Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Questionable treats

Up for some Tantalizing Treats?

This fundraiser cookbook (from The Naomi Circle of the Women's Society of Christian Service at St. Paul Methodist Church in Springfield, OH, 1955) raises a lot of questions, so the opening line is only the first of many.

You might ask, for example, if we can call this "chile" (chili?):

I know there's a lot of controversy over what, exactly, constitutes chili, and plenty of Texans would insist on getting rid of the kidney beans. But they would not replace beans with noodles, and they would be horrified that this is also missing something nearly anyone would consider a prerequisite for chili: chili peppers and/or powder of some sort! This is clearly just a beef/ noodle/ vegetable soup, not a chili. You might even ask if this is more of a soupy Johnny Marzetti recipe than a chili recipe.

You might be right, but even this version at least has some green pepper.

Here's another question: Did you know that Johnny Marzetti apparently has a rich cousin?

Compare the two and you'll see that they're nearly identical, except that bad boy Johnny Malletto has three times as much meat and green pepper.

"What about salads?" you might ask. "Is this book full of big, desserty bowls of Jell-O sanctified with a 'salad' halo?"

Hmmm. Not quite sure how to answer, so I'll just show you:

Yes, Governor Lausche's Salad is full of yummy lemon Jell-O, cream cheese and crushed pineapple nutty goodness. Like many pretend salads, it's purified with the most boring of the crunchy vegetables-- celery-- to help defend the salad illusion. But it takes a sudden and unexpectedly hard line on the salad angle by being topped with a jar of olives! There's no way to pretend you're eating a close cousin of pineapple cheesecake when you're biting into an olive.

Here's a Jell-O creation that doesn't hide its dessertiness, but how are we supposed to pronounce its name?

Is the "Fine" sincere, as in (spoken in a gentle Southern drawl), "My, that is a fine dessert, Miss Replogle. I do hope someone with your Jell-O and ice cream combining skills will be available to accompany me Tuesday next to the box social"?

Or is the "Fine" more of the "Let's at least pretend it will be acceptable" variety: "I'm out of pretty much everything, but I do still have a couple boxes of lime Jell-O, some ice cream and...[rummaging in fridge] some leftover pineapple juice. I'm sure mixing them up for dessert will be fine"?

In any case, after reading through the book, I wasn't left asking myself, "Why did I pick this thing up, anyway?" The laughs are enough to make it a good purchase...

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