What I am about to say may shock those who do not know me. I do not cook. There. I said it. It's on the table and out in the open. To say I have never cooked is unfair. But I can count the number of times I have cooked on one hand. No exaggeration. In some cases the food came out great (roast pork tacos) and in other cases it was pure disaster (baked pasta casserole). Needless to say, Mr. B and I eat out a lot.
I read a story in the LA Times entitled "Historic Appeal" that talked about Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections who attempted to recreate the Grapefruit Cake from the now defunct historic Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood. Gordon's recipe accompanies the article which states that she "...worked hard to research the confection’s history. Eventually, she honed in on a recipe that both honors the spirit of the classic while adding new vitality with fresh ingredients."
The photo of the grapefruit cake in all its pastel glory called to me. The article intrigued me. And it got me thinking, as it did with Valerie, about other historic recipes that were lost at the close of many other legendary L.A. restaurants. So what happens when you are home recuperating from surgery? With the internet and a credit card you go shopping. And that is exactly what I did. I located a couple of vintage cookbooks and at the click of a button later they will be arriving on my doorstep in a few days. My goal is to make that grapefruit cake. Maybe it will inspire so much more. Maybe it won't. I will keep you posted.
Grapefruit cake photo by Amy Neunsinger via LA Times