If you truly believe that the preparation of food is a culinary art, then you're likely to appreciate the new exhibition at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth. Art and Appetite explores the food as portrayed by American artists, as far back as the 18th century. There's even a section devoted to our greatest contribution to the fine art of gluttony: Thanksgiving. Hence the big Lichtenstein turkey bird above.
There's more on display than just still life with edibles, though. Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks" is coming, too, and while you've likely seen a spin on the painting in The Simpsons, or one of a million other pop culture references, you haven't seen it till you've seen it.
The Amon Carter Museum is borrowing the entire exhibit from the Chicago Institute of Art, which has put together an online cookbook in support of the show. And while the art opens a window into how Americans have been eating for the past 200 or so years, you can use the selected recipes to take your tastebuds back in time.
Whether you set your table like a Norman Rockwell feast, or whip up a quick chicken à la king, you can experience the sights and flavors that your parents and grandparents experienced when they were your age, just by firing up your range. Or maybe you want to go way, way back and fashion your self a sheepes tongue pie.
Be warned: Recipes weren't always written with as much detail as they are today.
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From Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery and Booke of Sweetmeats ...
Boyle the tongues tender, then peel them & slit them in the middle, and lay them in the pie, like an oyster pie, with some butter, grated bread, & nuttmegg, & some salt; and when it is baked, melt & beat some butter and white wine together, and some capers which have been scalded in water, & as much sugar as you please. Then cut the lid open, and poure it all in, & then serve it up, without setting it into the oven againe.
Mid-18th century potluck, anyone?