Saturday, June 20, 2015

Have a jellied soup and canned eggplant weekend

Summer officially begins tomorrow! I personally follow the meteorological seasons, which means that my summer started weeks ago on June 1. I've been living it up in summer while you chumps were still stuck in spring! Tomorrow, though, you will catch up with me, so I picked a summer menu from the Family Circle Quick Menu Cookbook by Jean Hewitt (1978) for you to celebrate.

The theme, in case you missed it, is "Fix Ahead for Outdoor Enjoyment." Let's start with the soup:

I'm not sure what makes Jellied Tomato and Zucchini Soup a soup, per se, as onion and zucchini chunks trapped in a tomato juice and chicken broth gelatin would usually be considered a salad by vintage cookbook standards. The garnish of chopped parsley further cements its "salad" status in my mind. Maybe it's the fact that this is broken into small pieces and served in chilled glasses or bowls rather than presented as an enormous, glistening slab that makes it a soup? Maybe it's the mercifully unflavored gelatin, rather than dessert-y lemon or lime, that puts this at the soup level? Your guess is as good as mine.

The Moussaka Burgers are also a bit puzzling:

The burgers are mixed with "eggplant appetizer"? I wasn't quite sure what that meant, but apparently "eggplant appetizer" is '70s-speak for caponata. At least, I'm assuming that's what they meant and not the even-more-puzzling canned stuffed eggplant. So if you want canned eggplant, celery, tomatoes, onions, olives, and perhaps occasional pit fragments in your burger (The specter of impending dental bills can spice up a burger...), this is the one for you! You will have to measure out 9.5 ounces of caponata on your own, too, as it looks as if the 4.75 ounce cans this recommends are hard to find today.

The cole slaw is a pretty standard cole slaw, and the frozen papaya cream works with the caponata to make this an especially exotic menu for the '70s:

Have an exotic weekend! Just try to dodge any pits.

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