The Gay of Cooking
Recipres from "The Kitchen Fairy" & friends
Los Angeles, 1983
The Gay Of Cooking was originally published in Laguna Beach in 1982 (with a second edition in 1983). It may also be one of the first, widely-published gay community cookbook in the US. While the contributors are mostly anonymous, including the primary author who published the book under "The Kitchen Fairy", the introduction describes; “[a] collection of recipes gathered from kitchen queens I have known and loved". The book is bawdy and jubilant about food, sex, and language! The title itself is a twist on the famous Joy of Cooking.
This book is a reminder that the “community” in a community cookbook can form in all sorts of ways, sometimes out of necessity. At the time of this book’s publishing, there was a vibrant Gay scene in Southern California. And yet, the AIDs crisis serves as a backdrop to this publication as well. In September, 1982, The CDC used the term AIDS for the first time.
The 1983 edition of The Gay of Cooking is dedicated, in part, "in memory of Mother Ron and Thomasina". This dedication reminds me there are many histories imbedded in these recipes, which I do not know. I'm always hopeful, in re-sharing and digitizing these older books, that new stories and remembrances will emerge. Perhaps that will be the case here!
The book has a campy and seminal precursor in The Gay Cookbook by Lou Rand Hogan (pseudonym of Louis Randall), published in 1965 in Los Angeles.
“Bottoms Up Cake” / “Straight Talk: Upside Down Cake”
I made this cake as part of a recipe submission to my friend Ben Evan’s cake recipe project, in honor of the AIDS IS… AIDS AIN’T 40 project
I adapted this recipe into a vegan version, with successful results. Details below.
2 tablespoons dairy-free butter (Melted)
1 cup brown sugar
10–12 peach slices (fresh or very well-drained canned):
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup plant-based milk
1/4 cup blended fresh peaches or juice from the can
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar