Saturday, February 17, 2018

Food you've gotta chop down

If you had to be memorialized in food form, what would you want to signify you? I'd want to be remembered in peanut butter + chocolate form, as I will always be convinced there is no greater combination than that. (Maybe a nice chocolate cake decorated with peanut butter frosting to look like an old cookbook?)

Well... for Presidents' Day, let's learn from New Holiday Cookbook (Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers, 1974) how the honorees Washington and Lincoln were celebrated in food. I'll bet you can guess Washington:

Of course it's with cherries! To make sure it's perfectly '60s-'70s appropriate, we also have fruit cocktail, crushed pineapple, and cottage cheese in the gelatin. The fact that there are few actual cherries in this (aside from the maraschino or two in the can of fruit cocktail) and that the black cherry gelatin may be swapped out for any flavor makes this feel not particularly special to Washington... not that I would be accusing the editors of just finding ways to shoehorn loose recipes into a holiday so they can go home early, even if this could just as easily (and more accurately) be called Special Pineapple Salad or Special Cottage Cheese 'n' Cool Whip Salad....

This unique pie fits the cherry theme better:

Okay, the picture is black and white, so you just have to take the little fake cherry decorations' word for it, but that's a cherry pie. You're probably more intrigued by the crust, though. What is going on? Was the pie attacked by a pack of rabid foam packing peanuts?

It's Popcorn Crusted Cherry Pie! For all those times when you wished to have a cloying, overly-chewy popcorn ball covered with red goo.... Well, this is the answer! I'll bet Washington would be thrilled. 

Washington is associated with sweet, beloved cherries, though, so he shouldn't complain too much. Lincoln isn't exactly associated with a type of food-- more of a shape-- so recipes in his honor tend not to have the most appetizing titles (or appearances). 

Yep-- You're looking at Lincoln Logs. These are the candy ones. 

If you want logs that will maybe look a bit less like they're predigested, you can go the savory route:

I think sweetened peanut butter rolled in more peanuts is more my speed than deviled ham rolled in olives, but your mileage may vary. 

Either way, I'd feel bad leaving you with appetizers and desserts, but no entree, so here's a little something for the Minuteman:

I'm not sure what broccoli, stuffing, and cheese bound with mushroom soup and mayonnaise and baked for half an hour has to do with a Minuteman... Maybe he sees that's what will be for dinner and says, "Hey, I've got to go out, but I'll be back in a minute!" (It's gonna be waaay more than a minute.)

Any other theories? 

Anyway, happy Presidents' day! Now go out and petition Trader Joe's to start selling Cherry Goat Cheese Logs for next Presidents' day, as that has to be the classiest way to combine these two for a truly holiday-appropriate snack. 


  1. My first thought on seeing a hatchet next to a pie is that somebody overworked their pastry crust. Then I saw the crust... I maintain my anti-pie crust stance on that one. As for the minuteman recipe, the broccoli and stuffing mix aren't going to be the only thing bound up by the mushroom soup and mayonnaise. I'm thinking it would involve a minute long sprint to get the heck away from it.

    1. Yeah-- crusts should not require a hatchet to get through, though I'm not sure the cookie hatchet would be up to the job.

  2. I love the hatchet! So violent yet so endearing, hee hee!
    Last year for the President's Day I made Chicken Washington from Better Homes & Gardens Cooking w/ Cheese. It was fantastic, truly. You can't go wrong w/ chicken wrapped around cheese & mushrooms then battered and fried. It was labor intensive though. It was about 6 hours of prepping and cooking for one meal.
    Anyway, Happy 3 day weekend to us!

    1. That does sound pretty yummy. I'm always up for cheese and mushrooms! Six hours of prep though... not so much.