Happy Cookbook Wednesday! This week my cookbook will transport us back to the late '70s, when microwaves were still like skintight metallic dresses on an old sci-fi show: a vision of the "future" that's more a reflection of the actual present than most people would recognize.
Litton's Meal-In-One Microwave Cooking (1978) postulates that people of "the future" won't have as much time to cook (true), so they will cook traditional full meals using only the microwave (not generally true), rather than, say, getting dinner from a drive-thru window, grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store on the way home, or stockpiling frozen entrees to heat as needed.
In fact, they hope people of the future will cook all kinds of full meals in the microwave-- not just quick after-school dinners. The editors are committed to this idea.
Families who want a holiday dinner to look like this will only need the ingredients, an Oven Meal Variable Power Microwave oven (Ask for it by name!), and a little less than an hour.
The full instructions are handily grouped together:
The asterisk after "Gala Feast" made me look for a footnote warning that this was not really gala or a feast, but I discovered it just means that some of the food will need to be added partway through the full cooking time.
Is this indeed a gala feast? I'm sure that standing rib roast and parsley-butter new potatoes sound pretty good, but keep in mind they're microwaved. No searing or brown, crackly bits on the roast. The potatoes are microwave steamed (which in my experience usually leads to them shriveling and being a bit gummy), not roasted and perhaps caramelized in the roast's juices. At least the parsley butter will give them a little help.
This is a pretty standard flavored butter recipe. I included it because I love the head note in blue: "Fats attract microwaves." Now I know that here "microwave" refers to the frequency, but I like to imagine that it means the ovens. By that logic, I could leave a stick of butter on the counter and a bevy of microwave ovens might show up to admire it. (Is "bevy" the correct term for a group of microwaves? Or are they more like crows-- a murder of microwaves?)
And what's for dessert? "Fruit Melange" sounds sophisticated.
Maybe the orange-flavored liqueur is enough to make it sophisticated-- if you can accept that canned fruit mixed with marmalade, prunes, and coconut is made sophisticated by the addition of liqueur.
From the distant future-- the year 2015!-- I can say the meal-in-one microwave cooking style did not catch on the way this book imagined, but at least their imaginings bring me some amusement.
This post is part of Louise's Cookbook Wednesday.