Saturday, July 15, 2017

Quick & easy dishes for an uneasy week

This week I just about panicked when I went to the basement and saw a puddle under my upright freezer. Then I opened the door and my potato puffs and veggie burgers were still frozen solid, so I looked around and realized the water was along the whole wall. I'd just noticed it by the freezer first. So I basically got to panic again, but for a totally different reason. My freezer wasn't dead; my basement was flooding. I'm smart enough to use plastic bins rather than cardboard boxes on the floor, but I'm currently imagining everything in the boxes cheerfully sprouting mountains of mold-- enough to blow those nice plastic lids right off. Yay for torrential downpours.

Seems like now is a good time to take it easy. Today we're dipping into Quick & Easy Dishes (Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers, 1968) for some chilly summer salads.

How about I start with a classic Jell-O salad?

This takes the classic lime-Jell-O-and-pineapple formula and gives it a twist: celery and American cheese! That not-so-dynamic-duo seems to be thrown into nearly every mushroom-soup-laden casserole, so why not toss it into the refrigerated equivalent, the Jell-O salad? 

If you want something a bit simpler, this looks like it might fit the bill:

I'm going to go ahead and pretend I buy the premise on this one. Okay, fine, people genuinely want to eat slices of frozen fruit cocktail on a bed of lettuce drizzled with whipped cream or salad dressing. Of course they do. That firmly squares with my knowledge of human desires and taste buds. 

Something tells me that the difficulty of sliding frozen fruit cocktail out of the can and slicing it into reasonable servings is seriously understated here. Considering I managed to injure myself trying to scoop an airy frozen dessert full of whipped cream last week, I can't imagine making this recipe will be either as quick or easy as the instruction to "Open both ends of the can and push the contents out. Slice" suggests. 

Let's just forget about all of this and go to a carnival:

It's a cottage cheese carnival! Yay. Once again we get the wonders of pineapple, celery, gelatin, and cheese, but this time the gelatin is plain and the cheese is cottage. (Plus minced onion! Whee!) Once again, we get the whole mess served on lettuce, but this time instead of whipped cream, it's garnished with carrot sticks and that most mouthwatering cracker of all, the saltine.

You know what? Let's not go to the carnival. It might be more fun to go back to squeegeeing my basement.


  1. Sorry to hear about your basement. At least the freezer is okay. Even if it wasn't, you wouldn't have anything interesting to blog about having to throw out (25 year old frosting roses, a whole 4lb bluegill, or a frozen "rat"...)

    1. That's true. I was trying to think of what would be the wildest thing in my freezer, and there's nothing unless you're really creeped out by fake meat.

  2. A carnival of cottage cheese sounds like a party!

    We had many issues w/ our basement when bought the house (homeowner since 2009) First roots growing in the pipes which caused some flooding. Then the walls by the fuse box started leaking. The gentleman who owned the house before us fancied himself a "handy man" and made a lot more work for us!

    1. You really have to watch out for handymen! My experience also suggests they usually make more work for others.