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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Meatless and Moldless

I know what you are wondering. How can I possibly make a blog post without my two favorite subjects: meat and gross gelatin molds. My inner Southern Homemaker, whom I did not know existed was calling me, so I decided to take a small hiatus from the Family Circle books I've been using and go back to the Southern Living Cookbook. I still have ten books left from that collection.

The Vegetables Cookbook. What harm could I possibly inflict upon Earth's Bounty? I'll play nice. That's all I can promise. I'll play nice. My son decided he wanted to glue all of my crayons together and make one megacrayon so I couldn't color in any of the black and white photos. I love that kid. Really. I do promise that there are no gelatin molds and no meat. The Bad and Ugly of Retro Food is going vegan for a few hours. 

Don't worry, this is only temporary. Really these aren't my worst pictures I've posted. But the snark is there and if it is on my table of books waiting to be posted, I'm going to find something, dadgummit. 

Back to the mysterious no name on the cover Southern Living, The Vegetables Cookbook, 1972 is enjoying its day in the limelight. At least I think it is. I don't talk to my books. That would make me weird.
They want you to work to find the topic. Open the book! I think this set was intended to never be used. Just displayed amongst the Grolier Encyclopedias, Time Life Books, etc. Never to be used or taken seriously. I believe the last two sentences.  

Mushroom Delight. Can it be drank? Should you use a spoon or a fork? Or even a straw to slurp out that clear and precious vinegar water? Is a goblet really the most appropriate vehicle for what sounds like something that is being brined or pickled? Maybe a jar? Or would that deflect from the WTF shock value?
I've decided to put all of these talking points preface and chapter entries in one section. It's easier to make fun of them that way.
Leafy vegetables are not so appetizing when you think of all the contaminated bagged salads being recalled. Imagine the crisp leafy vegetables being used as toilet paper for a migrant worker's ass or maybe washed with run off cow shit water? So the next time you have a hankering for a salad with perfect green leafy vegetables, let that image run around in your mind for a little while.
A lima bean is a butter bean is a lima bean is something I'm not putting in my mouth now or ever.
How shitty the second paragraph is. It implies the only type of women who care to cook to please their families and friends are SOUTHERN WOMEN. That's right, those of us north of the Mason-Dixon Line don't know our stalk vegetables from our elbows. We are just clueless about vegetables.
I daresay this "vegetable fruits" was a phrase that did not catch. Nice try though.
Stuffed Cabbage Head. How perfect can that be? How rare it is that one person gets their own stuffed cabbage head. What a treat this is! I need crayons. I need crayons bad. I think I see the colors but the ones he didn't glue together were not cabbage colors.
Pole Beans with Mustard Sauce. It seemed so normal. Pole Beans. Then a packaged white sauce mix and mustard had to go and make this an attention seeker. No attention is bad attention for pole beans I guess.
Dixie Pole Beans. See, normal. Nothing bad or ugly here. Just beans that I probably wouldn't eat or feed my family.
Seen one mixed bean salad, you've seen them all. Whether it comes from Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Betty Crocker, they all look the same. I'm guessing it is more of a brand preference.
Boiled Dinner Beets. Have you seen anything so sad and plan before? It's just beets and onions and butter and lemon gelatin. Lemon Gelatin? Finally! I was missing lemon gelatin. I guess it adds the shine.
Bountiful Vegetable Platter. I guess "bountiful" is synonymous with "wasteful." I've seen these peas and onion cups in many books and just must know how they are eaten. Does one scoop the peas out of the onion and eat them that way, discarding the onion? Does one just pick it up and bite into it like an apple, spilling peas everywhere? Is it cut up in many pieces and there's a good pea to onion ratio? Am I asking too many questions?
Celery and Cheese Casserole. I guess if you aren't a Southern Homemaker, this makes no sense to you either. I'm not a Southern Homemaker. My mind thought it was and I had to talk it down.
Fresh Tomato Casserole. Because nothing says Southern like sliced tomatoes. These red rings are on top of a concoction made from celery, green pepper, onion, corn, boiled eggs, and white sauce. I think I'll pick the tomatoes off, grab a weird salt shaker and forget the rest.
Here's five more reasons who I will not ever eat stuffed peppers. It kind of looks to me like the one on the bottom left is stuffed with macaroni and cheese. Little weird.
Fresh Southern Corn Pudding. Okay, I'd probably eat it.
Fried Eggplant. It looks like a serial killer donated his brain to science and these are the cross sections of his brain.
Okra with Grapefruit Butter Sauce. Does this really need to be created? Okra is so podlike and slippery and grapefruit juice is just tart.
Pay no attention to that bucket tipped over with green vegetables pouring from it. Look at the little stuffed zucchini. That's the dish being depicted in this picture. Not the fallen basket of someone who was just so eager to see the stuffed zucchini they dropped everything and let the contents spill everywhere.
Delicious Crab Stuffed Tomatoes. I think the word "delicious" is subjective. Especially when this looks like a poorly lanced boil. Cut across several times just to let the pus ooze from it. That is one long ass tomato.
It was brief. It had to be done. Don't worry. I'll be back to my meaty ways again soon.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Greetings, Hello, Hi..

There's still 10 books left in the Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking, 1972. Today I will delve into Volume 8, Egg-Fro. I cannot be the only one who rolls their eyes at the way these books are arranged. It would have been too easy to just make a book A-C, D-F, etc. Now I am just making up words as I go along.

Like the other books in this series, it's broken down into four sections:

Eggs, Cheese, and Dairy Foods That Please (LAME): Tips on Buying and Storing, a Quick Table of Cheese, a Potpourri of Recipes. In other words, nothing attention grabbing. 

The Electric Cook: How to Make the Most of Small Electric Appliances.  Allow me to point out the fact that the electronic appliances in 1972 where not very small compared to what we used today. 

Foods From Afar: Exotic Recipes from Around the World. In other words, Americanize foreign foods for Americans who have never been overseas and if they ever do, they will expect it to taste like it came out of a Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking cookbook set. 

Frozen Assets: Tips on Buying and Storing Frozen Foods, How to Cook for the Freezer, How to Freeze Foods. There are entire cookbooks devoted to this and Family Circle was kind enough to condense it into one little section of a 16 volume set. Thank you, Family Circle.

If the captions are in quotes they are from the book. I feel like I need to include that disclaimer so nobody gets confused and think I would come up with some of those off the wall comments.

Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking, 1972, Volume 8, Egg-Fro. Eggfro can be a word. Why? Because I just decided that.
I'm struggling but I am just not transporting myself to distant lands based on the contents of this book.
Right because if I buy a TV dinner with the contents already cooked and in its own little tray, I surely am going to take the time to redo it. What's the point in that?
If you are not a smart homemaker, go away. This does not apply to you because you skimp on eggs. You are dumb. How quaint the last paragraph makes the mass production of eggs. The reality is probably not the same as the fantasy.
Cluck Cluck
I've never combined milk and other ingredients like that so I don't know for sure if they are poisonous. They sound like it on principle alone. Looks like the standards on milk requirements have been adjusted somewhat. A quart, really? I don't think I drink a quart a milk a week.
Perfectly poached eggs. I have to hate on this only because I lack the ability to perfectly poach an egg. I don't even think I know how to poach one come to think of it. 
"South of the border variation of America's favorite, ham and eggs with fluffy scrambled eggs spooned on top of a tomato-rich sauce studded with ham chunks." Exactly how far south of the border must one venture to be given the opportunity to try this?
"Ever try baking a soufflé on top of a sandwich? It works splendedly with zippy Souffléd Pastrami Rounds.." Nope. I can't say I have. I can't say I want to. Go away.
Why does all of the "quaint and dainty" lady food look like it's been jizzed upon? I'm starting to put two and two together.

It's tha time of year again! Time to have more hardboiled eggs on hand than should ever be consumed! When all is said and done, make all of the leftovers that have been sitting at room temperature all day, into something with mayonnaise like this Deviled Eggs Supreme in Curry Sauce.
"A new sort of basket of eggs, this one is a hollowed-out round bread loaf filled with an egg-tomato-salad." Actually it doesn't look like a basket. It looks like a hollowed out round bread loaf filled with an egg-tomato-salad. Just saying.
Sun-Gold Egg Mold. It looks to me like an unlanced boil.
When I don't know if I want pizza or if I want an omelet, I just mix it all together and come up with Pizza Omelet. Who doesn't?
Golden Cheese Soufflé. Looks more blackened than golden. And in an effort to hide this obvious faux pas, there are white carnations in the back. Carnations remind me of funerals. I instantly hate this.
High Hat Swiss Soufflé and Ham and Cheese Roulade. Do you know what I want to do when I see a soufflé in these books? I want to stick all of them with a fork and watch them collapse. I don't know why. It's like going to a store, seeing a huge display of these and fighting the urge to crush every single one of them: 

I just want to squeeze them and feel them break. Don't judge. It's like bubble wrap to me.
Checkerboard Cheese Layers. Layers. Lots of layers. Not seeing a checkerboard pattern though. I did think those breadsticks were rolling pins. Maybe they want to work on making this look real? I didn't say edible. Just real.

"Baked Crab-Tuna Fondue looks like a fondue--" I'm going to stop right there because it looks like a soufflé.
More Easter Eggs. There is a way of decorating them other than sticking them in a cup of dye with vinegar? Hmm..I learn something new every day.
Gadgetry. All of these are intimidating me. I do love how the and mixer has its own case. An ice crusher? I bet these people used rotary phones too. Probably in these colors. I'm kidding! I remember my mother had some of these too.
That looks like the cause of burns of various degrees and a future of skin grafts just from touching it for a half a second.
"You don't have to do Russian tea in this electric pot." Which is why the three little Russian dolls have their backs turned. They know they are no longer needed.
Those are some pretty brown waffles.
What role the sewing machine plays in this, I don't know. Not even the captioner knows apparently. "The sewing machine won't help, but it doesn't matter with this super-easy way to prepare delicate, light wafffles that will make your family beg for 'more, more, more.'"
Stuffed Frankfurter Wrap Arounds. Exactly what they are wrapped around, I do not know. This is confusing me. I'll just look at those molds.
The ladies of the world with their traditional country themed foods and country costumes.They look like waitresses in a cheesy themed restaurant. I apologize for the scan.
"From France, a delicate pâté molded in tiny cups." Looks like a lot of wasted work.
This might claim to be from China, but the garnish gives the origin away.
English Stuffed Ham to keep "Anglo-American relations warm." As if this is going to bridge the gap.
Raw meat next to vegetables. Always a good idea.
Dilled Shrimp in Aspic. It all looks like it is in a state of suspended animation. Forever.
Rainbow Cake. The first time it actually is a cake and not something else.
I'll just be nostalgic and keep mine in the tray thank you.
This is intended for someone who has to stay busy all the time. Idle hands and all.
Well, I have a sick child to pick up from school so I expect the rest of my day to be fun!