Saturday, January 25, 2014

Herbicide recipes

I am not usually surprised to see cookbooks put out to advertise a particular product. I love my Jif and Campbell's cookbooks, and know that even Betty Crocker's numerous books are advertising the brand. I was a little surprised to realize that The Soybean Cookbook (1974) is actually put out by Amchem Products, Inc., makers of a soybean herbicide called Amiben. This may be my first advertising cookbook that never calls for the item being advertised to be used as an ingredient. (Amiben casserole, anyone?) Since the alternative is herbicide-laced recipes, stuffing soybeans into everything starts to look a bit better.

Well, maybe. Even though it's not full of Amiben, I'm still not sure I'd plan to have a bunch of friends over to eat this dip at a party:


This seems to me like the dip a band of aliens would come up with if left to their own devices. They might look through a bunch of dip recipes, observe the types of things people generally put into dip, and then just throw them all together without any real understanding of the goal to make dip taste good. Zorg sees a bean dip recipe and decides any beans will do as a base. Why not soy? Gamadjin sees a chili con queso dip and keeps the cheese. Then Mojitar is checking out a vintage Weight Watchers recipe and decides everything needs a liberal dose of dry milk powder, while Choxub  sees a deviled ham dip and insists they need chopped meat too. They mash it all up with sweet pickle relish, salad dressing, a bit of onion and pepper, and of course whatever mind control compound they intend to use to enslave the human race. Then they wonder who tipped the humans off because those wily humans stubbornly refuse to eat the dip they worked so hard on.

Although I have been hard on soy desserts before, these look a bit better in comparison to the dip-by-alien-committee.


When I saw "Elliott's B-nut Pie," my mind instantly turned to butternut squash for the "b-nut." That might be pretty similar to a pumpkin pie, using butternut puree in pumpkin's place? But of course, this is a book about soybeans, not squash. I'm actually not sure what b-nut stands for, though. It's clearly the roasted soy, so maybe it's short for "bean-nut," since "Elliott's Soybean Pie" does not sound particularly appetizing. Since this is supposed to taste like pecan pie, I'm not sure why one wouldn't just make pecan pie instead. Amchem may want us to eat more soybeans, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to swap pecans for soybeans just to help them out.

The same goes for soybean brittle and chocolate covered soybeans. Peanuts aren't that expensive and I'll bet they taste way better in this application. To re-appropriate Hank Hill's observation about Christian rock, they're not making soybeans better. They're just making dessert worse.

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