Young Betty Jingo's seventh-grade Social Studies class is doing a unit on The Sixties. As the end of the school year approaches and they close out their curriculum, seriousness in the approach to the subject matter wanes a bit.
Her History teacher, who is far too young to have experienced that decade at anything like first hand, and who shows signs of being quite fuzzy about the chronology -- she seems to labor under the impression that Elvis Presley was quite the Lion in '62 -- has decided they shall have a Sixties Party to celebrate.
She's given the kids the assignment of bringing in Sixties food for the party -- "Ask your parents; they'll know."
Sixties food. Hmm... Bit of a poser. To me, the Sixties was spent in the glory of my mother's stunning cookery -- the memory of her oxtail soups, moussaka, pot roasts, exquisitely herbed roast chicken provoke Homeric drooling even now. And since she's still with us, producing dishes of equal and superior fabulousness, it's not as if 1967 was les Temps Perdues.
I know less discriminating chefs were doing things with hot-dog slices entrapped forever, like mosquitoes in amber, in lurid psychedelic hues of Jell-o and whipped cream, that Fluffernutter debuted somewhere in the middle of that mess, and that cottage cheese enjoyed an inexplicable vogue, but I hardly think it's fair to subject the poor things to any of that.
A vodka martini, shaken, not stirred, sounds scrumptious, but those tiresome Carrie Nations down at the School Board would probably reduce Jingo Acres to flinders with their axes. Best not to poke that particular sleeping dog.
After racking our brains for a bit -- Tang? Swanson Hungry Man Dinners? Campbell's Soup? (Warhol, you know) -- Wonder Woman snapped her fingers. You could see the lightbulb (drawn by R. Crumb) over her head.
Let's see who has a sense of humor, eh?
(I vetoed her idea to put oregano in the batter. Too many bad memories....)