All photos/art by Heath Robbins
In 1936 Yankee ran an ad for a hotel in Boston, on swanky Commonwealth Avenue no less, offering rooms for $3.50 a night (a suite was $7). Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a good sandwich for $7. Things change. Prices certainly do, but in our months of poring over Yankee’s archives to cull recipe highlights for this anniversary issue, we found that the more things change, the more they remain the same.
We did notice certain trends, of course: In the 1940s, home cooks used a lot of mayonnaise and molded gelatin, and in the 1950s the frankfurter got a lot of play. We saw some clunkers, such as the “Dixie Ham Pop,” an artery-clogging concoction of shortening, ham, butter, mayonnaise, and–hang on–peanut butter. (We declined to test that one for any number of reasons.) Much to our delight, however, we discovered that throughout our seven and a half decades of food coverage, Yankee has always been committed to seasonal, local foods. Some of the earliest stories celebrated the harvest with root-vegetable recipes, late-summer blueberries, and all kinds of seafood, from shad roe to mussels. Maple syrup was a constant, as were brown bread, boiled dinners, and preserves.
In our research, we came across so many intriguing and delicious dishes that we thought a cookbook was in order. Come October 5, Yankee’s Best New England Recipes will be available on newsstands and through our Web site, YankeeMagazine.com. In the meantime, here’s a sampling of classic Yankee dishes we’d be happy to serve up anytime, anywhere.