Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cookbook Wednesday | Favorite Recipes of California Winemakers

Cheers! It’s National Wine Day!!!

Favorite Recipes of California Winemakers ©1963

I had big plans for National Wine Day! However, they all changed a couple of days ago when I had to take Marion to the hospital. She wasn’t feeling well, which as much as I don’t like saying, is pretty much on a daily basis. Friday was different though. She refused to eat. Now, let me tell you something about Marion, the woman can eat!!! I made ribs on the barbecue (in the midst of a rainstorm mind you) the other night and when I brought her dish to her she said, “only three little ribs” she demolished them!!!

I knew something was absolutely wrong when she said no to her nightly dessert of a Marion Special which, by the way, is a special sundae the new ice cream parlor down the block makes just for her; vanilla ice cream, a layer of fresh chopped cherries, another layer of vanilla ice cream topped with homemade whipped cream with, of course, a cherry on top! (she swears cherries help her gout:)

Marion is doing okay now but must stay in the hospital for a couple of more days. It seems she has/had a blockage in her belly that they are slowly trying to sort of melt away. (surgery is out of the question, after all, she is 96) I know there are a few of you who may not have officially “met” Marion. I did formally introduce her back in 2010. I’ve since updated the post and added a few pictures of her fashion doll wardrobe:)

So my plan was to “wet your whistle” with A Brief History of Wine in America before introducing you to today’s Cookbook Wednesday feature, Favorite Recipes of California Winemakers first published in 1963.

The Lore and Lure of Wine Cookery | Favorite Recipes of California Winemakers ©1963

It’s difficult to fathom a time when domestic dry table wine was poo pooed in favor of cheap “jug wine” and sweet high alcohol wine. Many say this new taste in wines changed as a direct result of prohibition.

”Although the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 meant that California winemakers were back in business, selling their product to American consumers proved to be a significant challenge. Many of the wines that first appeared on the market after 1933 were fortified wines—high in alcohol, sweet, and cheap—while wines imported from Europe were seen as luxuries for the rich, not intended for the average middle-class table. Other consumers continued to reject wine for moralistic reasons, or because they viewed it as a foreign beverage.

Established in 1938, California’s Wine Advisory Board set out to challenge these conventional attitudes and promote wine as a positive addition to the American table. Advertisements produced by the Board during the 1950s and ‘60s reflect this effort, with slogans that encouraged consumers to embrace wine as part of an all-American meal. The Board also commissioned a series of colorful posters in the 1960s to promote California and its wines…”
(Introducing Wine To The Table | National Museum of American History)

The reputation of California wine suffered accordingly. (many of us associate the wine industry as a California legacy and the Charles Krug Winery, established in 1861; the oldest winery in the Napa Valley. However, historians believe the first grapes commercially made into wine were most likely the wild Scuppernong grapes of the South.

”…Legend has it that the first-known cultivation and production of wine in the New World is from the Scuppernong variety of Muscadine grape in the 1560’s by French Huguenots in what is now Florida. In addition, what is considered the oldest-known cultivated grape vine in the world is the “Mother Vine” on Roanoke Island, North Carolina; it is 400 years old and covers a half acre. Scuppernong became the state fruit of North Carolina in 2001…” (Grape of the Week: Scuppernong)

Today’s book was published in part by the California Wine Advisory Board, which was dissolved and replaced with The Wine Appreciation Guild in 1973. As you might guess, it has all the makings of a 60s styled cookbook with cute illustrations by Judy Hibel. Ms. Hibel also contributed a recipe for Baked Mushrooms Contra Costa.

Baked Mushrooms Contra Costa | Favorite Recipes of California Winemakers ©1963

Here’s a recipe for Duck Au Vin courtesy of Mrs. Robert Mondavi. It seems the Mondavi family purchased the Charles Krug Winery back in 1943.

Duck Au Vin | Favorite Recipes of California Winemakers ©1963

And finally, we mustn’t forget, many of us will be “kicking off” the anticipation of Summer this Memorial Day weekend. Hence this recipe for Superb Barbecued Chicken.

Wine Barbecued Chicken | Favorite Recipes of California Winemakers ©1963

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday weekend. I’m thinking Marion will be home from the hospital on Friday, good Lord willing and the creek don’t freeze:) I’ll be around to catch up with your delicious blogs in between errands and visits to the hospital. (I know, she’s fine up there but I like to stay there with her as long as I can:)

Memorial Day Postcard

Thank you all for visiting. I’ll “see” you next week with the new calendar for June and a few other “surprises.” Louise:)

P.S. As luck would have it, as I finished preparing this post, I popped by Janet's blog Dying for Chocolate where she was celebrating National Wine Day; on May 24th. It seems she also has provided a link documenting why National Wine Day is celebrated on May 24th. All I can say is whoops and, these food days sure do get confusing don't they, lol...Sorry "guys":) Check out Janet's recipe for Chocolate Red Wine Bundt Cake and this link if you're as confused as I am:)

Cookbook Wednesday | Share Your Favorite

1. A Conversation with Pinot Noir specialist Merry Edwards (inspired by some cookbooks from the California Wine Advisory Board.)
2. Grapes, Ghosts and Florida’s Wine History
3. The History of Wine in the United States
4. National Wine Days of the Year