Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DIY Old School

Today we're learning to barbecue from Betty Crocker's Good and Easy Cook Book. The copyright is 1954, but I have no idea what printing I have because the first page fell out. That's a risk of old books with wire binding.

Although I make fun of old cookbooks, there is a lot to admire too. Today we will find out how to make a barbecue for those who don't have the spare cash to go out and buy one. The key ingredient is something most people in rural communities would have on hand anyway...

A wheelbarrow! In case you're the type who needs instructions, they're helpfully provided:

These are the full instructions. I love them: a list of materials, a vague diagram, and a reference to the picture that originally sent us to the instructions. The circularity cracks me up. I guess the writers figure that if this isn't enough instruction for you, then you're probably not smart enough to be trusted with hot coals anyway.

I love the way this allows people to make use of what they have, too. It makes me remember grandma and grandpa getting out the (well cleaned!) hand-cranked meat grinder every year at Thanksgiving so they could grind the cranberries for cranberry salad. It would have been easier to use a food processor, but they had a perfectly good meat grinder and they didn't have a lot of money.

Bonus in case this post makes you feel lazy:

I guess what makes this recipe "lazy" is that it starts with canned ingredients rather than dry beans. It would still take more than a half hour to make from start to finish.

Ideas about cooking were a little different. By that, I mean merely different. If you take this as a cliched lament about how we've lost the good old days, I will chuck two no. 2 cans of kidney beans at your head. (That's approximately 40 ounces, so it's gonna hurt if my aim is any good.) (Don't worry. That's a big IF.)

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