Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Still life with citrus peel roses and a hot dog mess

Today we have the final installment of the series of Home Cooking recipes from the thrift store baggie.

Women's Circle Home Cooking from January 1977 certainly looks fancy, with its crown roast encircled by parsley and orange peel roses-- so you know those are not the recipes I'm going to show you! My picks don't exactly cry out for taper candles in gold holders and a weird orange terrarium-style centerpiece.

Even though the cover features the very seasonally-appropriate citrus, the magazine itself has an extended section on cider. Maybe one of the editors thought she was working on the October issue? Or maybe, given the wintry theme of a few of the recipes, she was trying to extend cider season well into the new year. Still trying to use up leftover Christmas ham?

Why not serve it with hard cooked eggs, celery, and whipped cream in jiggly little cider cups-- well, besides the obvious reason that it sounds like a lot of work for something that will end up being disgusting anyway?

Or what if you miss the holiday cheer of eggnog and can't quite justify breaking out the decadent cream, freshly-grated nutmeg, and rum or bourbon or whatever booze helps make the holidays more bearable? Well, there's always this:

Cider Eggnog! The New Year's way to feel virtuous about getting salmonella, without any of the cheer of actual eggnog.

New Year's is a time for parties, so there is a nice spread about feeding a crowd:

There's nothing disgusting in here. Who doesn't love noodles or crackers or turnovers? The thing that kills me is that so much of the "cooking for a crowd" section is things that I would never consider cooking for a crowd in the first place. I thought it would be recipes for enormous casseroles or side dishes, but we get recipes for homemade noodles and crackers! I don't think I'm alone in saying that if I had to feed a crowd, I'd buy a few damn bags of egg noodles. I wouldn't worry about making fresh ones. Same thing with chips/ crackers. Why spend hours on homemade Crackle Thins when a few boxes of Ritz and a bag or two of Fritos would make the crowd at least as happy?

We all know that the new year is a busy time, what with getting back to work and school, so my favorite recipe comes from the "Instant Cooking for People on the Go" section:

(Please note that I do not advocate cooking while diving, skiing, or shooting, although it might be OK while fishing if it's a slow day...)

If you're in a real hurry, spend a half hour or so to make some Frankfurters a la Cling!

No, they're not hot dogs with really bad static cling brought on by the cold, dry January conditions. They're wieners cooked in, essentially, peach pie filling, because who hasn't had a juicy slice of peach pie and thought, "You know, the only thing that could possibly make this better would be to get rid of the buttery, golden crust and pack this puppy full of processed meat!"?

The nice thing about this casserole is its wide range of serving sizes, feeding as many as 12 diners-- and maybe even more, depending on just how averse to this hot dog mess the eaters are.

I hope your new year is going well enough so far. If not, just make Minced Ham in Cider Cups or Frankfurters a la Cling, and whatever else happens will look good by comparison!