Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I have a great suggestion for holiday gift giving. My friend, editor, tea enthusiast and all-around creative person, Angela McRae, has a new book that should be back from the printer around the first week in November. The book, "Dainty Dining: Vintage recipes, memories and memorabilia from America's department store tea rooms" is a beautifully-crafted look at early 20th century, department store tea rooms and restaurants where shoppers could take a break from their shopping and enjoy a delightful meal.
Featured department stores include Bullock's Wilshire, Burdines, Denver Dry Goods, Filene's, Frederick and Nelson, Gimbels, Hess's, The Higbee Company, J. L. Hudson Co., Innes Department Store, F. and R. Lazarus, R.H. Macy and Co., Maison Blanche, Marshall Field, Miller and Rhoads, Neiman Marcus, Rich's, John Wanamaker, Woodward and Lothrop and Younker Brothers.
Along with colorful memorabilia from each store and entertaining descriptions, quotes and interviews, there are well-researched recipes of some of the famed dishes prepared and served at each restaurant. The author carefully prepared and photographed each recipe to make sure each was precise. The photos are a feast for the eyes and the postcards, menus and other items from McRae's collection will bring back fond memories
It was so enjoyable to read about my favorite store (of all time), Rich's Department Store in Atlanta -- gone but not forgotten. I know I remember shopping and lunching there as a teen and the Big Tree was a huge holiday tradition. I also remember going to Macy's in New York and though I only went to their ice cream parlor, I will always remember the sundae they served as the best ever. The other day I asked a friend from New Orleans if she had ever had a Mr. Bingles?" and she said, "Get outta here, of course I had a Mr. Bingles! How did you know about that?"
This book has mostly full-color photographs and will become a treasure that would make a great coffee-table book since it is so pretty, well-written and brings back so many pleasant memories. Even if you never dined at one of the tea rooms included, this book is worth it for the nostalgia it presents and the fine recipes included.
I know she is taking pre-orders now and I would suggest ordering as soon as possible to be sure and get your copies for Christmas gift giving. Click here if you want more information. I can't wait to get my copies.