Today is a treat because I can post about a book I've been putting off for quite a while:
I got a new all-in-on printer for Christmas, one with a SERIOUS scanning bed, so I knew it was finally time to bust this baby out!
I love, love, love this book for the late '50s/ early '60s illustrations. Just the pages in the front cover give a sense of the book's feel:
Where else will you see a teal lobster, a harvest gold dutch oven, a bottle of Chianti against an avocado backdrop, brown pheasants and ducks behind a black gun silhouette, and a robin's egg blue pineapple? (That's a rhetorical question, but if you do have an actual answer that is something besides "The inside cover of your book," let me know!)
There are TONS of full-color photographs inside. Some of them seem a bit surreal:
Some of the pictures make me think more of horror movies than of dinner.
Duck viewers, of course, may even mistake this for the dinner scene from Louisiana Twelve-Gauge Massacre, expecting Featherface to show up at any minute....
And just in case you think the theme of "trophy food dangling limply over its prepared compatriots" theme is limited to animals, let me set you straight:
Yep! It's heads on pikes! Right over bowls full of their dismembered buddies! Okay, they're heads of lettuce, along with bunches of other greens and green onions, but I can't get past the idea of heads on pikes.
(You get a sense of how enormous this book is, too. I couldn't even fit two full pages side-by-side in my massive new scanner...)
Since the editors want this to be seen as a relatively sophisticated collection, there is of course the requisite selection of flaming foods:
If you want fire, we have everything from a flaming fruitcake (top row, second from left-- and suggesting a great idea to re-purpose that fruitcake you didn't want: use it instead of a log on the fire!) to flaming punch and sundaes (far right, top), to flaming duck (far right, front). My favorite is almost dead center: a cabbage covered in meatballs with flame shooting out of the center. What kind of occasion calls for flaming cabbage covered in meat balls? A St. Patrick's Day celebration in Sweden? An occasion on which Cabbage Patch dolls are sacrificed to appease a volcano god? Your guess is as good as mine, but if you do think of such an occasion, here is the recipe:
Here's hoping your Wednesday doesn't go down in flames or get impaled on a pike!