[Sca-cooks] OOP but Not OT - Ancient Greek Food

Susan Fox selene at earthlink.net
Fri Jan 18 12:52:17 PST 2008

This is the after-lecture reception, usually accompanying a 
meet-and-greet with the speaker, book signing if the speaker happens to 
be pushing a book.  100-150 attendees, no alcohol.  No cooking on site, 
outside of one microwave.  [It's at the Los Angeles Public Library, the 
central branch that burned down once, so they can be forgiven for 
sensitivity about our bringing fire!]  Used to be just pretty much 
coffee and cookies but Renata and I thought that the Culinary Historians 
deserved more than that, so we have started tailoring the snacks to the 
occasion.  Last weekend was organization president Charles Perry's 
annual lecture on whatever he wants to talk about, which happened to be 
"How Southern California Invented The Backyard Barbecue."  He even 
offered us his Highly Period [for 1939-1960] BBQ sauce recipe, and not 
being a Spoon Tease, I'll add it to this missive below.  I whipped up 
the sauce and Renata baked it onto chicken wings and served it last 
Saturday to the delight of the crowd.  Now that is what I call a 
multi-media presentation!

My thought when Renata presented the idea to me, was to go to my Ancient 
Greek standby and pull out Virgil poem "Moretum," wherein a shepherd 
makes his lunch of spiced cheese and bread and ogles his housemaid.  But 
we're certainly open to other suggestions. 

Recipe included:


... an authentic old-time L.A. barbecue sauce with the now-forgotten 
tart, oniony flavor. The following recipe makes the sauce that was the 
standard around here from 1939 straight through to the early 1960s. (I'm 
including the same recipe on a sheet that we'll hand out at my lecture.) 
It's cheap and easy to make. But I understand you have your own 
considerations of time, budget, etc.

1939 Barbecue Sauce

1 quart canned tomatoes
2 large onions, sliced
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, crushed
Put the tomatoes, onions, ketchup, vinegar, Worcesterhire, butter, 
sugar, salt and garlic in a pot and simmer 1 hour.
This would make something like a quart.


Yours in service,

Saint Phlip wrote:
> Is this to be an actual meal, or a cocktail style buffet? And, how
> many people, roughly? Is alcohol allowed?
> On Jan 18, 2008 2:11 PM,  <silverr0se at aol.com> wrote:
>> The ever-inventive and talented Dame Selene and I are the Hospitality committee for the Culinary Historians of Southern California. This means that we are in charge of the refreshments served after each monthly lecture. One of the reasons we took the job was to coordinate food with the day's topic.
>> An upcoming lecture will be by Harry Turtledove (yes, the sci-fi writer) and the topic is ancient Greece.
>> Adding to the challenge will be the fact that I will only have one hand available - currently I have 1 1/2 hands but one will be in the shop hopefully being fixed at that point in time.
>> Any ideas?
>> Renata
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