08 May 2009

Bridge Food For Bridge Fans

Sex is like bridge, you don’t need a partner if you’ve got a good hand.

My extensive bridge knowledge can be summed up in preceding slight off-color joke. Since I no nothing about bridge, it may not even BE funny.

My Mother played bridge and often held “bridge parties.” There was always a flurry of activity around these parties, setting up tables, fussing over food and organizing guests. Bridge parties require guests in groups of four. This is harder than it sounds. It requires equipment, and proper “card” tables and game food. Unlike sporting events, where food is bold and messy, like wings and dip, bridge requires dainty, unmessy food. You simply can’t have barbecue sauce and Cheeto residue on your playing cards!

My mother made amazing food for these parties. Well, they seemed amazing to a child. Perhaps because it was food we didn’t have everyday. It was special and a bit “prissy.” She made gigantic sandwiches from whole loaves of bread. We would walk to the bakery to buy these loaves. Occasionally, if there was a bridge party with a special theme, like the Christmas Bridge Party, the bakery would tint the loaves. I remember pink and green loaves, carefully un-crusted and sliced in long slabs. The layers were thinly filled with savory fillings, and stacked higher and higher. The huge sandwich block was then sliced in tiny, manageable slices.

I never learned to play bridge. It seemed too complicated and I was afraid I might be forced to actually play bridge. Now days, it is becoming popular again. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are huge bridge players, in fact, they donated a million dollars to teach school kids to play bridge. Ironically, bridge is the one game a computer can’t play – Gates has tried, but evidently it IS too complicated.

Della Lutes was one of the most prolific cookbook writes in the 20’ and 30’s, though her books were often thought of as gastronomical autobiography. She combined tales of Michigan farm life with recipes. Bridge Food For Bridge Fans is a slim volume combining playing bridge and recipes. This is the introduction from 1932.

These be perilous times. Presidents come and go, and are maligned one and all, alive and dead. Banks fail. The radio promises marvelous prizes, but do we ever win one? The wicked flourish and the green bay tree up and dies. The cracker barrel croaker is gone, but there are a lot of Gloomy Deans in high places. There are serious problems to be solved and grave affairs to be settled.

Shall laws be repealed or ignored?

Shall women be made eligible for the Presidency of the United States (as if they couldn’t get talked about enough without that)?

But what in the name of Kingdom Come, can we serve for Afterbridge Tea that won’t add pounds to a woman’s weight?

Let us, then, with crusading zeal, consider the last and most serious question first, and lay those of less gravity back where they were, under the table.

I have a sinking feeling that somewhere in our government, a high official is roaming the corridors of power with a copy of Bridge Food For Bridge Fans tucked in his briefcase. There is a distinct possibility that Della Lutes is engineering our domestic policy!

According to Lutes, May is the best month for throwing a social ball, or perhaps a bridge party followed by an Afterbridge Tea, and the best month for her May Basket Fruit Cup.

May Basket Fruit Cup

Make a grapefruit or orange basket, fill with fresh fruit and top with a candy flower.

Hey, if you can play bridge, you can figure out how to make a fruit basket!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin