08 June 2009

In The Pink

Santa Fe in the 1940’s was one of those magical bohemian confluences of artist and writers. Roaming through the dusty streets one might see Freda Lawrence, Mabel Dodge Luhan, or Dorothy Brett. Some of the artists were flush, but many struggled to make ends meet and Santa Fe held little industry.

Luhan, Lawrence and Brett, New Mexico in the 1940's

One such artist, Rosalea Murphy, found a small pink adobe building and began serving food to support her art. Soon, The Pink Adobe became a gathering place for artists and diners alike. Georgia O’Keeffe was a frequent visitor and Harry Partch washed dishes in exchange for room and board.

Fifty years later, The Pink Adobe was still thriving with Rosalea Murphy still at the helm.

Rosalea Murphy who died in 2000 at age 88

In the Pink was written as a celebration of that 50th anniversary. The recipes are divided into menus for outing like picnics and barbeque's. The recipes are reflective of Southwestern cuisine and a retro 1950’s aesthetic. There are lots of peppers and avocados and beans and there are the retro entries like Smoked Salmon Wheels and Three Bean Salad. The book is illustrated with color reproductions of Murphy’s vibrant paintings, many, food inspired.

In the Elton John song, Levon, there is the following line:

“Levon wears his war wounds like a crown,
Calls his child Jesus, cause he like the name”

Occasionally, I find recipes I try, as with Levon, “cause I like the name.” How can one resist a potato salad that would make a poet happy.

To Please A Poet Potato Salad

1 to 1 1/2 pounds unpeeled new potatoes (6 to 8 potatoes)
1 small green onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Anchovy and Mustard Dressing

Boil potatoes in water to cover until easily pierced by a fork (15 to 20 minutes). While potatoes are cooking, prepare the dressing.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and slice thin. Toss with the green onions, salt, and pepper. With a rubber spatula, gently combine the dressing with the potatoes until nicely coated.

Anchovy and Mustard Dressing

1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons mild cider vinegar
2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and, with on-and-off movement, process until thoroughly blended.

Stir up a big bowl, grab your D. H. Lawrence and invite a poet to lunch.

Harry Partch And On The Seventh Day, Petals Fell In Petaluma.mp3

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