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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just Because THOSE Holidays Are Over...

Just because THOSE holidays at the end of the year are over doesn't mean that the rest of the year's holidays cannot have their own special little holiday feasts. At least that is the impression I am getting from my newest book collection, the 1971 Southern Living cookbook set. Who'd have thought when my kids wanted to throw that George Washington's birthday party last year and I had no ideas what to do, I could have just looked through a 1971 cookbook? I sure didn't! Or the time my husband paced the living room frantically, his fists clenched as he bemoaned being the one who had to bring dessert for the Abraham Lincoln's birthday potluck? I'm just saying, this cookbook could have been helpful and I have let them down. 

None of that is true but I needed to stress the overall importance of this book.

The Holiday Cookbook, Southern Living, 1971. No title on front. No writing at all. It's a mystery. The faded candles in the background.
There we go. I'm proud of myself because I think I figured out the Roman Numerals.
Look at that amazing shrimp tree. Shrimp grow on trees and look like that in their natural state. They can't put anything on the internet that isn't true.

This is so full of gaude and tack and kitsch that it's almost hard to see the foods in the center. Jingle, Jingle.
This is a classic reason to avoid the punch bowl at all costs. Not because it may be spiked, though it should be in this case. But because it's just V8 and lemon. This should have some vodka splashed in it. Lots and lots of vodka.
Celebrate your New Year's Eve with Dilled Salmon Mousse. If your guests aren't drunk enough, and they probably won't be on virgin V8 and lemon punch, this jellied mixture of salmon, sour cream, mayonnaise, gelatin, herbs and spices, pickles, and vegetables ought to have them screaming for you to spike the damn punch.
Rock Lobster Curry Afrikaans. I don't care if it has lobster in it. It has sliced cooked bananas and that's just not right. Maybe it's right for the recipe but it still has cooked bananas in it.
Sigh. I see these gorgeous black and white pictures that would make such good material if they were in color. If I were to attempt to cook a ham and coat it with gelatin, dill pickle liquid, mayo, mustard, food coloring, pimientos, gherkins, scallions, dill pickles, watercress, I would much prefer it to be in color so I could see what I was getting myself into.
There. That's better. Sometimes I just need to take matters into my own hands and color the picture myself.  I don't know if I should be pleased or ashamed.
Valentine's Day is coming up! If you want to make it the most memorable ever, serve Valentine Aspics for that special someone in your life. If he or she stays, then it's true love. Personally, I would run far and fast and never look back.
I figured if I'm going to do it once, I might as well do it again. When Crayola makes its campaign for the next color, I am going to suggest "Aspic Red".
If the aspics didn't go over well, Artichokes with Desert Slaw may make or break the evening. I'm betting on breaking the evening. If your love is a sucker with no self esteem, he or she might pity you and stick around. Just don't offer dessert.
When I think of George Washington's birthday, I am instantly reminded of Clam Cottage Cheese Mold. You just can't have one without the other.
Labor Day! Who's going to be the one to flaunt the fruits of their labor with a tomato aspic ring and shrimp remoulade in the middle? Who gets the bragging rights?
Ripe Olive Chili. Allow me to be the odd one here. I'm not a fan of chili in glass goblets. It looks cold and it looks like it reeks.
Golden Cream Waldorf. Thank you for leaving a small mount of peel exposed for color. I'm not afraid to get the crayons out again. But I was spared. I wonder who is licking their chops at this ring of lemon gelatin with mayonnaise and heavy cream?
With parsley poofing out of the top like a 1970s porno scene, this Harvest Squash Ring is sure to please the masses.
It's dark. Candles are placed in random spots throughout. The branches of the tree sway slightly, brushing against the crust of the fruitcake. It's the last color picture in the book. Why am I whispering as I type this?
Happy rest of the year holidays to all!

Psst..Back and Sour Creamy

I'm back!! One ironic thing about writing a blog and scanning old cookbooks is that without a scanner, my blog is worthless. Sure, I could go from website to website looking for pictures, but everything I put on here comes from my own collection. Problem has been solved and I'm back! I won't bore anybody to tears about what happens when someone who is used to temperatures being in the 70s in January is suddenly exposed to temperatures in the teens. I tend to garner zero sympathy from those in those zones. 

Another thing I would like to mention before I go further and for those perusing my blog for the first time, I need to add a small disclaimer. Particularly for those Marguerite Patten defenders who like to leave paragraphed comments asking me how Marguerite Patten must feel knowing her work is being ridiculed. HA! I'm sure she has other things bigger and better in her life than my little blog and what I say. Good grief, I bash Betty Crocker like she's the epitome of all that is evil. Also, because I do not like to cook, I should have no business talking about cooking. 

DISCLAIMER: The Bad and Ugly of Retro Food is a blog based on a SATIRICAL viewpoint of old photography and recipe cards. At no point in any of my posts do I claim to be a foodie or a chef. In my blog, any and all food from mid 1900's is not exempt from my SATIRE. If there are any questions regarding the definition of SATIRE, please feel free to contact me. 

I should have done that a while ago. Anyway, if you are willing and able to look further, let's proceed. I don't normally like to call out those who comment, but it seems the Patten cards get the most outcry. They caught my eye for a reason. Maybe because the food looked ugly and bad? 


As you all know, sour cream and cottage cheese are two foods that give me le gags. It's time for me to face my fears with a quick post. Anything is quick after my previous post with my 80+ pictures. 

Knudsen Recipes, 1959
Does that say 11th Edition? Someone needs to go on an ebay shopping spree! Let's get ready to find out how glamorous a booklet from 1959 about sour cream, buttermilk, and cottage cheese can be. I like seeing how the word "gay" has evolved from happy to joyful, to homosexual, to stupid. If I had the prettiest apron to don, it's not going to be to throw something together with a container of Hampshire Sour Cream and a grin on my face.
This almost gives me a warm and fuzzy about the dairy industry.
Tiny Crabmeat Puffs and Spiced Ham Tidbits are particularly relished like men so you better make sure these manfolk have enough on hand or you will be a failure. No sugar coating it. You will fail. I do wonder if the weird serving plate was made with the intent of a pitcher and four glasses of glue surrounding it ever so correctly.
I kind of think I would prefer soup. Just putting it out there.
Cheese Aspic. Do my eyes deceive me? I have dozens of salad books with this recipe and never actually see a picture of one. Thank you Knudsen. Thank you for showing a picture of this layered Hampshire sour cream, cottage cheese, gelatin, bleu cheese, parlsey, pimiento, and celery chunks that are somewhere.
Cottage Cheese log. Some foods can be made into a log. Some shouldn't but somehow it looks like it would work. The little radish radish flowers have morphed into legs which gives it the potential to crawl and that has a creep factor there.
Jelly Fruit Ring Mold with Dressing. There are 24 litle balls of cream cheese disbursed throughout the ring of green. They are hiding within the pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges. There's a purpose for the sour cream and ginger ale mixture in the middle. What I don't know either. 
Holiday Frozen Salad. Because frozen cream cheese topped with sour cream and green cherries needs not be made the other 364 days a year. Please. I mean it.
You probably won't like what I am about to say about this Corned Beef Salad Loaf. I could stop at that but it's important to point out what looks like white tonsil stones are really cottage cheese curds.
Stuffed Pork Chops. Stuffed with what? Cottage cheese, mushrooms, and bread crumbs of course. I'm sure those pineapple chunks have a purpose in making this chaos even more chaotic.
Eggplant Meat Pie. If that doesn't make you need to scroll to the next pic, which won't be any better. In keeping with the topic of this book, there is also cottage cheese in the mixture. I'm not a judge of piecrusts, but that I believe that festive star created a crack in the crust.
Chicken Baked in Hampshire. Not enough pimiento olives. There needs to be at least another jar of them.
Burger Rice Casserole. It is surrounded by a cabbage fortress, peas in every crack and of course, Hampshire Sour Cream. Who's really going to eat this?
Beef Burger Roll and Shrimp and Peas on Muffins. This is supposed to be "elegant" but that's apparently subjective. What is considered elegant? None of the above? Okay. I'll accept that answer.
Tuna Cheese Cups and Chili Cheese Pie. Approved for Lent. Disapproved by me.
Not saying there needs to be a reason for Brussels Sprouts to be any more disgusting. Onion Cream certainly sets the bar of disgusting pretty high.
Potatoes Scalloped in Hampshire. Okay I can get past the strange shade of pinkish and the little pimiento arrangement. But I need create some confushion.  
Peas and Egg casserole, sure to be a crowd pleaser. Baked cauliflower below which bears a striking resemblance to the dish above. Not cool! They aren't supposed to look too much alike. 
Gone but not forgotten or even recognized by anybody born after 1960.  Tomato Steaks in Cream. Not just any cream, but Hampshire Sour Cream!
Hampshire Raisin Pie. Guess where the Hampshire is? On top! Peach-Cardamon Rice Ring. Yeah I think I'll skip dessert tonight.
Alright my fellow chubs, it's time to get real. Time to put the pounds behind us. Slurp down some buttermilk in between meals so your stomach can be full of curdling buttermilk. Sour Cream will slim you down so don't feel guilty about ordering anything Supreme from Taco Bell. Use it generously! Ever since I first read that a symptom of a yeast infection is cottage cheese like discharge, I decided I would never get near cottage cheese again.
 It is sure great to be back!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A lot of McCall's. Really.

Greetings all!! I'm getting ready to make the trek back to my Motherland of Indiana for the weekend so I won't make any blog posts. Since it's been a few days and it's going to be a few days, I am making this the longest blog post I have ever written. I'm hoping to find books in Indiana. Fingers crossed.

Why am I making this so long? Because I've had the McCall's Recipe Book Magazines (1974, reprint 1978) sitting on my desk for months. There hasn't been enough material in one book so I figured I would get them done at once.

My desk will be clear. That will make me happy. I was going to do a 1980 hamburger meat book but that didn't seem "retro enough" for me. Meh. 

I'm going to break it down book by book. Enjoy and I hope to have some great posts when I get back! 

McCall's Cookie Collection, 1974 (reprint 1978). What could possibly be done to cookies?
This creepy little doll gives the term "Mommy's Little Helper" a whole new meaning. Yikes.
I'm sure not only are they delicious but they have other digestive purposes.
Alright McCall's. Consider yourself on notice by the Grammar Police. Cookier and Goodier.
An urn would seem like a perfect cookie container. Toot Toot Toot on that Opus.
McCall's Practically Cookless Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978). Now we're talking my language!
Do try to keep up, McCall's. Nobody knows who Escoffier is without doing a Google. He was a famous French chef who wrote a lot of cookbooks. Nobody will ever guess how much of a fail that was!
This is your secret to being an instant Escoffier? A can of soup and a can opener? Sure.
Bologna Rarebit. With a heady beer. That ought to come out smooth.
I have nothing against corned beef and cabbage. I don't like it, won't eat it, but will torment it relentlessly. Especially if it's canned, sliced, and alternated and served with canned potatoes. I do hope nobody thought they were being sophisticated and Escoffier-like. There are so many corners cut this book should be a circle.
Aside from the color, the things that bother me in these books are the centerfolds. There's a lot to be said about boxed spanish rice and hot dogs. A lot indeed. But there's a line in the middle. It's still incredible to look at.
Cottage cheese cake. I think I have said enough but I was nice and gave the recipe. Please someone make it. Please!!!
Lima-Sausage Pie. Who is going to eat that in 2013? Who ate that in 1974 (reprint 1978)? It looks like we are done being Escoffiers.
McCall's Book of Cakes and Pies, 1974 (reprint 1978). Surely this won't be so bad. Surely.
Humpty Dumpty Cake. I think nothing else needs to be said about this book. Moving on.
McCall's Dessert Discoveries, 1974 (reprint 1978). Of course a few things caught my eye. Can you imagine going through these books for fun like I do? Then putting sticky tabs on the pages you want to use? Meh, if I didn't enjoy it so much I would have given up months ago. And you all enjoy it too. Except the occasional person who reads this and doesn't quite get the term SATIRE.
Quite possibly the most awesome display of gelatin usage I have seen. If I tried to do the purple and green design, I would have created a color not recognized by the human eye but scary enough to send animals into seizures.
Strawberries with Raspberry Sauce. While not bad or ugly, I have to wonder how someone digs into this without collapsing the heap? Sweet Tooth is gone. Let's continue because there were a lot of books in this set! Yet not enough to make posts.
McCall's Salad and Salad Dressings, 1974 (reprint 1978). I love the old salad books. I hate buying them and not seeing many pictures. This one is guilty of that.
Thank you Californians for that idea. Though I have never heard of it nor practiced such a mind boggling idea, I thank you. It took me 36 years to decide I liked avocado. It reminded me of bad baby shit for the longest time.
For once, the potato salad is not attracting me. Look at that lamp! I want nothing more than to jump into the photograph and wave my hand through those glass hanging things. Repeatedly. Enough to piss someone off. Clink!
Thank you for the description and I still will never eat a potato salad. It contains mayonnaise and that is an instant deal breaker for any and all food. I don't want tangy but not sour, creamy but not gooey. I don't want potato salad and in my anti-mayo family it is not a favorite.
I'm convinced that if this was the cover food, it would sell millions of books. Who doesn't want to eat that? Who does not salivate at the sight of it in their minds? Aside from everybody who reads the recipe or knows what a tomato aspic looks like but imagines eggs in it too.
Sour Cream Chicken Mousse does make for an interesting cover idea though. It looks like an opulent crown.
Not sold on the tomato-egg aspic? How about this one? There's only 2 tsp of MSG. Not quite enough to pickle your liver and make your pancreas cry.
Frozen tomato cucumber salad. Tomato sorbet base frozen and served with cucumbers. That sounds tasty.
Bet McCall's never thought "Gay" would mean something more than happy and exciting. Whoops. That's gonna come back and bite them in their ass. Enough salads!
McCall's Company Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978) Who still says they are having company over? Company. Stop!
There has to be a method of making food look like food and not a worm infestation. HAS to be.
Yeah I would have been a sucky bride back then. Who am I trying to impress exactly and why?
Pssssssssttttttt... Your concoction is smoking.
I'm also glad to be antisocial and belong to no ladies' club. Of course they are probably different now. But what do I know? I just said I was antisocial. And we are done having company. Company. Stop.
McCall's Do-Ahead Party Book, 1974 (reprint 1978). With the way these parties were, doing things ahead of time is a no brainer. Sheesh!
These need pictures. Otherwise my imagination takes me to the worst case scenario. My imagination is probably spot on.
Another thing that's not bad or ugly. Another picture of something I couldn't even try to make successful. I bet my kids would like a rainbow cake instead of just colored layers. It's special and made just for them.
Dear mother who wrote McCall': What difference does it make if your about-to-be-eight-years-old boy has freckles? Excuse McCall's for slanting their books towards little girls. Why don't you get some fuggin' creativity and figure it out for your own self? Cake. Food. Gifts. Boy Decorations. Done. Happy Boy with freckles who may or may not remember his 8th birthday but will spend a lifetime with a complex about his damn freckles.
Shower Food. See the umbrella with trickling water. Clever, clever, clever. Sarcasm should be duly noted.
13 years of blood, sweat, tears, broken hearts, friendships gone awry, bad grades, good grades. A rite of passage. Let's have tamale pie for that with a rolled up piece of paper to act as the diploma. Unless of course the recipient of this party didn't get a diploma.
I can only imagine what this would look like if I did it. Stairs maybe. Definitely not a wedding cake. Please don't ask me to make a wedding cake.
Obligatory sandwich loaf. Remember, it's not a cake. It's not sweet. It's something that has cream cheese for frosting. It's probably gross. Onward!
McCall's Coast to Coast Cooking, 1974 (reprint 1978) Oh goody. Food from all over the country! Which is why I found no pictures but a few captions.
I'm going to do just that. I am going to eat real pizza. Mom and Pop Pizza. Not chain pizza. But I get to actually leave the state. There are people who have never left Texas. It's a big country with other things to see and do. I've moved 14 times in the past 18 years.
I don't think people think this anymore. I could be wrong. I don't think I am. And I live in the South (for now). I'm a displaced Midwesterner. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
McCall's Worldwide Cooking, 1974 (reprint 1978) Oh boy. This should be fun. I don't have many sticky tabs.
It seems to me there is a reason that fork is impaled into this large roast. Perhaps it's not a good idea to remove it. Chaos may ensue.
I know nothing about English food. If this is accurate, great. Since it is coming from a McCall's book, I doubt it.
Is the Bubble and Squeak the sounds coming out of the butt after eating 4 cups of cabbage? Bubbly tummy and squeaky farts.
I spent two days in Paris and that's my French expertise aside from high school french and a wonderful pen pal I still communicate with after 26 years. I don't see French people turning to this book for accurate dishes. This is for people who have never left the country.
Scandinavian stuffed cabbage. Bravo for keeping the cabbage intact enough that there's a "surprise" inside. Our world tour has ended. You were warned I have a lot of books! 
McCall's Fish and Fowl Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978). Last time I posted about chicken, I ruined a food group for someone. I will be good. It's going to be hard but I can manage.
I'm pretty sure in today's day and age, people eat fresh fish all the time. Not everybody is a Catholic. Some people just like fish.
Pickled Herring. Who doesn't want a steaming bowl of fish that has been fermenting for a week?
Chicken Curry of course. It always looks like this. And it never looks good enough to eat.
Dilled Salmon Mold. Yes! Molded like a fish and full of dill, canned fish, sour cream. It's a keeper and sure to be a hit.
That turkey is a wee bit too red skinned for my liking. It's probably supposed to be a golden brown, but it didn't quite get there.
Squab Italiano. Yes, I know squab is not a staple in anybody's household. Just remember it is important that there are only three olives per bird. Bye Bye Birdie. We have another book.
McCall's Show Off Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978). Just what we need. A 1970's housewife showoff.
Eh, this is totally not worth the drama. I don't need to have a reputation in my neighborhood. Just keep your stupid ass dogs off my lawn and don't bother me. I'm not cooking for anybody. And if I do cook something and get praise, why would I need to feel ashamed that it didn't take me all day? How stupid.
It's not true, let the woman be something besides a mother to this helpless man. I do like malice though. And my man wasn't born in this era because I am a cougar. If he doesn't like my cooking, he knows where the stove is. I'm glad he's not like that. I'm glad he's a man and not a baby.
Orange onion salad. That's an odd combination.
Floating Island.The liquid is made of a thin custard and the mold is a type of meringue. That's showing off.
Sherried Bouillon on the rocks. See, it's on rocks. Get it. McCall's is so quippy.  Enough showing off. Next book!! 
McCall's Cocktail Time Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978). Don't get too excited.
Cheese Pâté Pineapple. With it's cream cheese, pimientos, cheddar cheese, the only thing that's a pineapple is the top. Riveting!
Meatballs in a chafing dish. Yay. I want to grab a middle one. It's too perfect and I want to watch meatballs roll.
People have Grandmothers like this? Ooooh, bright blue flame. Pretty. Let's move on! I'm almost done!
McCall's Homebaked Breads, 1974 (reprint 1978) There's nothing funny, bad, ugly about bread so I couldn't find anything. Last book coming up!
McCall's Picnic and Patio Cookbook, 1974 (reprint 1978). I just did a blog entry on outdoor cooking, but I have to get all the books. We're almost done! It's only taken me 4 hours to complete.
Curried Chicken Mousse. Because this is EXACTLY what I want to bring to an outdoor event. I'm sure it won't melt or anything if it's hot out. I bet it retains its shape (Sarcasm duly noted again).
Melon Surprise. Don't worry, I am going to spoil the surprise. It has fruit and jello inside. Giggle. How reverse of them!
A hot dog with bacon wrapped around it means no harm. It just wants to be eaten! LAST PICTURE!!
I agree with any and all that this was long. It was probably my longest post ever. And it will probably be my longest. I had to use these books. Plus I won't be here for four days. I will update my Facebook page when I can. 

I guess I should sleep. I have a plane to catch in a few hours.