Ready for some light, summery desserts? I mean really light desserts. I mean light as in, "Yep, these are going to be diet desserts."
The cover of "Low-Calorie Cooking with Sucaryl Sweeteners" (undated, but looks as if it's probably from the late '60s or early '70s) seems to promise that if you make desserts with Sucaryl, you will want to put them in fancy dishes and then abandon them in the forest for the squirrels, chipmunks, and possums to enjoy. You, apparently, will not want to touch that shit no matter how pretty it looks.
As I started to leaf through, a second trend (beyond pretty, low-cal sweets to foist onto raccoons) seemed to emerge.
Dieters could enjoy browned bananas in a sauce of thickened, artificially sweetened wine...
...or grapes in artificially sweetened and gelatinized wine...
...or wine lemonade. This is clearly the cookbook for anyone who has ever wanted to stretch wine with water and some good old sodium cyclamate. Maybe it tasted better if you're a little bit sloshed.
And just in case you're wondering, even the Claret Lemonade is apparently supposed to be sacrificed to the forest gods.
This is all getting me sidetracked wondering how drunk squirrels would act. Would they still be able to find their nuts? (Sorry, couldn't resist a Letterman-style nut joke.)
(Another aside: The only insight I have on this topic of drunk forest creatures is that the father of one of my college roommates made homemade wine as a hobby. One day he strained the skins out of the wine he was making and threw them in the yard. When my roommate got home, her pet ducks were lying in the yard waving their feet in the air. Thus, we learned the answer to the all-important question of what ducks do when they get drunk.) (And don't worry. The ducks did recover!)
Sadly, the recipes are not all alcoholic. When I saw this salad, I thought it might be a wine and vegetable salad:
Alas, it is much more boring:
Gardener's Jellied Salad is just veggies in an ersatz lemon Jell-O. The yellow food coloring must be what makes it look wine-ish. The pepper and tomato next to the mold hint that it is filled with more interesting veggies than cucumbers and radishes, but they're for decorative purposes only. Judging from the picture, this depressing little affair is the one concoction that's appropriate to serve to people on a picnic table in the backyard. I wouldn't have guessed that. There's not even any alcohol to help it go down. Why let the bunnies have all the fun?
Happy Wednesday! I'm off to harass a squirrel for his nuts.