Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Brain Oysters and Frozen Whale!

Since we looked at the wonders of cooking electrically last week, this week we will consider another kitchen marvel made possible by electricity:

Hazel Meyer's The Complete Book of Home Freezing (copyright 1953, but I have the 1964 revised edition) gives proud home freezer owners ideas about what to do with their appliances, with a budget-minded (probably farming) audience clearly in mind.

There are a LOT of recipes for variety meats. Want oysters? Well, farmers are unlikely to have access (or enough funds) for fresh seafood, but here's a suggestion:

Enjoy some lovely brain oysters. (If you're curious about the pre-cooking on page 172, the book suggests washing and simmering the brains for 20 minutes in water with a tablespoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of salt per quart. Just be sure to "avoid any [brains] which contain blood clots.") (Shiver!)

Need a romantic yet down-on-the farm dinner? How about this:

Buttermilk Hearts! (That title sounds like the name of a very unpopular Valentine's day candy...) Alternatively, if you want to sweet-talk your dinner companion, try this:

Tongue with Cherries! It's one of those meat/dessert combos that I love so much...

My favorite element of this book is the line drawings, though. The chapter on the history of freezing has this fanciful speculation about the origins of the practice:

Who could resist Astor Brand Frozen Whale, especially in the family size packages?

The book also has stern warnings to make sure readers will use their home freezers the right way:

Wrap It Right ... or You'll Regret It! The pig being wrapped here will personally see to it that you will be more careful with the wrapping next time... if there is a next time.

While a few animals seem happy to be eaten ...

(Don't feel bad, black sheep! The obedient white ones will not be so happy once they get to know their new home.)

...many of them seem to know what's up, and they do NOT appreciate being treated like, well, meat!

Yes, the piggies made it to heaven, but the one in the middle didn't want to arrive quite so soon!

And this deer is not interested in helping the hunter figure out whether he will fit in the freezer.

Finally, since I love Texas Chainsaw Massacre so much, this deer seems a good deal more impatient (and less terrified) than Pam did when she was in a similar position....

Happy Cookbook Wednesday, everyone! Now stay out of your freezers. (Or at least wrap yourself correctly before you climb in. If you don't, you'll regret it.)

Thanks to Marjie of Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet for hosting!


  1. Your commentaries always make your cookbooks so much fun! I just love the animals hopping joyously into the freezer. And, I agree, it looks like this was geared toward farmers. Brain Oysters, Indeed.

    I've linked you up. Thanks for the mention.

    1. Thank you for the link! I'm always glad when readers are as amused by the pictures as I am. :-)

  2. That is one pissed off looking pig!

    1. Pissed off for going to heaven, too! That guy must have been impossible to please when he was alive.