Ah, food of the early 1960's: red meat, hearts of palm salad, jello molds and stuffed mushrooms. Yeah, I wasn't alive then, either. But as a food-obsessed fan of Mad Men, I love peeking into Betty's kitchen and Don's fancy business lunches to find out what those rye-soaked characters are eating.
Season 4 opens just as the holiday season is starting. Oh joy! What dreaded Thanksgiving dish does Sally spit out in front of Betty's new MIL? And what does Roger serve at the company holiday party? I'm so glad you asked ...
First, let's talk about that Thanksgiving dinner. At the end of Season 3, Betty Draper dumped her husband Don and married silver fox Harry Francis. In Season 4,Betty and the kids share Thanksgiving dinner with Harry's family. I see the classics: bread rolls, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and oh, yes, every kid's favorite -- sweet potatoes with marshmallows. When Betty tries to force her daughter Sally to eat some Sally spits them out, gagging. Oh yeah, it's on, Sally and Betty.
Meanwhile, back at the office, Peggy schemes to help the agency keep a client, Sugarberry Ham. Her brilliant idea: hire two actresses to fight over a Sugarberry ham at the grocery store -- probably one of those sugar cured hams. It's a smashing success until the actresses start fighting for real and have to be paid hush money. Can you imagine a ham so good "it's worth fighting over" -- as Peggy's imagined slogan goes?
In Episode 2, consumer research rep Dr. Fay Miller lets the staff take chocolate chip cookies from a glass cookie jar as a reward for answering her very personal questionnaire. Don is willing to go without cookies in order to protect his privacy. (Tough guy -- I would give up my social security number for the right chocolate chip cookie.)
The fun goes on at the agency's holiday party! When a major client RSVPs, partner Roger Sterling commands that the party's rating go "from convalescent home to Roman orgy." Joan the office manager decrees "New York Food -- deli and Chinese." And so, sterno cans are lit beneath the chafing dishes. The buffet is decorated with popcorn balls, candy canes, yule log cakes, and Christmas cookies of all kinds. I'm sure I'm not the first to say I need to throw a Mad Men-themed party.
Back at Peggy's house, Sally's friend Glen decides to make the decision to move houses easier for the family by vandalizing their home with food. Breakfast cereal (Cheerios?) and jam on the counter, eggs on the beds! Sally's room is spared, but Glen leaves a signature lanyard on her pillow.