Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Glamour-ous End of the Year

December! It's the month when I traditionally begin wishing I could hibernate until family gatherings are over and warmer weather is creeping back in. Instead of passing out until mid-April or so, I will just have to content myself to say goodbye to Glamour Magazine's New After Five Cookbook (Beverly Pepper, 1963). We've spent a whole year getting to know what 1960s couples might have put on their dinner tables, so let's see what kinds of comfort they might have reached for as the days got shorter and colder.

One option was to make spaghetti and dump a can of pepper pot soup on it. Not so much an option anymore, as canned pepper pot soup has pretty much disappeared. It also seems kind of weird to eat it on top of spaghetti since along with plenty of tripe and potatoes (but apparently, no peppers), the Campbell's version already had macaroni in it. Then mix canned beets, cauliflower, cucumber, French dressing, and anchovy paste for a salad that is sure to be... uh... memorable? (Adding a little extra rum to the Baba au Rhum Cream Cakes might just help make that memory go away.)

Friday's seafood gets better treatment than the anchovies did...

Shrimp with some vegetables and actual seasonings (more than a single dash of Tabasco, even!) over rice should be fine. I'm not sure what makes green beans mixed with onion and French dressing then poured over lettuce into New Orleans Bean Salad, exactly, rather than, say, Minnesota Bean Salad. I love the simplicity of the Avocado with Sherry recipe. You don't really have to read past the title. A recipe is included, but it's exactly what you imagine. 

Another Friday offers an entirely different take on seafood:

Here we have mackerels stuffed with packaged stuffing and wrapped in bacon, then basted with lemon juice, tomato juice, and white wine. Maybe that's not bad? (Don't know, because I am not a fish person!) The part of this recipe that (unnecessarily) scared me was the dessert. What is Dijon froth? I immediately pictured whipped cream mixed with mustard. In fact, Dijon Froth is just orange-flavored instant vanilla pudding mixed with Cointreau! The liqueur makes it French-- not mustard!

Like November, December offers a holiday menu:

The menu seems strikingly similar to Thanksgiving's-- turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes. The additions of soup and rolls, and the swapping of mince pie for plum pudding with egg nog sauce, are enough to make this a Christmas menu. (If you're wondering how the cook is supposed to make the plum pudding, the weekly shopping list specifies to buy "1 small can plum pudding." Only the egg nog sauce requires preparation.)

What have we learned for December?
  1. Anything served in the same meal with shrimp can be labeled "New Orleans."
  2. Always add sherry to canned soup served in December. It's just more festive.
  3. You might need a recipe to pour sherry on an avocado, but not to put butter on lima beans or broccoli. 
  4. Babas are just yeast cakes, not grandmas, so splitting one is not nearly as violent as I might have imagined.
  5. Tease Christmas guests by putting pictures of cocktails at the top of the menu, but not actually offering any damn cocktails. 
That's it for Glamour! Maybe I'll find a new theme for the new year.