Inspired by the Art Deco Society of California’s annual amazing time-travel picnic the Gatsby Summer Afternoon, I decided to research 20s recipes because I usually make things that are much newer - in the realm of my own experience or just before it, for the most part. But how different could it be? I sought out my 1927 “Piggly Wiggly Cookbook” (from the popular grocery chain of the same name, which dates back to 1916), to find out.
WELL! Things were different. First of all, the “name brand” ingredients are totally baffling to me, and they are often listed out by name only, with no further explanation. I had to research most of them to see if I could even concoct the majority of the creations. What was Snowdrift? What was Fluffo? (both are shortenings, it turns out.) Next, cuts of meat were not familiar to me either, and all vegetables were presented canned. (All hail the new technology of canned foods, right?) Then many of the titles confused me. What is a Junket? Hmmmm. Basically, nothing appealed till I found a somewhat simple chilled dessert made with bananas and pistachio nuts. Hey, that almost sounds like a new foodie pairing, doesn’t it? I can just see the next artisan doughnut: banana batter with pistachios and bacon bits…
Ingredients - shelf-stable whipping cream is NOT recommended BTW
Anyhow, seems like when you cook anything from the 20s, the first step is to get out the double boiler. CRASH! (Sorry, neighbors!) I suppose if it were a recipe from the 80s, you would microwave it, but just YUCK . So you heat up the bananas and sugar and lemon juice and then it gets flavored, mixed with whipped cream, served in cute little glasses and topped with chopped pistachio nuts.
On a hot afternoon I prepared this for after dinner and it was surprisingly tasty – I would even make it again! I don’t think you need to line the glasses with sliced banana – I did, but it was more than necessary. Try it – you’ll like it so much you might even find yourself breaking into The Charleston….
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
Few finely chopped pistachio nuts
Pinch of Leslie’s salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
· Cooked mashed banana pulp in a double boiler with sugar and lemon juice until scalded. Add a few drops of vanilla and a pinch of salt and cool.
· Whip cream until firm, and gradually beat in banana mixture. Set mixture aside to chill.
· Pile high in sherbet glasses with a sprinkling of finely chopped pistachio nuts on top. If you wish, line the glasses with slices of banana before filling. This serves eight people.
Heat the bananas in a double boiler
Chop the pistachio nuts