Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fakin' it in Florida

The cover claims this is Polk-Pourri:

It looks more like an urn that would rapidly start to smell very, very bad to me. Layer the fish on top of the pigs and mutant-sized geese and crabs, and you will have an unforgettable (and unavoidable) odor in no time.

Polk-Pourri was a fundraising book for the Polk Public Museum of Lakeland, Florida (1979). As I flipped through the pages, I found a lot of recipes that mirrored the cover, in that they were not exactly what they claimed to be.

For the main course, how about some Chicken Kiev? Are you imagining a crispy crumb-coated chicken cutlet hiding a luscious herb butter center? Well, that ain't Chicken Kiev in Lakeland.

Their Chicken Kiev (titled "My Chicken Kiev," but I don't want you to mistake the "my" as referring to your humble author!) is something like a hoity-toity version of shit on a shingle, sans the shingle. The dried beef is wrapped with cheese inside the chicken breasts, which are then wrapped in limp, flabby bacon and baked in mushroom-soup-and-sour-cream sauce. It's just like Chicken Kiev, in the same way that Green Bean Casserole is just like Haricots Verts in herbed butter.

To balance out that heavy main course, let's turn to the vegetable section for a side dish.

Okay, there's nothing bad about Cheddar Cheese Noodle Pudding. It's Butter, cheese, noodles, and sour cream all baked into a gooey, cheesy casserole. It is genuinely in the chapter for vegetables, though, which makes me think that Lakeland has a very elastic definition of "vegetable" as well.

How about we just get some dessert?

Good old Elmer's Corn Cookies... with sugar, eggs, quick oats, Rice Krispies, coconut, and... no corn. Mr. LeRoy T. Swanson might want to know who the hell Elmer is too, while we're at it.

I guess I'll just leave you with a nice illustration instead of a recipe.

Maybe it's the fact that Mickey and friends seem to be part of some fever dream (and is Mickey flipping me off?), but I don't think this picture was officially sanctioned by Disney.

Nothing is what it seems.


  1. Why do I get the feeling this cookbook had a significant contribution from recreational drugs? I get the feeling that it would all make sense to someone who was just a little high.

  2. Oh my word! Love the faux Disney ripoff illustrations, that speaks volumes about the quality of these recipes ;-)

    1. Yeah-- that is a pretty great page! Worth the price of admission on its own.