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Barbecuing like a mad man

August 28, 2009 |  8:51 am

Even though Angelenos can barbecue pretty much year-round, there are only two official summer weekends left. Which means it might be time to break out the grill for a final seasonal hurrah.

To make like Don Draper in his best daddy mode, get a chef's hat, apron and gloves -- and an appropriately vintage cookbook. The three above are available on EBay now. "Big Boy Barbecue," from 1957, does not appear to be connected to the hamburger chain, but it will help you make hamburgers. It's listed at $2.50. "Jim Beard's Barbecue Cookbook" (1959), is going for $3.99, and includes a "special summertime bar guide." The all-too-timely "It's Fun to Barbecue ... and Economical Too" was published in 1962 and is the least economical of the trio at $9.99.

The price for a basic vintage barbecue cookbook tops out at about $10. They can be found on EBay, on Alibris and Abebooks, and in many local used bookstores.

If hamburgers can make a comeback as a cuisine, we can certainly cook them the throwback way. And if you want to try Jack Lemmon's barbecue sauce -- from one of my vintage cookbooks -- it's after the jump.

Jack Lemmon's barbecue sauce from "Cook With the Stars" published by radio station KMPC, circa 1963.

3 cups catsup
chili powder, or 3 chopped chili peppers
1 tsp English mustard
1 tsp black pepper (freshly ground is best)
1 tbs worchestershire sauce
1 whole garlic clove, minced
1 halved onion, medium size
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 bay leaf
1 healthy slug of a sharp salad dressing
3/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 lb. of butter

Mix and bring to boil. Simmer one hour. Remove onion and bay leaf before serving hot -- and serve it on anything!

-- Carolyn Kellogg