Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Raisin invasion, with a cocktail chaser

Since June is supposedly the month to get married and Alcoa didn't have any stunning foil-based wedding suggestions (kinda surprised they didn't take the opportunity to suggest brides might look awesome in a really shiny but fragile dress!), let's go for "The Newlywed Game" Cook Book (Jody Cameron Malis, 1971).

The cover suggests the recipes might offer up a way to grill and/or steam Bob Eubanks's head with some seriously over-sized eggplant. (Read into that what you will.) I never found the recipe for Eubanks à l'Aubergine, though.

The book does have some "helpful" hints, such as suggesting that new brides set up a special meeting with the mother-in-law to find out what hubby likes. (It's useless to actually ask him, as apparently men would say they liked everything and leave wives to endless rounds of trial and error. It's amazing how monolithic and annoying men's behavior was in the 1970s!)

The top of the page has the real clue to the book's contents. See all that fruit? Jody Cameron Malis apparently believed it belonged in pretty much everything (I guess because marriage was supposed to be sweet?).

Her special favorite seems to be raisins. As if the pervasive chop suey recipes from the '50s and '60s weren't bad enough, this recipe adds raisins to the onion, celery, canned mushrooms, and bean sprout concoction:

I wasn't thrilled with traditional chop suey, but compared to the sweet raisins and honey version, the classic sounds much better.

And speaking of weird raisin-and-veggie combos, how about Tangy Sting Beans?

Boil string beans for a half-hour(!), then serve in a raisin-and-vinegar sauce. Oh boy!

You'd think at least a classic combo like ham and cheese would be safe from the raisin treatment...

...but you would be wrong. At least Cheese and Ham Whiz doesn't call for pureeing the ham (as the "whiz" in the name made me fear it might), but it ruins a ham, cheese, and rice casserole (one that sounds as if I would like it more than I really should) by dumping in the raisins.

Not everything gets the raisin treatment. Remember how popular it was to throw cans of fruit cocktail into everything in the 1950s?

Jody Cameron Malis did! So if you've ever wanted a cream of chicken and fruit cocktail casserole, Fruit Chicken Dish has you covered.

I just look at the weird coupling and wonder how it happened in the first place. Did cream of chicken soup and fruit cocktail get really drunk in Vegas and make some very bad decisions? Is this dinner meant to represent all the couples on The Newlywed Game who would never last? So many questions... and so few answers as to why the book insists on marrying fruit to pretty much everything.


  1. It's raining raisins, aka nature's candy, aka disgusting nubs of wrinkled grapes

    1. The only thing I like about raisins is that Grandpa used to tell me they were dead bugs. Sometimes I'd eat raisin bran at my grandparents' house just so he'd tell me there were bugs in my cereal. (I was a weird kid.)