Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Awkward Family Menus from Grange

It's been a while since we've had a good Grange cookbook.  (Well, it's debatable whether we've ever had a good Grange cookbook. I just meant interesting-- not necessarily objectively good.)

Today we have the not-at-all-awkwardly worded New the Grange Desserts Cookbook Including Creative Homemaking Tips (Favorite Recipes of the Grange, 1973).

Since this is a dessert cookbook, it mostly looks pretty good. It's hard to go too wrong with sugar, butter, and crunchy toasted nuts.

Even Beet Cake, an idea that initially made me cringe at the thought of an even-worse-than-usual fruitcake ended up not being bad:

If it seems familiar, this recipe is getting popular once again as a red velvet alternative for people who don't want to eat a whole bottle of red food coloring with dessert.

The biggest surprise was that this book occasionally has full-color photo spreads of entire meals, ostensibly created to highlight the dessert.

Take in that nice, bright fall spread. All the food-- even the turkey!-- is brighter than the spray of autumn leaves in the background. There's a flower-bedecked citrus basket, walnuts intermingled with tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit, bright orange tangerine "flowers" with cranberry-hued centers.... But after you look at it for a few minutes, doesn't it start to seem a little too matchy-matchy?

What's in this dinner, anyway?

Well, it all starts out with Florida Grapefruit Baskets:

They consist of grapefruits... that are cut into baskets. Hmm.

What's the main course?

It's Roast Turkey with Orange-Rice Stuffing. The one part of the menu that looks like it might have its own separate non-citrus identity is secretly stuffed with orange rice. Of course, we already know the side:

Yep! Baked Tangerines with Orange-Cranberry Relish. (Hot citrus-on-citrus action!)

Now what kind of a dessert do you think this whole menu was designed to highlight?

Apparently, the people at the Grange have never heard of sensory-specific satiety because they think this meal should end with Orange Crepes with (What else?!) Orange Sauce. The picture doesn't show a beverage, but I'm pretty sure the book would recommend serving with an Orange Julius.

I can't leave you with all this matchy-matchy nonsense, so here is a cake from Sally:

I don't know who Sally is, but if her idea of honeymoon fun was making a cake out of beer, white cake mix, and chocolate instant pudding mix, then frosting the whole thing with Wine Cream Frosting, I can't imagine she insisted that she and her dearly beloved had to wear identical outfits and eat citrus five ways at the same meal....

Now thank you for listening while I screamed (screamed screamed screamed screamed screamed) ... 'bout baked tangerines....


  1. Hmm, I work with a woman named Sally, and I know she likes beer and cake. I'm not sure what she would think about them together (with wine frosting? Don't people have this thing against mixing beer and wine?)

    1. Apparently this Sally didn't mind mixing them! My guess is that the beer flavor doesn't come through much anyway. Remember the beer pancakes we occasionally had as kids? They didn't taste like beer.

  2. Replies
    1. I'm glad I could supply a project for you! ;-)