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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Clock Punchers

Hello and Happy Thursday or whatever day of the week it is when this finally flits into your mind and never lets go!

I'm thinking of a great and unforgettable segue into the topic for today's blog. But you see, I have to think about dinner and since there just aren't enough hours in the day, I need to find help. Maybe a 1973 Better Homes and Gardens book? Why of course! Good golly, why didn't I think of that? Meals In Minutes. Did you read that? MINUTES. Not an hour, not a half hour. Minutes. Sometimes 30 minutes.

Did that suffice as a cheesy way of getting this ball rolling?

What was with 1973? These recipes are frightful. Good thing my conception was probably in November-December of that year. How's that for clock punching? Since I am of the 1970s, I can assume this would be the least of my worries.

Eh, I know. I need help. Maybe a 1973 Better Homes and Gardens book? 

Okay, I'll stop rambling. We are killing minutes. And every minute wasted is one we will never get back so why spend 120 of them in the kitchen? 

Better Homes and Gardens Meals in Minutes. For the record, I did not pay $2.49 for it. I think I paid 50 cents. I pity the fooool who did pay $2.49 for this book. Exactly what did they get out of it? Heartaches and grief? Gas?

Shrimp-Filled Tortillas with an "avocado mixture" three inches thick on top. Thawed frozen avocado dip (it really says that), sour cream atop deep fried rolled tortillas with canned shrimp filling. Sometimes things just don't need to be explained.

Meatloaf stuffed tomatoes. I will reiterate that sometimes things just don't need to be explained because I cannot come up with an explanation for it.

Imagine this horrible scenerio. So horrible that you willingly pay $2.49 for this book just in case you have that moment where you get home late to a starving, inept family, unexpected guests and having to throw something together between work and social life. It's time someone HELPED YOU! I hate cooking, but I don't hate it this much. Help is here, weary clock punchers. Help is here. I should have used this as my intro.

Is this a lifesaving serum that needs to be delivered on ice where life or limb will be lost? Sorry to disappoint, but it is Creamy Dressing  that is bottled Russian salad dressing mixed with sour cream. It's so fra-gee-lay that it must be encased in ice lest it mold and curdle in a split second.
Salmon Salad. We are punching the clock with this one. Canned Salmon has the potential to go so bad so fast that it is to be served with its own lettuce lined icer. That begs the important thought of what one does to that ice? Is it like milk left after a bowl of cereal? Would someone drink the mayonnaise, salmon water juice, calm water juice, hard cooked egg remnants with the same finesse?

Calling out the B.S. troops on Poached Fish with delectable Almond Sauce. If someone has time to carve out radish flowers, they have time to make something a little less hideous.

The Droste Effect of retro food. Ham in Stuffing Shells. It goes on and on and on.

If i was a shrimp and I knew I was on my way into someone's gut, my headless body would be plunged into a beer butter too. If I'm going down, I am taking everybody with me. Someone is going to get a stomachache from eating drunk buttery me.

Nice eggs standing up identically in their wire racks. Nice copper pots and pans on the wall. Great assortment of wooden cooking utensiles. Cutesy little food mill. Glorious green sprig of herbs. Oh, there's food for me to criticize. Stroganoff meatballs, I barely noticed ye. Sneaky little buggers.

May the eternal flame of Pineapple Jubilee never stop. Seriously. Butterfly effect anybody?
This looks quaint enough. Hearty Fiesta Burgers warm and toasty with crusty bread and a real smoky beverage. If I am going to be a Peeping Tom in someone's window on a cold winter eve, this is what I would want to see while I'm creeping.

Somebody loved Hearty Fiesta Burgers to make a check mark next to the recipe and stain the upper right corner with their Hearty Fiesta Burger fingers. My scanner wouldn't pick it up, but this page is folded. A reminder to return and make this again.  
Bologna Bunwiches. In the words of my late father, this is"horsecock.". I've never wanted bologna after that revelation. Horescock mixed with kidney beans and tomato sauce and served on bread. My father would be proud.
Pictures! We need pictures or this never happened!
Ham Sandwich Deluxe. A 12 inch oblong loaf of rye bread, butter, whipped cream cheese, radishes, boiled eggs and a package of ham salad artfully arranged. It's the epitome of the ugly of retro food. It's why I do this. I'm proud to unearth these artifacts.
Fillet of Sole en Papillote or for the rest of us, fish in parchment paper packets. Some would see a sack of surprise, bursting with flavor. Some will see charred paper. I see charred paper.
Steak Skillet Supper. The caption reads: Steak Skillet supper will win approval from the whole family. That would probably not include my husband, daughters, son.
I kept this caption because I could not do an explanation justice. I could speculate ensuing gas or gut rot from it though.
I've seen enough Monsters Inside Me to know that this isn't a good sign. If only I could see an animated parasite wreaking havoc on this poor cake.
In the hour and a half I took to write this, I could have created a feast. I need help so I need to resort to this book or I am going to be waving my arms to no avail.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Dark Side of Casserole Cookery

Hello everybody! I'm taking a little riposo from the recipe cards and going back to the old cookbooks for a few posts. I can't let all the rabbits out of the hat at once! Even if I do have a gazillion cards.

If you are like me, you might pull out the ole Rival Crockpot, toss a few things together, and have a meal in a few hours. It's pretty hard to mess up in other words.

I don't remember where or when this Family Circle Casserole Cookery from 1976 ended up in my collection. It was so sad and dark that it kind of just blended in with all the other books. Aren't cookbooks supposed to have some sort of color in the front? Shouldn't they make you want to snatch it from the bookshelf and eat the papers? Yeah, this one doesn't do that. It's just so devoid of color, thought, and inspiration. It makes me want to sigh a long and hopeless sigh. The sound of despair. 

Let's have the caffeine and happy music playing. It's about to get sad in here. 

Family Circle Casserole Cookery, 1976. Why is this so dark in the background? Are the bugs and rats being hidden? It's possible.

Brunswick Stew. Was this picture taken with a Kodak Instamatic camera? The 110 flim a little too slow? The flashbulb cube had all four sides flashed?
This chapter should put an end to those martyrs on a budget. We can all scrimp deliciously for 59 cents a serving. Bring on that Kentucky Tuna Casserole! At first I thought the picture was of a man with grub worms on him, but now I realize it's a cutting board. 1970s illustrations just work the mind, man.
Here's some properly scored knackwurst for the budget martyrs! Serve over cabbage. These sliced weens are a little bit enlarged. Probably the only color in this entire sad book.

If you substitute sliced horse cock (Thanks Dad for that), ham, or even quartered frankfurters, then can I assume it is no longer called tongue and potato casserole? Is that mayonnaise in the recipe? Cream of onion soup? Wha???? Please someone tell me it sounds good. Please, please, please!

Having spent 5 years of my life in Wisconsin, what makes this a Wisconsin recipe? And really, kids will make this? My kids won't make this one and they sure as hell won't enjoy it half an hour later. They are picky and for good reason!

This must have been temporary insanity. Americans are still pretty large meat eaters and most would still rather eat a steak than a bowl of beans.
Why no, I would not believe that this bountiful barbecued turkey came from a slow cooker. I guess I learn something new every day.
Help me out fellow Hoosiers!! I don't remember this being a famous dish in Indiana. Sure I only spent 19 years of my life there, but I don't believe this is what put Indiana on the map as a state worth visiting.
It's not your eyes. It really did get scary and dark in here. All that is to be seen is that plum decorated crock pot full of beef burgundy and special chopped mushrooms. WHAT IS THAT IN THE BACKGROUND? Is that a mold?
Because I'm sure the sauce was so delicious, it is recommended that you make Lamb Burgundy. Someone's going to be making a gelatin mold! Aspic for all.
A party casserole made so quickly the raw meat started to shed its roundworms. Screw food safety anyway. It all goes to the same place!
After seeing the raw meat and raw roundworms, I don't think I want to eat this. I appreciate the effort, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep my bowels free of parasites. No anthlemintics for me, thank you very much. The moment one of those comes out is the moment I don't need to live. Forgot the wussy budget martyr. Anyone who can shit out a bunch of roundworms and still live to brag about it deserves to be martyred.
Patio Enchiladas. That's putting it mildly. These are cornmeal crepes with a filling that amounts to chili and topped with olives and onions. Where the enchilada part comes from, I don't know. Maybe Marcy from yesterday's post had some change of heart. She still can't get an enchilada right.
My most important sense. I assume a casserole is done right before it starts to smell like charred food. I'm pretty sure my brand new oven has an accurate thermometer. I kind of do smell the fruits like pineapples first.There's one part that is right. My nose doesn't need to be trained to know what rotten fish smells like.
I cook roasts in my crock pot all the time. They never come out so artfully arranged with a thick gravy on top. I call bullshit on this beef a la mode pot roast. There had to have been some doctoring in this photo. Either that or I suck at crock pot cookery. I'll accept that as word too.
If you are not overweight, you need not read this caption that didn't make it into the picture: Dieters need not feel deprived when they can enjoya casserole as rich as Zucchini Bolognese. Apparently we are not people enough for the real food.
The holy grail for all dieters. Trim the fat from the meat, brown in a nonstick skillet. Why that one is there, I don't know. Maybe it was before PAM spray. Yes, I would love nothing more than cooked spinach replacing my rice. I can see the broths for cream substitutes. Low fat cheese is shit. Remove every speck of fat! Don't leave a morself for us fat folk to eat later.
If you can keep your eyes away from all the shiny stuff, there's a stack of Beef a la Lindstrom in the chafing dish. But it's so shiny. So very shiny.
Hopefully that only dulled your senses a little bit. If it did and you need a refreshing splash of color and hope, look below. I'm here for you! 

Have a great evening or day!! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ready to talk about food again (Recipe Cards #15)

Hello!! I hope everyone had a great and safe Thanksgiving. Mine went off without a hitch. I cooked and it was not something that comes from any of my cookbooks. Though a 1970s-inspired Thanksgiving would be interesting. I don't know how well that will fly with the few friends and family we have here. I do have enough recipes and ideas. I did get an email suggesting I do a holiday theme and maybe I will in the future. I have done a few but perhaps they were premature. This post is fairly close  to the whole holiday idea and there are others. 

Okay are we all ready to eat again? Did we stuff our faces like slovenly, greedy fools? Sure, some overdid it and had the fortitude to go out afterwards and fight the pre Black Friday sales. Nothing like dealing with a bunch of people at Wal Mart after gorging on a big meal. I stayed home. The only time I ventured out was because I needed laundry detergent. I'm lucky to still be alive.

I'm going to continue the recipe card theme by going with the 1974 Weight Watchers cards. This is what we need to eat if we all want to stay trim and svelte. Yeah, no. I don't see calories on the back so I can assume they aren't slimming and trimming. 

Who would have thought lamb steaks could be savory? Douse them in what amounts to be catsup (not ketchup) and you too will reap the savory tidbits.

Marcy needs to mosey her little ass on back to the kitchen and figure out what a real "enchilada" is. Nothing served on sliced bread should be called an enchilada. That's just mean. Despite living in Texas, I am not an enchilada aficionado. I do know they aren't served on sliced bread and full of artificial sweetener. Shame to Marcy.

Mock means there is nothing with herring in this recipe. There is, however, a lot of canned tuna, cod, beets, and celeriac to give the impression of consuming herring. I'm not an expert on 1974 caloric intake because I was only around for a few months in 1974, but why go through all this trouble when herring can be used? Or just call the damn thing a mixed seafood salad?

This is interesting to look at. I will give thumbs up, props, duck lips, whatever to this lamb loaf, but I sure as hell don't want to encounter it or the person who makes it in real life. There's scary and then there is psychotic.

This sounds like it could be normal food, but who wants to chance that?

I'd hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is not a thing perfect about this. Maybe a pefect mess? A perfect idea of what isn't a pizza?

I feel like a "real merkkkhun" looking at these soups. I need a side of freedom fries to go with them or I might as well crumple my birth certificate and renounce my citizenship. Just hum "America, the Beautiful" while reading this.

Seriously? Another one? There's 19 ingredients in here. I could be inspired to include them. I wonder how soupy the four envelopes of unflavored gelatin in the recipe would make this?

This is not called "skinny cheesecake" like in my previous post. Is that allowed on a Weight Watcher's card? Ugh there's so much cottage cheese and gelatin in this thing. Not to mention the white bread crumb crust. What is the point of these cards? To laugh at a cheesecake that looks like Pac Man? Wockawockawockawocka

If I didn't know this was a legitimate recipe, I would have paragraphs of fun. Paragraphs! 

I don't want to associate sweet and pungent. When I think of the word "pungent" I think of swamp ass, old socks, armpits, crotch rot. I don't want to put it in food descriptions because even adjectives trigger my digestion.

This new pizza sauce recipe could very well change the world. It could be the start of something special. It loses all cred because it is served with slices of white bread. It looks like trailer food. Therefore, I am not even going to flip the card over to check it out. I could be missing out on something bigger than I am.
Oh how the times have changed! Frankfurters over white bread used to be skinny food. It's probably skinny food because the sauerkraut, dill pickle, hot dogs, green pepper, etc served over white bread will do a better colon cleanse than an enema.

This is maniacal. That's what this is. True insanity propped up by a crown of wieners.
The color alone makes this scary. I think I'd rather hop on the husband's uniform hanger holder/treadmill and burn a few calories than contemplate eating this.

Balls..Just balls.
If this is the case, I shall continue to eat substandard barbecued chicken. In keeping with the twisted themes, I see Weight Watchers put a ceramic chicken in the picture to give us a guide as to what this red carnage could be. Radishes and parsley were the garnish of the future.
Find me a food word that makes me cringe and chances are "piquant" is on the top of it. 

Definition of PIQUANT

: agreeably stimulating to the palate; especially : spicy
: engagingly provocative; also : having a lively arch charm 
How in the world is canned salmon on toast agreeable stimulating to the palate? Not two words that should go together. I'm cringing. Help me out of this. 
Just when you thought it was safe to think about eating again..