Tag: mad men

Steamed Cranberry Pudding: A Sweet Ghost Story



As Baltimore writer Sheri Venema reacquainted herself with her mother’s quaint church cookbook, she pondered “a time when a woman became a suffix to her husband” — once her baking was done, she realized much more.

The recipe for Steamed Cranberry Pudding did not speak to me at first. The directions seemed too cryptic: Waxed paper? Tin cans? Also, the tattered cookbook in which I found the recipe originated in the long-ago kitchens of women in my childhood church, and it seemed laden with dishes predictable and dull.

Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Miracle Cheese Cake (lemon Jell-O with cream cheese and sugar).

Oven Barbecue (Spam, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce).

Typed on a manual typewriter and then Xeroxed and bound with cheap plastic coil, the cookbooks were sold to raise money for a church society. My copy long ago lost its red cover. I sometimes took it out of its protective Ziploc bag to find a cookie recipe, but mostly I felt superior to this little book with its stains and misspellings. Clearly it came from a time when cream of mushroom soup and oleo ruled every kitchen in my neighborhood, and I had walked away from the Midwestern housewifery prescribed in its pages. I owned a wok and a Silver Palate cookbook. I made my own hummus. 

Mad Men Mania!


The premiere of Mad Men, Season 5 is Sunday night at 9 and to get you in the mood for your viewing party, we have a few videos to share.  First, above, our favorite, the classic “Don Says, ‘What?'”


Next, at trailer, of sorts, from the AMC website. It gives away nothing, but whets the appetite.

Lastly, a silly game that was released a few days ago.

Be sure to read Baltimore Sun TV Critic David Zurawik’s review of the season five opener.

Are you throwing a viewing party in Baltimore? Where?



Boudoir Photo Sessions Get a "Mad Men" Makeover


Ever thought about having some professional — and personal — photos taken of yourself to share with the one you love?

Mary Gardella, a Savage-based photographer for Love Life Images, is shooting 40-minute special boudoir sessions inspired by a “Mad Men” theme. Former photojournalist Gardella has partnered with Amie Decker Beauty for the pre-portrait makeup and hairstyling.

Being sensitive to how revealed her clients might feel, Gardella creates a relaxing environment complete with “little sets, a bit of Hollywood lighting, mood music and champagne.” Gardella says, “Like actors, once you’re in your ‘costumes’ you start to take on this personality.”

The “Mad Men” theme is another way to get women thinking outside of the box about ways they can feel more glamorous. Gardella says, “Add vintage to the mix and you get to explore another time and place.” Gardella, who’s a Film Noir fan, “loves the drama that lighting can add to a scene.”

After the shoot, the women will receive a lookbook of their best photos that they can share with their special someone. The photo sessions take place March 2-3, but I’m sure an I-owe-you Valentine’s Day card mentioning a sexy album would make any man happy. A select amount of the $450 sessions are still available.

Wondering what you’d wear for this occasion? Gardella recommends some Maryland shops, including The Bottom Drawer and A’ La Mode. Want some vintage looks without looking in public? Gardella suggests internet shopping at Dollhouse Bettie or Lucy B.

From my experience — okay, experiences — with boudoir photos, the fun is in the playful accessories. I’d browse some thrift stores beforehand for pin-up style tchotchkes like life rings from ships or pastel-colored rotary dial phones.

Mid-Century Modern’s Moment

Mid-century modern is having a moment. “Mid-century modern” means everything decorative from the mid-20th century, including furniture, decorative objects, fabric and even interior designers from that period. (Think Billy Baldwin, Dorothy Draper, Sister Parrish, David Hicks, Tony Duquette.) You know those guys were good when you see spaces they did in 1962, and you have trouble deciphering whether it’s David Hicks or David Easton. Their impact is unmatched in interior design.
Mid-century is an obsession we’ve had for the past five years, even before the “Mad Men” hysteria. But Don Draper has gotten under our skin and obsession has been upgraded to addiction. We scour the market for anything that looks like it belongs to Betty. When we decorate a room, we find it looks naked without at least a 1950’s Murano glass lamp or a black lacquered Paul McCobb chest of drawers. We spend hours on 1st Dibs salivating over Paul Laszlo light fixtures that resemble those in Roger Sterling’s office, or geometric screens that look hauntingly like the one in Pete Campbell’s apartment.
The allure and glamour of Betty and Don has re-ignited the mid-century modern movement, but many are still shy about incorporating the retro look into their home. We suggest starting small, maybe a lamp or small Danish chair. But beware! Once you add one piece, you WILL want more…and then you will discover 1st Dibs and Center 44, both amazing online sources for mid-century everything. Then you’ll watch “Mad Men” with a whole new perspective. It’s really just a weekly fix for those of us with the shameful addiction.