Saturday, May 28, 2016

June--the month of creme de menthe and cabbage

It's almost June! The month when mosquitoes really start to get serious... and when my beloved sugar snap peas come out. (I would eat them by the boat-load if boats could get anywhere near my apartment.)

Speaking of mixed blessings, the upcoming month means it's that time again-- Time to check in with Glamour Magazine's New After Five Cookbook (Beverly Pepper, 1963).

So what awaits us in the month of June? To help combat the Monday blues, the first menu is brought to us by the Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things:

The first item is pretty standard: baked meat loaf topped with ketchup. Then comes broiled tomato topped, for some reason I do not fully understand, with creamed corn. Next: cabbage and apple slaw on top of more cabbage. Top it all off (Hey! Don't roll your eyes at me!) with ice cream topped with mashed defrosted raspberries, slivered almonds, and a canned peach half. That's almost enough putting things on top of other things to give a thing-topper a real sense of purpose!

If meatloaf and a downmarket version of peach melba seems a little too pedestrian, maybe Tuesday will be more to your liking:

Cold Chicken Velvet: because everyone has always wanted to know what a can of cream of chicken soup would taste like with raw egg yolks, ice cubes, and croutons. Serve it with some skewered lamb kidneys and mushrooms.

Now, the carrot and celery salad may be pretty tame compared to the rest, but keep in mind that your celery, carrots, escarole and French dressing are supposed to be garnished with sliced banana too. Then dust off that ancient bottle of creme de menthe in the back of your liquor cabinet 'cause you have to pour it over honeydew wedges for dessert.

Get ready for a deep sea adventure on Thursday:

I expected Deep-Sea Macaroni to be the dish my mom (and just about everybody else's, I think) made when we were out of everything else: whatever pasta or noodles we had on hand, a can of tuna, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and some frozen peas. (Kraft sold the orange cheese powder from their mac and cheese dinners in canisters, like their sawdust/parmesan blend. I would turn my dinner neon orange on tuna casserole nights, trying to get it down.) Anyway, this is not that recipe. Nope. This is macaroni with onions, cream of shrimp soup, tomato sauce, and mashed anchovy. Maybe that sounds good to you, but I suddenly feel a bit more favorably inclined to plain old tuna and cream of mushroom soup.

The rest of the dinner is pretty standard: peas and mushrooms (using leftover mushroom stems from Tuesday's skewers!), another carrot/ celery/ French dressing salad, this time with green pepper and onion instead of banana. I could go for some Gorgonzola and crackers, though.

And just because I'm a little ray of sunshine, here's one extra Monday:

I wanted to see what "Quickest Meat Balls" were. I thought at first they might be vegetarian "meatballs" since the recipe starts with canned mushrooms, canned wild rice, frozen peas, and a bouillon cube. (Wait-- canned wild rice? I didn't know that was even a thing, but it is, and I could try a 15-oz. can for just $3.49 plus $15.32 shipping. Methinks I shall pass on that deal.) Then I saw that all those ingredients are just supposed to go under the canned meatballs. There's no real trick to making super-quick meatballs except grabbing a damn can opener.

Plus: another French-dressed salad! Another box of defrosted berries!

So what have we learned?
  1. Even when berries are in season, always use frozen.
  2. Honeydew with creme de menthe is arguably classier than watermelon with vodka.
  3. When in doubt, dump a can of creamed corn on top.
  4. If it's hot outside, enjoy your canned soup with ice cubes!
  5. You could get almost ANYTHING from a can in the '60s. (On a related note, it is now easier to find canned cat food with wild rice in it than it is to find canned wild rice meant for human consumption.)
Have a great weekend! Now, go put some things on top of other things.


  1. I love how it specifies unbroken macaroni.

    Have a great Memorial weekend!

    1. I think macaroni used to come in long sticks. We're used to elbow macaroni now, which is already in little pieces. It seems like a weird instruction now, but it made sense at the time!

  2. As I anticipate the arrival of June, Poppy, I can honestly say there is nothing, not one thing, I would remotely consider serving from these suggestions. Nope, not even the Honeydew Menthe!

    Thanks for sharing, Poppy...

    BTW, I checked one of the Stokely books that I have and couldn't find any reference to SALADETTES. I'll keep an eye out though:)