Sunday, July 12, 2009

The 70s

Disco Stew

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. The mantra of the 70s.

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson via

And flaunt it we did, in so many ways. Consumer index was up, double-digit inflation ran wild and aerobic activity was in. We Americans discovered minivans and camcorders and shopped till we dropped. We got serious about takeout, got silly over Michael Jackson’s moon walk and hit the road to Disney World where we promptly forgot about aerobics and hogged down on chili dogs, Coke and southern fried anything.

It was the era of Olympic gold-medalist Dorothy Hamill. She captured our hearts with her soaring salchow, fabulous lutz, and the wedge cut to her hair that lifted like a sleek cap of silken feathers as she leaped over the ice, but then settled back obediently as she landed.

Farrah Fawcett Poster (Charlie's Angels)Image by Hobo! via Flickr

Around us, government stumbled on the leavings of a hated war and then faulted in near disarray. Terrorists took us hostage and hostile takeovers haunted the halls of business. There was the criminal rise of polyester, millions of leisure suits of the wretched stuff. Wallpaper patterns were big and so were flared pants, their bottoms so hugely belled you had to wear four-inch platforms to keep them from dragging like wedding trains over the floor. In fact, just about everything was big, back then. Especially hair. Specifically, Farrah Fawcett’s hair, which went outrageously untamed in sexy posters on nearly every teenage boy’s bedroom wall.

If you were around in the 70s, you were part of the developing culture of discovery … which is to say, you had mastered discovering things you couldn’t live without. Designer jeans, People magazine, hair dryers, guacamole, fondue, quiche. Plus you were entertaining. Coiffed in a full but smooth flip, moving about the kitchen in your hostess caftan and bare feet, you were putting together party dishes your mother never heard of, and doing them in record time with the help of pre-mixed, pre-marinated, pre-cooked everything.

But through all of this, all along your journey, you were learning the nuts and bolts of food. How things went together and met the palate; how they blended or collided to the nose and how they looked on the plate –– all of this was sinking in. Even that there was value to food that went beyond the appetite to impact health (something your mother had known and tried to stress) was beginning to sink in.

Antipasto Platter - Yarra Glen Cafe and Store ...Image by avlxyz via Flickr

Beautiful you. You were becoming a cook.
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