Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Yet another "Cook Book"

Are you ready for the third in a series of small fundraiser cookbooks creatively titled Cook Book: Favorite Recipes from Our Best Cooks?

This one is a little newer than the others. It's undated, but there's a poem from a January 1982 Dear Abby column, so I assume it's from the early '80s. It was compiled by the Bethany Club of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Farrell, Pennsylvania.

In addition to being newer than the others, it also puts the picture of the kitchen on a drawing of a cutting board rather than using it for the entire cover.

So what did the good people of 1980s Farrell like? They liked wacky pictures of food:

Either the cow with the levitating ass is REALLY small, or the pearl-wearing chicken and top-hat-doffing fish who likes to perform out of the water are REALLY big. This marks the first time I've seen a fish with eyelashes and a chicken carrying a purse. I'm also trying to figure out whether the cow has two tails or whether it has one tail on its back and the thing drifting off to the left is a particularly aromatic cow fart.

The veggies get in on the fun too:

Vegetables are apparently quite progressive, allowing inter-species marriage as the celery weds a tomato. The carrot is maybe trying to make them into a casserole, what with that rice... And of course the onion is crying like crazy, but I kind of wonder if she always does that and the wedding is just incidental. (Onions are such drama queens!)

As for the recipes, the people of Farrell are quite creative as well.

Part of me thinks the idea for Pizza Butter is kind of awesome. Just think-- instant English muffin pizzas for 4-6 weeks! And part of me thinks that three sticks of oleo (or better, BUTTER-- this isn't called Pizza Oleo after all!) will lead to really damn greasy English muffin pizzas.

Other ideas... well, they would have a hard time convincing me that they're grand:

Mix a pound each of ham and bacon with a can each of tomatoes, corn, lima beans, mushrooms, and spaghetti? Serve on toast? The idea that someone in Farrell thinks canned spaghetti and limas over toast is a "Grand Combination" makes me feel sorry for the whole town.

Even their ideas of dessert are kind of messed up. Have you ever wanted a dessert pasta salad?

Me neither, but Toots Scarmack recommends macaroni with canned pineapple and mandarin oranges in a fruit-juice-custard-and-Cool-Whip sauce.

Perhaps a nice layer cake sounds less likely to make your lip twitch as you try to resist the urge to curl it back in disgust?

How about a Cottage Cheese Layer Cake? It's basically a great big sheet of pie dough mounded high with sugared cottage cheese and coconut! Top with canned milk and Crisco icing for that extra-greasy feeling.

I will admit that this book makes me curious about the mysteries of a land where fish entertain undersized cows and veggies unite for a surreal wedding, but the recipes make me think I should just stay home.


  1. Wow! Where to start? Anthropromorphic veggies, check. Animals w/ clothes, check. Horrific meat veggie combos, check.
    My husband's grandmother makes this disgusting dessert called "Frog Eyes", it's acni pepe w/ Kool Whip & pineapple. His family is Polish so....

    1. "Frog Eyes" is a pretty good name, though! I'd write a funny name entry about it. I don't think I've come across a similar recipe so far, but I'll post if it if I see one.

      My grandma made a dessert she called "Glop." It had really big tapioca pearls with a brown sugar and pineapple sauce. "Frog Eyes" could have been a good name for that one too, and my grandpa would have thought it was hilarious.