It’s time to remember the era of the jet set, when martinis were made with gin and clam dip filled the center of the swankiest party tables.
We’re reminded of those swinging days of yesteryear thanks to the latest season of “Mad Men” on AMC and the arrival of “Catch Me If You Can” at the Woodlawn Theatre. You may remember that title from the Tom Hanks-Leonardo di Caprio film, but the story has been turned into a full-throttle musical filled with plenty of globe trotting and chorus lines of long-legged stewardesses (that’s right, they were not flight attendants back then) and nurses ready to fulfill any handsome doctor’s orders.
Part of the fun of jet-setting was being able to try foods from around the world alongside the deviled eggs, the chicken liver pâté and egg rolls. One place where recipes could be found was Myra Waldo’s “The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook,” a PanAm-inspired series of recipes from more than 80 countries.
Waldo’s goal was global education through food. “The world of travel, the observation of the life and ways of others, the spirit of inquiry, the willingness to eat what others eat, and fundamentally and primarily the maintaining of an open mind on all subjects is the surest way for us to learn something about the rest of the world,” she writes.
Leafing through a copy shows that the author knew a thing or two about creating bold flavors from countries and regions as far-flung as Egypt, the Balkans, Burma, New Zealand and the Greater Antilles. Her recipes seem fairly easy to put together, whether you want to make German Paprika Fish, Turkish Fruit Salad, Canadian Pork Pie or Trinidad Rum Punch.
Waldo’s book is out of print now, but you can find copies for reasonable (and unreasonable) prices at half.ebay.com.
In the meantime, you can taste a few of these international treats in these recipes:
- Noodles with Walnuts (Gnocchi alla Granerese) from Italy
- Onions with Raisins (Oignons à la Monégasque) from France
- Finnish Pancakes (Suomalainen Pannakakku)
You can see “Catch Me If You Can” at the Woodlawn Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg Road, through May 11. Call (210) 267-8388 for tickets.