Sunday, December 12, 2010

Steve Buscemi & kitchen crap: why I love Boardwalk Empire

(hot and hotter)

Last week we saw the season finale of HBO's latest series, Boardwalk Empire a drama set in 1920s Prohibition-era Atlantic City. I really like this show, and not just for the Buscemi-factor (huge crushers!!)-it has been a staple Sunday night TV event for our little neighborhood since True Blood ended.
Maybe it is my whole fascination with food preservation-aka what peeps did a lot of during this time as well as my love for old-school kitchen and home items (127 yard sale anyone?), but Boardwalk Empire is very much playing into the Mad Men-style of incorporating period pieces. Not a show goes by without gorgeous 1920 dresses (already looking for outfits!), the wonderful billboards/branding ideas and entertainment venues/acts seen on the show, BUT I have taken note of the attention to kitchen and home goods that the show stages.
Women were by and large homemakers during this time and they made every use of food-the Trader Joes/Whole Foods/even a fridge was not commonplace during this time. People really had to, "make do with what they had" and it was the women who made up America's great fabric that made sure that the family/people could eat. Boardwalk Empire touches on this idea and the topic of how people eat every so often throughout its first season...this is what i noticed:

(Tin Man-love this character...and check out the pickled eggs in back of him!!)

Probably one of the first things that made me want to create this post were the pickled eggs at the brothel in Chicago. Personally, I am not too into pickled eggs, but i do see a SERIOUS comeback this coming year. I have 2 similar glass crocks that i bought at Mexican grocery stores that are perfect for juice/punch/fermenting-LOVE and you will see this from the Jam Van in 2011 (see an upcoming post on the Future of Jam).
One episode opened with one of the female characters (Margaret Schroeder/Kelly Macdonald) making Irish soda bread, i really loved this scene because she mixed the flour in an old (hopefully vintage!) ceramic mixing bowl with a hand-powered mixer and sifter. Making bread by hand is coming back BIG TIME and the quiet scene of Mrs. Schroeder waking at the break of day to have fresh bread is the touch stone of what you have to do to have "basic" fresh food.

(very much like this-found it on Procks Crocks)

One thing that is present is how people actually COOKED aka, the stove. Like the image below, people has to light under a flat plate looking deal to heat a kettle...

 A few times during the season, characters had to make eggs or other items. Cast iron was the norm not the $60-100 + item that we can now buy at our local gourmet supply store. I am a BIG fan of the cast iron and i toast all bread and other goodness straight from the pan-no toaster needed-plus it looks timeless like the little black dress...
(image from Cast Iron Cooking)

(this is just a pickling crock that i saw in the background of an episode-SO needed for old school fermentation)
 I recently heard that Boardwalk will be picked up for a second season so will be posting more on what other cool items i find as well as other preserving items that i see on TV.

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