49-3. Ladies Bridge Lunch: Bridge party for mom’s birthday & an “offal” food at ladies lunch

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10. “Barbara’s Birthday by Jim Long.   February 7 is Josh’s mother, Barbara Young’s birthday. One of her favorite things to do is play bridge. She’s a tough competitor and Josh invited 6 friends for lunch and an afternoon of bridge. Jim Long’s Garden.”

My reaction in 2011  when I first read this was what a lovely idea! The clipping got lost in the shuffle, so here it is belatedly. Anyone searching for something different for their aging bridge-playing mom’s birthday? Or not-so-aging. Throw a party for her bridge-playing friends.

Incidentally, Jim Long’s blog about herbs and gardens is really nice too–I could get addicted to it just for the menu I saw today featuring home-grown herbs. http://jimlongsgarden.blogspot.com

11. “Offal Tale” by Spencer Jakab, is a  witty Wall Street Journal article, about the Innard Circle–“an intrepid band of New York City foodies” who savor and eat  “animal parts that most Americans wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot fork.”  It dates back to 2012. I kept it to remind me I ought to do a blog under Ladies Bridge Lunch about an oddity of ladies lunch I came across while writing my book–sweetbreads. Jakab’s article got lost in the shuffle, now I’m doing my duty to culinary history–belatedly.

Sweetbreads are the thymus gland of animals (sometimes the stomach) and thereby part of the offal and innards categorythat Wall Street Journal article tells about. But did you know sweetbreads,  in the heyday decades of the ladies bridge lunch, was considered a delicacy especially suited to the appetites of ladies?  In my book, I kind of ducked the whole thing, by mentioning sweetbreads on page 166 in James Beard’s menu for a ladies lunch, without specifying  what sweetbreads actually are.  James Beard ducked too!

Can you imagine in this vegetarian, animal rights obsessed age, serving  your ladies bridge group an entree that included the thymus gland/stomach of animals? Yet for decades in the early part of the 20th century, right up through the 1960s, standard cookbooks like the New York Times Cookbook (1961) included recipes for Sweetbreads a la King and Sweetbreads in Patty Shells, clearly intended for ladies lunch menus.

There! I’ve done my duty to culinary history. Now, if you enjoy great food writing–great writing of any kind–go read Jakab’s article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527023506404577446620728468162.html

Meanwhile, I think I’ll drop Mr. Jakab a line to mention the anomaly of offal eating and ladies lunch not mentioned in his article.


One Response to 49-3. Ladies Bridge Lunch: Bridge party for mom’s birthday & an “offal” food at ladies lunch

  1. – Blue Egg, you have put a smile on my face this morning! I am in Portland, OR and the rain is scimnerag, Make me some soup! The last time I was living in weather’, I was in NYC and I ate buckets of borscht (along with piles of every flavor of pierogis) at my neighborhood Ukranian diner, Veselka. I, like your mom, shy away from stained hands and the vegetable itself little threats to white marble countertops that they are. But you remind me to take the risk, as your soup looks incredible. And before we truly leave summer, throw in lots of sour cream and dill, so Ella can can watch her mom drink zany, neon hot pink soup. After all, she loves silly!September 2, 2010 10:41 am

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