Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It won't be any bother if you stay for lunch (and I might go insane if you don't)....

Last Wednesday we had some Southern hospitality that didn't look very hospitable at all, so this week we are looking at a book on an all-out nice offensive. It is determined to be nice, gosh darn it.

The title pleads, "STAY for LUNCH." The phrases in the background endearingly reassure "really no trouble at all" and "it's the companionship that counts."

Some of them get a little desperate, especially toward the end, from "hate to eat alone" to the simple "stay," huddled in its corner, making the recipients of the invitation feel as if it will be their fault if the rebuffed host is later committed to the psych ward after being found alone at home, chatting incoherently with the wallpaper while wearing nothing but an apron.

Who is so hospitable that they might go insane if their offers are turned down? This book is from the members of the Crippled Children's Hospital and School Auxiliary in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (8th printing, Feb. 1974).

It might be a bit easier to talk people into staying if this were not presented as the ideal party dish, though:

Maybe guests are less concerned about putting the host out with all the extra work of a lunch guest and more concerned about having to act thrilled to be eating a half box of crushed Triscuits layered with canned asparagus, water chestnuts, tuna, cream of mushroom soup, and Miracle Whip. I'm sure the "Unusual and easy!" headnote is accurate, but it doesn't say anything about this being good.

Another contributor dressed her contribution up with a snazzy title:

...a title that suggests perhaps she is not clear on the definition of "sophisticate," a word that I never envisioned paired with "chipped beef." Apparently in her mind, "sophisticate" means "in macaroni and cheese with some green peppers and mushrooms."

Actually, though, mac 'n cheese with peppers and mushrooms doesn't sound bad at all. I could support an alternate definition like that-- especially if it just skipped the chipped beef.

I'm less flexible on the definition of "mousse," however. In my mind, chocolate mousse is the ONLY proper use of the word "mousse," and this recipe does little to disabuse me of that idea:

Grated cucumbers suspended in a Worcestershire sauce/ mayo/ whipped cream gelatin have no business calling themselves a mousse!

I am kind of amused by the picture, though, which looks like a slightly crushed fez that has lost its tassel.

And now, as I gaze upon the recipes I've shared (and more I have stored away for later), I realize that I have been conned into sitting down and staying for a while. Stay for Lunch got me to stay after all! Crafty little devil....


  1. So a cookbook written by a psychotic person w/ active delusions? I mean that cover alone is INSANE.

    Love the cucumber mousse drawing, it looks like a floating island :D

    1. It's a community cookbook, so everybody there is insane!