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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Calendar > Arts and Culture

1960s cuisine, cocktails & culture, redux

By Willow Baum - reporter / photographer

By: Willow Baum | Democrat
Alexis Rolnick won Julia Child's seminal work, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1 and 2, through a fund drive for Channel 13 in NYC. “Anything you do from that cookbook -- IF you do it exactly -- will turn out,” said Alexis of the recipes that “take a full day” to prepare.
BETHEL — “Julia Child didn't make it into our house,” said one guest at the sell-out Kitschy Kitchen dinner at Bethel Woods, “but the Galloping Gourmet did. From that point on, everything got wine.”
As part of the WoodsTalk: Live! event series, Bethel Woods recently presented two intimate gatherings featuring cuisine, cocktails and culture of the 1960s.
The most recent, “Mad Mixology,” explored the hidden history of four classic cocktails. Mixologists Josiah and Zeke of the Horse's Mouth in Cochecton prepared samples and demonstrations of the Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Vodka Gimlet and Moscow Mule. Reincarnations of 1960s cocktail culture have helped usher in a new “Golden Age” of craft cocktails today, said Kathleen Christie, Senior Director of Arts and Humanities at Bethel Woods.

Previously, the sell-out “Kitschy Kitchen,” showcased 1960s retro recipes, updated with fresh and seasonal ingredients sourced from small farms in the Southern Catskills. The centerpiece dish: Julia Child's signature Boeuf Bourguignon, served with chimichurri potatoes and fresh asparagus. Absent and ousted in favor of kale and quinoa, were ingredients commonly used in 1960s dips and flavoring such as grape jelly and Lipton Onion Soup Mix.
Early Bird Cookery, a farm-to-table catering and meal delivery service based in Cochecton, served an experience that was part salon, part cooking demonstration, part fine dining.
“When my step dad hauled out a brick of Velveeta and a can of RO*TEL, it was like a holiday in our house,” said Early Bird's RaeAnn Handshy garnering laughs in a discussion about shifts in food, domesticity and kitchen technology since the era of Betty Crocker and Helen Gurley Brown.
Guest Phil Vallone remembers his father making a family favorite, “his Sunday Sauce.”
Another guest recalled his father making “gravy once a year, and beef stew once a year.” To which another guest among the convivial crowd asked if he “made enough to last the whole year?”
“As a child in the 1970s, I was the dishwasher,” joked Kathleen Christie.
Guest Alex Rolnick credits Julia Child for opening up a whole new world of gastronomy. “Otherwise we would've only known ethnic food we grew up with,” said Rolnick.
While reminiscing about the days of lime Jell-O mixed with walnuts, pineapple and cottage cheese, may bring a smile in 2017, kale may be the punchline of the next generation.





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