Give dinner-remnants renewed pizazz with a “Family Leftovers” casserole, and end a busy day on a delicious note with a Quickie Jumble Casserole or a Week-Day Casserole. Travel back in time to a 1950s kitchen and cook with style and ease, aided by this humorously decorated and witty cookbook.

The ABC of Cocktails (Peter Pauper Press Vintage Editions)

This book is a trip. (Back in time at least, and perhaps in additional senses of the word if you don't err on the side of dilution for some recipes.) If the grown-up diners at your Thanksgiving table like a pre-meal apéritif, or perhaps something a bit more substantial, and especially if old-school imbibers number among your guests, I recommend it highly. Herein lie classics, including a complement of warmly autumnal preparations. I like the sound of the apple brandybased Jack Rose, Valencia, and Pink Lady recipes. I also find the ABC series's hallmark little accompanying verses and illustrations particularly entertaining in this volume. The humor takes a slightly dark turn from time to time, but if that doesn't bother you, you'll get a kick out of Edna Beilenson's and Ruth McCrea's colorful rhyming commentary.

I might advise low-tolerance drinkers to adjust the cocktail proportions in favor of non-alcoholic ingredients. But stoic author Edna dismisses those espousing such views as "amateurs and maiden aunts," so what do I know :)?

Conclude your day (and possibly your ability to see straight) gloriously with a cocktail from the heyday of the three-martini lunch. Sip a Gin and It in your smoking jacket, engage in philosophical discussion over Absinthe Frappés, or bask in the rosy glow bestowed by a Brandy Alexander. Wry verses and illustrations illuminate this A to Z compendium of 1950s full-strength cocktails (with suggested dilutions for “amateurs and maiden aunts”). Featuring two parts time-tested mixology, one part refined taste, and a judicious splash of wit, this book will infuse your libations with high retro style.

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That's it for now! If you try recipes from any of these titles, whether on Thanksgiving Thursday or some random Tuesday, we'd love to hear from you. To the chefs among you: Good luck roasting, chopping, baking, mashing, basting, and stuffing. May you conquer each cooking stage with aplomb! To everyone, regardless of culinary bent: have a really splendid holiday.

Retro Recipe Thursdays: Empanadas de Pollo

Greetings, retro chefs! This week's recipe is from our new ebook Simple Spanish Cookery, based on our vintage 1970s cookbook of the same name. Promotional Note: The ebook will be FREE to download from Amazon.com on Friday, Nov. 9th!

And now back to our recipe: Empanadas are common fare in most Latin American countries. They are little pastries which have any number of different sorts of fillings, and they are commonly served at parties, at picnics, as snacks or as hors d'oeuvres. Following is a sample recipe.

 

Empanadas de Pollo
(Chicken Turnovers — Mexico)
Makes 10 servings.

Components:
Empanadas de Pollo Filling
Basic Pastry

Empanadas de Pollo Filling
Ingredients:
1 cup chopped chicken, cooked
2 tsp. butter
1 can pimientos
1/2 cup minced onion
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 cup chopped olives
1 chopped hard-boiled egg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Soften the onion in the butter, add chicken and pimientos, then fry until lightly browned. Add the rest of the ingredients, heat well, then make empanadas with the basic pastry dough
.

Basic Pastry Recipe
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 egg
1 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup ice water

Directions:
Mix flour, egg, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then work in the butter. Add enough ice water to hold the pastry together. Roll out the dough on a floured board, and cut into round pieces about four inches in diameter. Put the filling on one half of the circle, wet the edge with water, and fold the other half over it, pinching the edges together. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes, unless otherwise directed.

Enjoy!

First Image © Analia Valeria Urani / Shutterstock.com

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Retro Recipe Thursdays: Quickie Guacamole

This week's retro recipe is from our vintage Peter Pauper Press cookbook, The ABC of Canapés. All the recipes from this popular classic are now available for Amazon Kindle! (And check out the rest of our first batch of vintage cookbooks here!)

"Every experienced hostess knows that anything can be a canapé, and many a fine new combination has been the product of desperation."  Edna Beilenson

 

 

Quickie Guacamole

Ingredients:
1 ripe avocado
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 onion, grated*
1 tablespoon salad oil
Salt, pepper, paprika to taste
*Garlic may be used instead of onion.

Directions:
Cut ripe avocado in half, remove stone and peel. Mash very fine with a silver fork. Add lemon juice at once to prevent darkening and then blend in other ingredients. Serve cold as a spread or dunk.

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Free e-Cookbooks!

Peachy-keen readers, the time is upon us. Vary your menu, serve a surprise. Even an egg looks good in disguise!Peter Pauper's first round of retro-fabulous cookbooks have made their entrée (ha! See what I did there?) into the brave new digital world! To celebrate, from today to Oct. 3rd, we're offering them for free.

The inaugural five volumes of vintage treats are as follows:

The ABC of Cocktails

Carpe Cognac! Conclude your day (and possibly your ability to see straight) gloriously with a cocktail from the heyday of the three-martini lunch. Sip a Gin and It in your smoking jacket, engage in philosophical discussion over Absinthe Frappés, or bask in the rosy glow bestowed by a Brandy Alexander. Wry verses and illustrations illuminate this A to Z compendium of 1950s full-strength cocktails (with suggested dilutions for “amateurs and maiden aunts”). Featuring two parts time-tested mixology, one part refined taste, and a judicious splash of wit, this book will infuse your libations with high retro style. On Amazon Kindle.

The ABC of Cookies

The 1960s kitchen comes alive in this recipe homage to that disc of pure deliciousness, the cookie. Break out your gingham apron and brandish your Bakelite utensils as you prepare these classics, from Brown Lace Cookies and Snowdrops to Lebkuchen and Swedish Sprits. Pair Virginia Tea Cakes with your next cuppa, or indulge in an English Brandy Snap as you sip from your snifter. There’s a cookie for every mood, whim, and flight of sugary fancy in this time-honored A to Z compilation. On Amazon Kindle.

The ABC of Canapes

Let Peter Pauper Press "whisk" you back in time to the 1950s kitchen and the toothsome world of canapés! Host a retro cocktail hour, or just snack on a sampling of the fifties’ finest finger foods. From Anchovy Puffs and Eggplant Tid-Bits to Jiffy Chutney Canapés and Pickle Supreme, there's an appetizer fit for every gathering, from A to Z! Says author Edna Beilenson, "Every recipe is quick and easy with the exception of an exotic few. Use them all, one after the other or at random, for greater food fun." Remember the toothpicks and toast! On Amazon Kindle.

The ABC of Cheese Cookery

“Poets,” observed G.K. Chesterton, “have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” Maybe so, but what cheese lacks in poetry, it makes up in pure gustatory delight. Celebrate the joy of cheese with Peter Pauper’s well-ripened A to Z anthology of cheese recipes. Savor cheddar in a French Cheese Soufflé, parmesan in Vie Parisienne Chicken Divan, and that fluffy cloud of the cheese world, ricotta, in Bon-Ton Cheese Cake. Warm stomach and soul on a cold winter’s night with Hot Cheese Soup. Give an old classic a sophisticated spin with Julio’s Macaroni. Sprightly cheese-themed verses and illustrations round out this ode to the sublime curd. On Amazon Kindle.

The ABC of Chafing Dish Cookery

Light up your life with culinary delights from our 1950s guide to chafing dish cookery! This elegant method of cooking at table, first fashionable in the 1700s, made a comeback in the fab fifties. Treat your guests to a unique feast that comes together before their eyes, with everything from Apple Fritters and Ginger-Banana Cake to Mexican Chili, New England Clam Chowder, and X-tra Yummy Zucchini. There's a recipe for every occasion, from A to Z! Says chief cook Edna Beilenson, "The fun in owning a chafing dish is using it often! The more you use it, the more often you will want to use it!" On Amazon Kindle.

Download them, and let us know what you think! We'll be releasing another (mystery) batch of five vintage cookbooks soon. If any of you collect classic PPP books, what titles would you be interested in seeing from us next?

Happy cooking!