Wednesday, March 4, 2020

What do chilly gymnasts cook?

I am a pure, unadulterated klutz, and an unlucky one at that. The one time I tried to ride a bike, I managed to hurtle over the handlebars and land in a patch of poison ivy. Broken bones + itching = no fun.

My point is that owning a copy of the Swedish Gymnastic Club Cookbook (Illinois, ca. mid-'70s. It's undated, but the write-up of the club's history mentions that they got a heating system in fall of 1972, and I doubt many people tell the story of getting a new heating system for decades afterwards, so I'm saying mid-'70s) is as close as I'll ever get to being a gymnast. (Or Swedish, for that matter.)

The book does have some Scandinavian recipes. They love their fish, so it was no surprise to see a fish pudding:

And no, this isn't a dessert flavored like the red gummy candy. (Okay, neither is the link, but it sounds like it could be!) It's canned salmon flavored.

The book doesn't stick strictly to Swedish recipes, though. There's a side trip to Bohemia...

I was a little interested to see dumplings made with yeast and already-cooked bread that are so big they need to be sliced. I'm used to the flavorless, gummy Bisquick variety.

I saw some twists on traditional heartland fare, like this take on Tater Tot casserole that swaps out the ground beef for fish (well, canned tuna)...

...and mayo in place of the canned soup.

My favorites might be the fancy recipes, like Beef Wellington.

Beef Wellington is just beef wrapped in canned crescent rolls, right?

To finish out the fancy dinner, let's add an exotic side dish.

Is it the water chestnuts, the pimento, or the slivered almonds that makes the celery exotic? Maybe it takes all three? I'm just thankful for my little sister sending this very exotic collection.


  1. Glad you enjoyed the book. The exotic celery was the first recipe I saw when I opened the book. It seemed somehow appropriate that gymnasts would have a celery recipe given their obsessive calorie counting - even though this is not a low-cal celery recipe.

    1. Not with the cream of chicken soup and almonds! Maybe if they'd just stuck to the water chestnuts and celery.