Family Chronicles: Everyday Celebrations

By Lucia Dewey Atwood

Food was an important part of Charles and Ray’s daily living, one element in living a beautiful life in which details were appreciated. Always fresh and beautifully presented, it was a part of the welcome for visitors that made visits to the Eameses memorable. Elegant, even stunning, it was always perfectly suited to the occasion and the guest… but perhaps less well known is that it could simply be fun.

As children, when visiting Charles and Ray, we eagerly anticipated days filled with surprises and always… amazing sweets. An early visit with my older sister and brother set the bar high: a breakfast of Rice Krispies over ice cream. I remember vividly the exhilarating shock and disbelief, as our mother grinned.

Through the years, we would be offered cookies and cakes, amazing creations by their cook Maria. They were shared with family, friends and colleagues, and celebrated in photos such as the one above. Cakes were usually chocolate (at least when we visited); cookies, flavorful but not overly sweet. We hope you enjoy these two favorite recipes from a well-used cookbook: Viennese Cooking.

In the 1980s, after attending an event with Ray, we would return to the Eames House and sit at the kitchen table. Lit only by candles, reflections flickering against the surrounding glass, the meadow’s quiet only occasionally disturbed by crashing waves, we enjoyed desert and coffee for me and tea for Ray. Chocolate, of course: our shared passion, and always beautifully made. As always, a perfect welcome.


Chocolate Cake:

Peppernut Cookies: