Seriously crunched for time and trying to turn your grading game up to 11? (Is that grading part just me?) It's time for clock watchers to get a little microwave action.
My favorite thing about the recipes in this book is that so many of them include special touches... That little something extra that makes me ask, "What?"
For example, I always thought dried beef was a food of last resort, something housewives kept on hand for weeks when the money was tight or they were snowed in and couldn't get real groceries.
Here, it's the special touch, used as a sauce for the chicken. I thought if you had chicken, you would leave the dried beef in the back of the cupboard, but I guess I was wrong. Either I or the cookbook seriously misunderstand something about dried beef, but I don't know which of us it is.
The special touch is not always so obvious as to be right in the title. This recipe looks perfectly fine at first:
Then I wondered if they were a traditional part of Brazzoli, since I didn't really know what Brazzoli was. A quick Google search showed that the term mostly seems to apply to some kind of dyeing equipment for making fabrics. I did find two recipes with the name-- one copied from the cookbook nearly verbatim. The other is similar, but suggests using a slow cooker and seems to doubt the raisins just as much as I do, listing them as optional. I don't think I'm disparaging a traditional recipe here when I question raisins in spaghetti sauce....
Someone who worked on this cookbook really liked dried fruit in everything. It shows up again as a "special touch" in Sweet Beef:
Whoever wrote this knew all my pet peeves. If it's not random and unnecessary fruit, then it's random and unnecessary condiments.
I wasn't sure how I wanted to end this one, so here is a picture of old frozen foods from the end of the book.
Stray thoughts about old frozen food packaging:
Weight Watchers dinners looked scarily utilitarian back in the day. Seeing that little scale right on the front of the package and the all-business font warning that it contained sole, peas & pimento, chopped spinach, and a celery sauce makes it look like it must have been the equivalent of eating a block of hay for supper.
The Swanson dinner with its hash brown nuggets looks a lot more inviting, but the metal tray makes it a bad pick for a microwave cookbook.
It's nice that the Green Giant got a scarf when he was on packages frozen veggies. I'll bet he misses it now. Nobody cares if he freezes his sprouts off on a bag of riced cauliflower now. (And I'm baling out after that sprouts joke! Back to grading....)