Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hallmark for the holidays

I don't know the age of today's booklet, but it's so cute I had to share:

"The Hallmark Book of Holiday Recipes" packs its 20 pages with drawings by Antoine Richard Crul. (I love the "crazy holly" on the cover-- with its single holly leaf paired with evergreen sprigs and ornament "berries" of varying sizes and colors.)

This booklet lists several main dishes, each paired with a complementary stuffing or side. I imagine a lot of people would like this one for Christmas:

Considering the popularity of Chinese food on Christmas, an orange duck seems like the perfect centerpiece-- as long as it's not smiling at anyone.

As usual, though, the whole sweet-and-savory bit is lost on me. I love traditional stuffing with celery and poultry seasoning. I can imagine a good orange-flavored bread pudding. Try slamming the two together, and I can't get past the idea of oranges with poultry seasoning...

For families that love Thanksgiving, there is always the turkey option:

The name "Connoisseur Stuffing" makes me wonder whether turkeys are known for their excellent taste, or whether this is just a sneaky way of making fun of any connoisseurs one might invite to the holiday table.

Okay, I know the title is meant to suggest that people with refined taste will like the stuffing, but it looks pretty standard to me-- bread, celery, onions, poultry seasoning, parsley, mushrooms. Maybe connoisseurs are crazy for turkey liver, as that seems like the most unusual addition?

Based on the number of molded salads, I'd guess this is probably from the '60s or early '70s. Of course there are plenty that look just fine-- fruity gelatin, pineapple, cranberries, and/or strawberries, sour cream, etc. You know I'll give you the aspic, then, since there is not really a huge market for tomato-flavored gelatin anymore:

Tomato juice! Chopped onion and celery leaves! Brown sugar! Bay leaves and cloves! Sliced green olives! Why go for the dessert-y salads when you could have this instead?

Those sweet salads might be a better bet for dessert than the actual desserts anyway.... While this booklet doesn't include the perennially-hated fruitcake... transforms that cake into an even stickier, more concentrated pie form. We all knew the real problem with the original fruitcake was that it was nowhere near dense enough.

Fruitcake isn't the only traditional sweet that gets a makeover, though:

The Angel's Halo Cake answers that ancient theological question: What do angels do with their halos? We now know that halos are great for storing mincemeat! Who knew?

I wonder if mincemeat is standard, or if angels get to pick their halo filling. I think Reese's peanut butter cups would be the better way to go-- unless there's no refrigeration in halos. I wouldn't want melted peanut butter and chocolate in my hair.

There's something to think about this week: What food makes the best halo filling?


  1. Gorgeous illustrations! Love the precarious knives just hanging out w/ the oranges

    1. The pictures do emphasize knives more than one might expect. Maybe not the best choice of illustration for a time of family togetherness, especially considering how much family members can drive each other crazy....

  2. Ooo, a whole 1/8 teaspoon of pepper on that turkey! I'll have to warn those bringing their children to this year's dinner!

    1. I hope you remember to use the pre-ground kind too. Don't go crazy with freshly-ground, or someone could get hurt!