04 April 2016

James Beard's Menu's For Entertaining

Entertaining is another sub-genre in cookbooks that we just love. Now to be totally fair, we have never, ever cooked a menu, nor set a table based upon anything in one of these books, but we do love to watch other people entertain. One of the best loved books on entertaining is James Beard's Menu's For Entertaining.  There are tons of copies out there, and though we have no firm facts, it seems to be one of Book-Of-The-Month Club's best sellers, making the hunt for a nice First Edition a daunting task.

These days, James Beard is known more for awards than recipes, but in the 50's and 60's, if Beard cooked it, it would likely find its way onto a table near you. Of entertaining he wrote:

"Entertaining is my main pleasure, my forte;and beyond that is essential to my livelihood. I do it frequently with little help and often with none at all. It is not unusual for me to arrive home at 5:30 after a full day's work, with eight guests due for cocktails and dinner two hours later."

In moving things around, I picked up Menu's For Entertaining and found it to be beyond charming. Beard cooked before the proliferation of take out, specialty shops, sous vide, and molecular gastronomy.  What would he think today?

As chef's and their restaurants tout their recent listing on the James Beard awards pages here is our favorite recipe from Menu's For Entertaining.

Whole Hominy

Open and wash two No. 2 1/2 cans whole hominy. Heat with 6 tablespoons butter in a covered pan over medium heat. Salt and pepper to taste and add 1/3 cup of sour cream.

Now you, too, can entertain like James Beard.  And don't you feel better about it.

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