Vintage Cookbooks

Lichen roast


Today's entries are mostly from the Better Homes and Gardens Blender Cookbook. When you think of blending food, you think of pureeing it, mostly. But these are pre-food processor recipes, so it's not really so bad as it sounds. They wanted you to think of the blender as a convenient chopping tool, is all. This recipe doesn't even sound bad, and it appears to be garnished with things you could eat, but it looks so much like a moist tree stump with lichens formed on it, I'm surprised that the garnish isn't mushrooms and some sort of edible moss.


It's actually a bone-in pork roast, stuffed with a mixture of chopped celery and onions cooked in butter, and chopped apples and sauerkraut. I probably could eat that. 

Cheese casket

(originally posted 1.16.06)


I just find this horrifying, in every way. The "meat" looks carbonized, the "cheese" looks like cake icing, which, no, and the brussel sprouts are waaay too green. I don't like them anyway. They taste like little balls of cow cud, if you can, like me, imagine what cow cud tastes like. I am not a fan of food that comes in balls, anyway. Something about biting into them bothers me.

(Since I wrote this, I have come to appreciate sauteed or roasted Brussels sprouts. I'm fairly certain I'd still hate these ones, though.)

By the way. The caption says to serve this to produce a "British" flair for your meal. And there is a recipe for trifle, to have for dessert. You can see a bit of it in the photo. It's trifle in theory, anyway. I am surprised there is no little toothpick paper Union Jack stuck into the top of the cheese casket. But you could take that extra step yourself, now that I've given you the idea.  

Ham+balls=me giggling while pushing away my plate

(originally posted 1.16.06)

I just don't like balls of food. I also don't like wadded-up tissue, or when people take their straw wrapper and furiously roll it into a tight little icky thing that becomes slightly moist in the palm of their hand.

I'm aware of my issues.

This just cracks me up, though. I hate that there's no picture!



I don't want to put ham in a blender.

colo-rectal decay

(originally posted 1.16.06)

all in a row...

all in a row...

This time we've been offered chervil and orange wedges as a garnish. Herbs more commonly used in funeral rites and sprinkled on gravesites include wild marjoram, basil, and rosemary.

You know there's no more than 1/8 teaspoon of mustard in that sauce.

Addendum #1: I had to get a new image. That's not chervil. Notion still applies.
Addendum #2: I checked the recipe. There's actually an entire 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard in that sauce! Livin' large, baby. 

Come on over, I'll just throw something together for supper!

(originally posted 1.23.06)

Yes, these are canned tamales. But that's not even the scary part. 



Remember those? Individually wrapped in paper, and they made a cool vacuum-release sound when you up-ended the can into a saucepan. Well. You can do so much with them, so go get a can out of your pantry, where you keep all the essentials on hand for a surprise dinner crowd, and--

You say you don't just keep jumbo-sized cans of tamales in your pantry for emergencies? Surely you jest. Next thing, you'll be telling me there are no cans of hominy in there either, or Vienna sausages. What kind of a cook are you, anyway? These are emergency staples, people! Don't believe me? Read on. If you dare.

"Almost every ingredient used in Mexicali Casserole is an emergency shelf item that can be easily stored for unexpected company. Trim with snipped parsley."

1 1 pound 4-ounce can yellow hominy, drained

1 1 pound can tamales, cut in thirds

1 10 1/2-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 ounce sharp natural Cheddar cheese, shredded (1/4 cup)

Combine hominy, tamales, sausages, and soup; mix. Turn into 1 1/2-quart casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. If desired, garnish top with additional tamales. Sprinkle cheese atop. Return to oven to melt cheese and heat tamale garnish. Serves 6.

Don't you love the concept of garnishing meat with—more meat? Awesome.  

Come on in, let me fix you a drink!

(originally posted 2.5.06)

I'm having a Tanqueray Ten gimlet, made by shaking together 3 oz of the gin with 1 tablespoon of Rose's Lime until the shaker is stuck to your hand, then strained into a cocktail glass. It was so pretty I took a picture of it. But that is for another time of sharing.

Today I am madly excited over my latest purchase from Costco: A reprint edition of the 1953 Better Homes & Garden New Cook Book. How much does that rock? So much I can't even stand it.

Are you having a Super Bowl Party? Perhaps you already did before reading this. But here are some suggestions for the next casual-together in your home.



The goal toward which to work in a football supper is simple food and lots of it--the kind that will wait for the crowd to gather. Make field goals of green crepe paper; chalk off 10-yard lines. Stick mums through holes in your son's football helmet for the centerpiece. Make "goal posts" by tying ribbons between two paper-wrapped mailing tubes at either end of the green field. You already have all that stuff on hand, right?

And here's what to serve:

Fruit Punch, Appetizer Tray
Mexitalian Spaghetti
Coleslaw, Cream Dressing
Carrot Sticks, Celery Curls, 
Olives, Pickles
Tiny Hot Mince Pies, Hot Coffee

For one of your appetizers, why not try Bologna-Olive Roll-ups? All you need do is wrap bologna slices around plump stuffed olives and fasten them with brightly colored cocktail picks!

By the way, I actually could not find the recipe for "Mexitalian" Spaghetti. However, there was one for Irish-Italian Spaghetti. I do not know what was Irish about it unless you count the fact that the sauce was made with cream of mushroom soup, added to tomato soup, with the insanely generous quantities of 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp tabasco sauce, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Call the fire station, my mouth is burning up!

Is mushroom soup an Irish thing? I don't know. But since, if you come right down to it, there's really nothing Italian about mixing any canned soup with tabasco--wait--that seems like something someone would call Mexican...the confusion has overtaken me at this point, so I'll call it quits.

We missed you last week!

(originally posted 2.6.06)

But we were just exhausted after too much time away from home. Here's a treat to make up for that.



You will never in a million years guess what's in it!

Give up yet?


It's a Liver Sausage Pineapple! Is that what you guessed? Braunschweiger, right? You mix a pound of it with a little lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and mayo, and shape it around a jelly glass. Whatever that is. ;-) THEN! You frost it with a chilled mixture of 1 cup mayonnaise and unflavored gelatin dissolved in 1 cup of hot water. THEN! you score it and "stud" it with sliced stuffed olives. Top with real pineapple top.

Do you wonder why it looks as though it has a knife stuck in the gut like somebody who stiffed their bookie after a long losing streak? Me, too.

What to do with the rest of the pineapple? Why not chop it into bite-sized pieces, and combine with halved grapes, ginger ale, and mild white candy mints for a tasty Pineapple-Mint Cup? So refreshing!

And don't forget the Pretzel Pops to round out the whole picture. If you like, you may use luncheon meat chunks instead of cheese.