Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kitsch-en Kounter: Neapolitan Treats

I love looking through old magazines.  I was fortunate enough to inherit some of my great-grandmother's collection of magazines including many McCall's and Collier's from the late forties and early fifties.  I treasure these veritable time capsules that still bear her name and address so much that they have gone with me wherever I have moved.  Endless inspiration is to be found by simply thumbing through the dog-eared pages and with every turn of the page I have taken mental notes on the fashion, the interiors and even the food!  Sometimes the recipes culled from the pages of these publications seem like a menu designed for prisoners of war, kidnappers, and especially-disruptive, early-morning landscapers.  I can see the artistry and the ingenuity behind the recipes.  I can see the endless possibilities for pimento olives.  I can see these recipes as part of the wacky tacky landscape and therefore I wanted to try my hand at making something that could be worthy of a home on the pages of these magazines.

Growing up, my dad's favorite ice cream flavor was neapolitan.  He always loved mixing flavors and the classic chocolate, vanilla, strawberry combination that neapolitan offered him was an ice cream dream come true.  When he would buy it for the family, however, the carton would invariably end up as a stripe of vanilla surrounded by two voids where the chocolate and strawberry once resided.  My brother still considers vanilla to be "plain."  Inspired by the recipes of vintage magazines and my dad's favorite flavor  story I decided to create neapolitan "marshmallow rice squares."  I would say Rice Krispie Treats, but in the interest of full disclosure, I not only used generic marshmallows, I used store-brand
"Crispie Rice Cereal" - both regular and cocoa-flavored.  I decided that the obvious finishing touch was a dunk in chocolate.

Clearly, I am no food stylist.  The way a food looks in my imagination doesn't always translate directly to the finished product.  Furthermore, the way that the photos look in my head versus the way the photos turn out is very telling about my photography skills as well.  Nevertheless, the finished product was tasty and left room for fine-tuning in the next batch.  Although I'm not sure that I would have pleased the editors of Collier's.

My next food challenge is to take a real recipe from a vintage magazine and see if my family will actually eat it!  Bon appetit!


Mr. Tiny

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