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Beatnik food

Beatnik party tomorrow night. What should I bring? Munchies and sweets, pretty much, only.

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    1. re: jbyoga

      Hahaha. If only it were a sit-down dinner...

    2. Chex Mix,
      Clam and sour cream dip....must use canned clams,
      Celery stuffed with Roquefort and cream cheese,
      Anything wrapped with bacon.
      Don't forget your Stan Getz and Dave Brubeck vinyls, daddy-o.

      3 Replies
        1. re: Nyleve

          Gosh, that obvious, Huh?? But I was only a Babe in Arms.... really.

        2. re: Gio

          lipton onion soup packet in that sour cream

          1. Capuccino with cinnamon.

            1. If I were researching this, I'd look at the work of some of the female beats: Denise Levertov, Diane DiPrima, Joyce (Glassman) Johnson, Hettie Jones. The men pretty much ate what was put in front of them.

              Joyce Johnson describes a pie she made for Kerouac in her memoir, "Minor Characters."

              14 Replies
              1. re: jlafler

                After a quick search I find that the pie (dubbed "ecstasy pie" by Kerouac) was in fact an apple pie, though she doesn't give a recipe: "Blind intuition guided me that night..."

                1. re: jlafler

                  What stands out for me as beatnik food (besides brown rice) is something from "Dinnners and Nightmares" by Diane DiPrima that she called "menstrual pudding." It was only mashed potatoes and ketchup (and I'm not suggesting it for the party) but for anyone interested, the first chapter, "What I Ate Where," evokes the period (er, sorry) perfectly.

                  1. re: efdee

                    Hysterical. A friend just recently went to a "Goodbye Uterus" party where they burnt a papier mache facsimile in effigy. I didn't ask what they served. Hate to think about it, actually.

                    1. re: efdee

                      That does sound like it would be the definitive guide....

                      1. re: efdee

                        Brown rice was HIPPIE food, not BEATNIK food. The Beats scorned anything that suggested an emphasis on nutrition. We did a beatnik party years ago and I just made a giant pot of spaghetti and a ton of garlic bread, and we all drank wine and smoked cigarettes. Years ago, as I said...

                          1. re: Will Owen

                            Yup, Will you got it right. When I lived in North Beach back in 1960, spaghetti, garlic bread and jug wine was the way to go.

                            1. re: Sharuf

                              Ooohh, I knew I was forgetting something: the jug of Gallo "Chianti"! And you know what? We drank it all!

                              Funny - I'm making lasagna and garlic bread for company tonight...

                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  Sure - we LOOKED for the cheap stuff, but they'd stopped making Red Mountain by then, and nobody in Tennessee carried Cribari ;-)

                                2. re: Will Owen

                                  It was called "vino paisano".

                                  "Vino da Tavola" by Guild was another favorite.

                                  1. re: Sharuf

                                    Paisano was the first wine I bought in California. My first wife and I moved down to Palo Alto from Alaska in '67 (YES, the Summer of Love!) and when I walked into a liquor store on our first day I was stunned to see a quart bottle - that dates it - for $1! Why, that was half the price of any bottle in Anchorage!

                                    The next revelation was finding both wine and booze for sale in grocery stores. Anyone else remember Napa, Sonoma & Mendocino? And the TV and radio commercials with the guy asking for "Sonapanoma"?

                        1. And don't forget sugar--donuts, bear claws, cinnamon rolls--for those with a habit.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            Well, for those with a habit, there are always Alice B. Toklas brownies or fudge. '-)

                          2. Yay, Will! I did notice there do seem to be some substitutions of the age of Flower Children and Hippies for true Beatniks. And as soon as I hit send on the Ginsberg, Kerouc, or Ferlinghetti, I recalled that the real "fuel" feeding that postwar beatnik mindset was Jean Paul Sartre. So the food for any beatnik party should, of course, elicit the question, "Is that for real?"

                            Here's a recipe that might do just that. '-)

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: Nyleve

                                Now THAT is beatnik food! Too bad it's too late for last nights party, but everyone can file it for their next beat bash. The tuna casserole is not only great for existentialist beatniks, but I'm sure it will be a favorite among tuna haters too. And perfect for today's mercury-laden fishies!

                            1. I think of Audrey Hepburn when I hear beatniis, her black pants and top, A french beatnik! Well ok,.there was always Maynard G Krebs I guess, but I prefer Augdey. Since you're bringing a dish, you could make canapes or bacon wrapped anything. OR, if you wanted to make something a little more "fancy" puffs with ala king anything too...what a fun idea for a party. I think I'd just make something nice and then name it something beatniky, the food back then was not that great.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                I think I'll run out and get a bottle of Mateus - but honestly, not open it. Or open it and stick a candle in the bottle (use the wine for, what? Vinegar?). Foodwise, I'm still uncertain. Maybe I'll figure out something in the shape of cigarettes. Hmmm....

                                Got plenty of black turtlenecks, but it's too hot. Oh...wait...I think I have a sleeveless one...

                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  WHOOOOAAAAAH! The food back then was GREAT! It's just that beat coffee houses didn't serve any. '-)

                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                    I was pretty young when the word beatik was introduced.
                                    I remember words like Sputnik, and wasn't Haley's Comet around that time?
                                    Daddy-O wasn't that "dude" back then? And reefers? was that a cigarette or something else?..if you were giving the party you could have so much with this theme,

                                    Roll up thin bread sticks with procuitto and basil for reefers! And make some sputnik dunk. What about some neon colored drinks for a Haley's Comet, take cherries or using a melon ball stick several colored toothpicks in them, float them in a large goblet (you can get glo in the dark cubes) Wasn't everyone accused of being a Commie?
                                    The poetry, the black beret, goatees and the somber beat of the music and oh yes the cheap red wine. Maybe I'm off a few years?

                                  2. re: chef chicklet

                                    Dear Chef:
                                    Would you be so kind and tell me what does AUGDEY means? You wrote it long time ago:
                                    I think of Audrey Hepburn when I hear beatniis, her black pants and top, A french beatnik! Well ok,.there was always Maynard G Krebs I guess, but I prefer Augdey. Since you're bringing a dish, you could make canapes or bacon wrapped anything. OR, if you wanted to make something a little more "fancy" puffs with ala king anything too...what a fun idea for a party. I think I'd just make something nice and then name it something beatniky, the food back then was not that great.

                                    | Permalink | Report | Reply
                                    chef chicklet Jul 26, 2008 06:50AM

                                    My interest is because my family name is AUGDEY and I have not been able to find the meaning
                                    I will really appreciate your kind answer please.
                                    Thruly yours
                                    Enrique Augdey

                                    1. re: lonelyrider

                                      I think it was a typo Enrique. It should have been "Audrey".

                                      1. re: lonelyrider

                                        I'm so sorry that was a big fat typo! I was meaning to type Audrey.
                                        I'm sorry if my bad typing skills gave you some hope. I sincerely hope you find your answer.

                                    2. Let us know how it went and what food was there.

                                      1. Folks - regardless of whether or not Beatniks actually subsisted on booze, cigarettes and coffee, please help us keep this on topic by making food/recipe suggestions, since this is the Home Cooking board. We've removed a number of off topic posts, so some posts with recipes may seem out of context.


                                        1. Well, the party's over, but it's still an interesting question. I hope Nyleve will post an update!

                                          I know you said apps/finger foods and desserts, but I'd be sorely tempted to bring a casserole of some sort. I really enjoyed the _Saveur_ article a while back about the time/place/vibe of casseroles - read it if you can get your hands on it. Doesn't seem to be available on their website.

                                          Saveur list of casserole cookbooks: http://saveur.com/article/-/Our-Favor...

                                          Origins of Green Bean Casserole: http://saveur.com/article/Our-Favorit...

                                          Nouveau Green Bean Casserole: http://saveur.com/article/Food/Green-...

                                          Chicken Divan: http://saveur.com/article/Food/Chicke...

                                          Tuna Noodle Casserole: http://saveur.com/article/Food/Tuna-N...

                                          Fun topic!

                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: Mawrter


                                            Great fun the other night. Lots of black outfits, berets, bongo drums and books of vague, dark poetry. Foodwise, this is what happened. I ended up bringing mushrooms that I stuffed with a goat cheese, pesto and sun dried tomato mixture and baked. It wasn't entirely period food, but I had all the fixings at home and I remember when stuffed mushrooms were extremely impressive and edgy back then. I also - and here's where it gets complicated - decided that I wanted to prepare a cigarette-themed snack. To that end, I thought that maybe I could create cigarettes made out of rice krispie treat mixture. You know, rolled up in tubes of waxed paper, then unrolled, cut to lengths and somehow attach a red gum drop to the "lit" end. As soon as I laid out the waxed paper and attempted to make my first roll, it was obvious that this was totally not going to work. I would, at best, have ended up with thick rice krispie cylinders - nothing like a cigarette at all. So, in a fit of resignation, I just squashed the mixture into a baking pan and made rice krispie squares. Everyone loved them even though they were not what I meant.

                                            After my failed attempt at the rice krispie cigarettes, I ran out and bought a box of candy cigarettes - which are now called candy "sticks" and no longer have the red end on them. So I dipped the ends in red food colouring. I brought them to the party and crabbed about how everyone was bumming smokes off me all night, dammit.

                                            Other foods that appeared were, yes, that onion soup dip with potato chips, and many things that had nothing to do with beatnikness at all. Oh well. It was great fun anyway and we had a fantastic art happening - with the unveiling of my friend's nude sketch of her mother done by, we suspect, her uncle while her father was off fighting in Europe during WW II.

                                            1. re: Nyleve

                                              Sounds like GREAT fun! And you guys did all this without really crappy black coffee? Yay for you!

                                              For future reference, there is a Turkish burek called "cigara burek" that is basically the same ingredients as Greek "tyropita" ("cheese pie" with a feta filling inside a phyllo crust) that you can find recipes for all over the internet, except instead of making them in folded triangles or cut diamonds, you roll a little bit of the filling in buttered phyllo pastry into the shape of a cigarette, then bake. They would have been perfect! With the food coloring touch, of course. '-)

                                              1. re: Nyleve

                                                What a brilliant evening - you made/brought great, really creative stuff. Thanks for the update!!!!!!

                                                1. re: Mawrter

                                                  Interesting !!! anyway those poor artists,writers and whoever lived down on the lower east side ate cheap and there was pleny of cheap joints and "greezy spoons" that I remember .Saloons with free lunch,Ukrenian for cheap pirogi,Chinese cheap noodles and dumplings,Italian markets with cheap pasta and "hero's" Deli and Cuchifrito.Don't forget Herbie Mann his family of Mann album was a "cool hep" journey to world musicville.I would add some red jug wine (from and old Italian neighbor if you can get it LOL) expresso made on the stove and in Kerouak's "On the Road" warm Tokay wine (bad bad hangover).Oh yea don't forget some Charlie Parker and early Tito Puente and Machito Hey I eat this way now !!!! at age 65 am I finally hep???or is it hip? what ever (sigh) LOL .Have fun Next (drum roll and Roman trumpets) THE HIPPIES and thier chow

                                                  1. re: scunge

                                                    I remember those red wine bottles encased in straw.

                                                    1. re: serious

                                                      The raffia encased bottle is called a "fiasco." Sometimes not without reason! '-)

                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                        Simply Italian for Flask, though I've had some that fit the other definition! My brother and I actually bought one of those four-foot-long ones just for the hell of it. A good slug coming down that length of neck develops quite a wallop; too bad we didn't get any pictures of wine shooting out our noses, and it felt like ears and eyeballs as well...

                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                          And don't forget to use the emptied bottle as a candle holder!

                                                          1. re: serious

                                                            And you gotta leave on it all the wax dribble buildup.

                                                            1. re: Sharuf

                                                              Last trip to Italy, I wasted part of my duty-free allowance on a "fiasco" of Chianti because I wanted that freaking bottle. Haven't tried the wine yet but when it's done, we're going candleabra, man!

                                                              1. re: Nyleve

                                                                We did have a couple of bottles of that at our party, but we had also accumulated a stock of empty fiaschi which had become well-waxed over the years - we are awfully good at stocking up on weird theme-party items - so we had maybe five of these guys with candles for the tables. Alas, they went in the yard sale when we moved... but I sure know how to replace them!

                                              2. My mom and dad were bona-fide beatniks at the beginning of the movement. They never smoked pot (they were too afraid they'd "go crazy") but they did have booze-saturated "rent parties" and a big New Year's Eve party for their friends. And they have the photographs (and home movies) to prove it.

                                                During that time they got a recipe for pepper steak from a neighbor (anything Chinese was oh-so-exotic, back then) and then dad got ahold of a "sweet and sour pork" that involved a small jar of apricot preserves and bottled Italian dressing.

                                                Cheeses were gaining popularity then and weren't nearly as costly. And the Ritz and were still relative newcomers to the market.

                                                A Greek friend of theirs still regales me to this day about bringing some of her family's foods over to their house and everyone thinking that it was the most exotic thing on earth!

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: shaogo

                                                  In the early 60s I believe there was only one Japanese restaurant in NYC, upstairs near Columbia University. Sushi hadn't crossed the ocean yet.

                                                  1. re: serious

                                                    By '68 Kitcho was on, I think, 48th East of 5th. Certainly no sushi there but great ramen (had it with my dad).

                                                    1. re: serious

                                                      There was one in the theatre district somewhere. My friend had her Sweet Sixteen party there - this would have been 1967-ish - and we sat on the floor in a tatami room. Claire's was the best Sweet Sixteen ever.

                                                    2. re: shaogo

                                                      North Beach (beatnik headquarters) was right next to Chinatown, and we would stroll on over for our Chinese favorite cheap eats. Sam Wo (go thru the kitchen and up the back stairs), Gooey Looeys (down in the basement), and the admirable Jackson Cafe kept us well fed and still solvent.

                                                    3. This looks like a good place to start:
                                                      It seems to be foods mentioned in serious literature from the era..
                                                      but also for fun, Maynard G. Krebs has a page too http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot...
                                                      he was a sitcom beatnik, probably ate whatever the '50s moms were cooking.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                        Whatever Dobie's mom was cooking, anyway. My favorite TV show from childhood. The G stands for Walter.

                                                      2. I remember in college friend serving cheese from the file part of a fingernail clipper. I don't think I had any.

                                                        1. Espresso, lots of espresso ( served with bongos playing in the background).

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Rmis32

                                                            Haha cupcakes look like little bongos..