Saturday, December 15, 2018

Funny Name: Anatomical Anomalies Edition

I didn't have to take a lot of science classes in college, and Electric Blender Recipes (Mabel Stegnar, 1952) makes me wonder if I missed a something.

Just where the heck does a carrot keep its giblets?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Betty in the oven

Today we have the oddly faded Betty Crocker's Easy Oven Meals (1973). It originally lived in a junior high school library, so my best guess is that it was at the end of a shelf for a long time and the book end made those lines... In any case, this doesn't appear to have been a favorite of the junior high set, whose moms may not yet have trusted them with the oven.

The book is full of menus in which everything is thrown into the oven at varying points, so it's supposed to be easy as long as the oven is big enough and there's someone willing to do all the prep and wait around to chuck something new into the oven every so often.

Maybe the book is not popular with the junior high set because even if they want to help mom (a BIG if), a lot of the menus take a good chunk of the day. This menu for "Just Peachy" is a good example:

Even if you think pairing corned beef with canned peaches, pickling spices, brown sugar, and mustard is a great idea, you have to be willing to throw the whole mess into the oven four hours before dinner time:

Then shred up the cabbage for the baked (!) slaw and get it mixed with canned green beans in time for the last hour of cooking.

At least it will be easy to \get the Scalloped Potatoes Deluxe ready at the same time:

They're just from a mix, but it makes me sooo happy to know that the secret to deluxe-ing them is throwing in a can of sliced mushrooms!

Then there's the matter of fixing the cake from a mix and throwing it in for the final 35 minutes of baking, along with adding the peach and sugar glaze to the corned beef.

The book is full of the questionably "ethnic" cuisines of the time, too. The "Fit for a Czar" menu makes me hope that the czar will be much more merciful than one would imagine:

I don't think ground beef in an envelope of sour cream mix and "catsup" is exactly what the czar has in mind as a royal dinner, even (especially?) if it's accompanied by canned beets glazed in orange marmalade and a rhubarb-strawberry shortcake.

And no book like this would be complete without the "Orient Express":

Yeah-- canned veggies and tuna, cream soup, and soy sauce baked under a layer of chow mein noodles is as Chinese as it gets. Serve it with canned carrots heated in a little sweet-and-sour dressing, and it's practically a trip to China! If you don't know what China is! And you are very gullible...

From the looks of it, not even junior high students fell for this one.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Funny Name: Pre-Christmas Jitters Edition

Christmas is coming! If the kids are driving you crazy, The Twentieth Century Club Cookbook (The Twentieth Century Club of Newark, OH, 1977) has a project for them.

No, Aggression Cookies aren't supposed to make the kids even more unbearable! According to Jacquelyn Snow Madison, the kids will make the cookies taste better AND get their anxiety out by kneading, mashing, squeezing, and beating the dough.

Or maybe they'll just get extra hyper while making fifteen dozen cookies full of pet hair and cold germs at the time of year when everyone is overwhelmed with sweets anyway. Either way, they'll be busy for the afternoon!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Gourmet Goodbye

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus!

Or at least "Joy to the World."

December marks the end of my Gourmet 1977 series. I'm not really going to miss this snooty collection.

In the spirit of egalitarianism, I'm going to end with some unusual candy gifts that even us commoners could afford to give away to our woodland friends.

If you've got rabbit friends and/or want to butter up Santa's reindeer, this one's for you:

I've seen plenty of similar recipes for candied citrus zest, but this is the first time I've seen it applied to carrots.

Even better: If you've got squirrels on your gift list:

Okay, I just picked Spiced Meringue Nuts so I could do a Letterman-style joke: The holidays are so festive this year that I saw a squirrel in Central Park putting meringue on his nuts!

Now I'm off to coat the Gourmet 1977 collection in meringue just because I can! I think the monthly book I've got lined up for next year will be more fun.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Funny Name: It's Got to be in There Edition

Please, you've got to tell me...

I can't be the ONLY person who's surprised that "New Jersey Clam Pye" (The New Jersey Heritage Cookbook, Public Service Electric and Gas Company, 1976) is NOT an especially raunchy entry in the Urban Dictionary, right? 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Chiquita Banana Presents Her Fever Dreams

This week is way too cold for November, so I'm going tropical to warm up! Today we have the notorious Chiquita Banana Presents 18 Recipes from Her Minute Movies (1951), a booklet with recipes that are rock stars in vintage horror recipes circles.

Yes, it's those Ham Banana Rolls that more adventurous cooks than I have been making for years.

In case you don't remember, they're bananas baked in ham and mustard, then served with a cheese sauce.


Just across the page is a slightly less popular recipe, though.

The Retrochef who tried these was afraid actual scallops might be involved, but they're just supposed to look like scallops. At least that's my guess. Her take on the recipe: "Meh. If you like cornbread with warm bananas, then this is the dish for you! They might have been better with a finer cornmeal, since they had very crunchy outsides and very mushy insides."

My favorite part is the caption under the picture in this booklet:

I'm assuming this is only giving part of the movie title. The full title is "Chiquita Banana Convinces the Cannibal that He Has Made the Right Lifestyle Choice." Now he's sure he'd rather face a plateful of fried fingers than mushy hot cornmeal bananas. It's always nice to know for sure!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Funny Name: Department of Redundancy Department Edition

At least Mable Hoffman, author of Crockery Cookery (1975) was aware that this wasn't a real Chinese recipe.

She just doesn't seem to recognize that the "chop suey" pretty much implies an American dish.