I love Mad Men, I love cookbooks and I love the 1960′s. Imagine my pure delight when we received a copy of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook – I was over the moon. Truthfully, I had been eyeing the cookbook up on Amazon but the hubby begged me to not add to my collection. Our small place groans under the weight of books and I can’t seem to stop my compulsion to buy more. Recently, I have been collecting old cookbooks in addition to the old drink books.
The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook did not disappoint. It was the perfect blend of Mad Men recaps paired with the booze and food consumed on the show with a shot of historical context on the side. It was like the Boilermaker of books. Kudos to the authors who must of watched hundreds of hours of Mad Men to nail down such details and researching the recipes. Also, since Mad Men has been off the air for so long, it also helped me remember the details of the past seasons.
The drinks and the food look delicious and remind me of my childhood. While I didn’t grow up in the 1960′s, my parents did and many of the recipes remind me of my childhood. The Wisconsin Old Fashion, a twist on the Old Fashion made with brandy, along with Brandy Alexanders and Egg Nog were adult beverage staples during my childhood. I can conjure the smell of brandy, which went into all those drinks, and taste the slightly brandy soaked cherry that my Dad would give us for behaving. It reminds me of good times, of families gathered for the holidays and parties. The food recipes also harken back to my childhood – sweet breads, coffee cakes, turkey tetrazine, cheese balls, stuffed celery, popcorn balls, California dip and so many more. Fettuccine Alfredo was a special treat on our birthdays and Shrimp Cocktail for New Years! Since then, I have become quite the fan of Beef Wellington, Chicken Kiev, cheesecake and pretty much every cocktail in the book.
The recipes in the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook look amazing and doable for the home cook. Doable is a main consideration for me when reviewing cookbooks. In my humble opinion, there is no point in having a cookbook if you can’t or wouldn’t use it. But, I will cop to using the French Laundry Cookbook for a coffee table book. I can’t wait to start cooking – Beef Wellington is already lined up for next weekend’s Mad Men (we are doing fondue this weekend) – and the drinking has already commenced. We suggest you do the same – maybe a new recipe each week to accompany the show!