Saturday, August 8, 2015

Oyster bake follies, plus saga of the armpit-knitter

Now that we've had a little cooling-off time from the unfortunately retrograde Coastal Carolina Cooking (1963 printing), let's enjoy some cool summer fun from it.

Who is up for an oyster roast?

I love the humor in the writer's voice here, showing that while a lot of people might be up for eating roasted oysters, not nearly as many are interested in making that oyster roast happen. The opening advises readers to "Invite only very good & tolerant friends" and gives prospective hosts notice that "It is not possible [to get guests to help remove mud from the oysters] if they have done it before."

The roast can apparently be a bit dangerous if the host doesn't think things through. I wonder what incident led the writer to note "Old fertilizer bags are definitely not recommended" for steaming the oysters.

Getting at the goodies is a similarly treacherous process requiring not only oyster knives and napkins, but also iodine and Band Aids!

The hyperbole of the closing paragraph needs no adornment from me: "It is said that the precious effluvium emanating from the oyster reaches the brain instantly, giving it vigour, force & potency. Don't count on this sudden vigour for help with cleaning up!" E. Coates turns a recipe into a story. Pair that with the picture of a cookout under a palm as a friend splashes in the ocean just "off camera," and this is a great page to enjoy on a summer day.

This next pair of recipes suggest some (somewhat dubious) summery salads. They're odd, but pay attention to the pictures at the bottom of the page because they are funny in their own right.

The salad is basically an enormous plate of solid condiment. Lemon jello plus whipped cream sounds fine, but mixing it all with horseradish and mayo? Ugh!

The real oddity, though, is the picture at the bottom of the recipe. Apparently a woman is knitting as she watches a cooking show (not so weird), but look at the angle of her needles! I've never seen anyone try to knit with knitting needles in their armpits. It looks very uncomfortable.

Now the recipe and these pictures are weird, but I'm not sure I would have featured them without the continuation on the next page.

I hate horseradish, but I have to admit Lime Salad sounds even worse! Load up your lime jello with vinegar, mayo, pickle relish, celery, and canned peaches!? I'm not a fan of condiments, but I can kind of get that some people may think horseradish mayo is okay in mold form. I can't imagine anyone saying, "Let's throw some canned peaches in with the pickle relish and celery." *Shudder*

Even funnier, the saga of the armpit-knitter continues on the bottom of the page. She is apparently alarmed by the cooking show, evidenced by her open-mouthed panic and dropping the ball of yarn on the floor. It took me a minute to figure out what the trouble was, but I think she is horrified that the pot is boiling over on her cooking show.

Unable to bear the tension of seeing a cooking mishap, she "solves" her problem by turning off the TV. Ha!

Two disgusting recipes and a comic strip? I can't ask for much more!

Happy weekend! Celebrate with a good, old-fashioned jello-roast! Not fancy jello-knives or Band Aids required.

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