Monday, August 08, 2005

Fun with Food

This has been an exhausting weekend. Got up early on Saturday morning, spent 9 hours in a car, got up early on Sunday, spent almost 12 hours in a car. Today, got up early, ran all over creation, then went up to rr's work to help with a crisis.

But something good did come out of it. Well, several things, actually. I got to see my grandpa, which is always good. And he let me take one of my grandmother's old cookbooks (I say "let," but really it was his suggestion--his motto is the more we take now, "the less discussion there'll be later.").

The cookbook is fabulous. Published in 1967, it's one of those compilations of recipes published by some women's organization, in this case, the Grace Club Auxiliary. Each recipe lists the contributor. Normally the contributor is someone like "Mrs. Richard Rutenberg" or "Mrs. Harry M. Rhett, Jr.," but there are occassional non-wife contributors, like the "Chances 'R' Supper Key Club, Carriage Inn Motor Hotel" (contributor of Crabmeat Au Gratin with Toast Points).

The recipes are exactly what you'd expect. There are plenty of the gelatinous delights, such as "Congealed Christmas Ring" and "Mandarin Duet." Personally, I'm not eating anything that has the word "congealed" in the title. In my book, "congealed" is rarely a word I want associated with food that is to be eaten. I use it almost exclusively to describe something that should have been thrown out weeks before.

There's also something called "Chicken Chartreuse." Chartreuse is another word that I do not want associated with my food. I know it's a liqueur and all, but it's also an unpleasant color. According to Merriam-Webster, chartreuse is "a variable color averaging a brilliant yellow green," which I'm pretty sure is the color you turn right before you throw up. It is not a color I find acceptable in chicken I'm about to consume. Maybe I could eat the "Breast of Chicken Tropicale," which as far as I can tell is "tropicale" only because the recipe includes pineapple. Tropicale, indeed.

Another favorite is "All-Bran Refrigerator Rolls." Please. Do not serve these to your unsuspecting guests.

I could go on and on about "Party Chicken with Cling Peaches," "Hamburgundy Balls in Wine Sauce," or "Italian Spaghetti" (listed under Foreign Foods), or tell you about the entire section just on recipes with water cress, but really, you have to see it to believe it.

The only thing that would make this cookbook better is if it had pictures of the food. If I ever do actually have a dinner party, and you are fortunate enough to be invited, don't worry, I will not be serving you bran rolls. But as for the rest of the recipes, all I can say is, I hope you like shrimp in your jello.

22 comments:

NYgirl said...

Chicken Chartreuse: definitly not a good name for a dish.

Amstaff Mom said...

I can almost picture Mrs. Richard Rutenburg or Mrs. Harry M. Rhett, Jr., holding their prized bran muffins or Mandarin Duet, posing for the camera. Complete with flared skirt, curly hair and horn-rimmed glasses.

Italian Spaghetti. HA! Is there another kind?

And if you ever throw a dinner party, please make sure the former JLR receives a dinner invite. Thanks!

MsThang said...

mmm... shrimp in my jello is my fav! What time should I be there? lol

Kim Plaintive said...

Hey, don't hate on chartreuse, it's a lovely color. I used to rock it hard in like sixth grade.

But, agreed, it's not a good look for food.

jes said...

hmmm. and, why did you want this cookbook? or was it forced on you? at gunpoint?

Katie said...

JLR - you're speaking my language. Don't people realize that many of us make our decisions based on color, smell, and even names. This cookbook might be the motherload of best food in the world but I will sit at a table and refuse to eat many of these meals based on name alone.

Also, I am SOOOO glad that gelatin has been removed as a food staple from dishes now a days. Umm that must have something to do with war-time shortages, because ALL our grandmothers made something at sometime in a gelatin ring with meat, vegetables, fruit and jello. Unfortunately, usually all of the above were included together. GROSS.

Ben said...

At least it wasn't "Coagulated Christmas Ring" That would have been REALLY gross.

MsThang said...

lol Katie.. yes all grandma's try to ruin Jello by adding products that clearly don't belong there.. fruit clearly a yes.. meat NO!

Amstaff Mom said...

I LOVE Jell-o. Plain is best, or with fruit only. All this talk of vegetables and meat in it is COMPLETELY grossing me out.

Deals On Wheels said...

I have an irrational fear of your cookbook...

JLR said...

Deals: that fear is not irrational.

JLR said...

nygirl: I'm wondering why that thought did not occur to them.

AM: TOTALLY.

msthang: what a cute picture! And if you're lucky, I'll send you that shrimp jello dish. I was so not making that up.

KP: chartreuse is not a good look for me. It's a worse look for chicken. Although, when I'm wearing chartreuse, I have about the same complexion as one who has eaten that chicken.

jes: I LOVE oddities like this. Have you not seen Senor Duckworth?

Katie: absolutely. What you said.

Ben: EW. ew ew EW.

RR said...

Many people still serve Chicken Breast Tropicale, only these days they call it "Hawaiian Chicken," also so-named because they add one slice of pineapple. I didn't know Hawaiian Chicken had such a long history. Hmm.

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Amstaff Mom said...

I just couldn't help myself. I was hoping the first spam ad would change the words enough to not require censoring, but not so much. Here's the second one. That's what they get for spamming you. And hello to both JLR/RR! It was awfully quiet yesterday without you.

* the place installation to look at pretty I building my place of installation good. I place of in line of the free line of statement at the disposal, if you leave one moment to re-examination him maintenance

Kim Plaintive said...

Haha good one, Amstaff Mom! I had two of those spam comments on my blog this morning too -- I deleted them. Annoying spammers!

Amanda Sue said...

ew. pictures in old cook books gross. me. out.

they zoom in on the grease and everything is the same orangy-brown color. yech.

jello is excellent with a 1:1 cool whip ratio. :)

JLR said...

AM: I like your version much better.

KP: They got you, too? That is SO annoying. I do not understand spammers.

AS: I'm with you on the cookbook colors. And on the jello thing.

Sydney said...

Oh how I LOVE COOKBOOKS! But you need to be weary! I love it... the jello thing is the kicker. I agree with the 1:1 ratio of cool whip vs. the jello.

My mom decided she had to much zucchini in the garden and tried to sneak it into the Jello! DIDN't WORK! It smelled like freshly mowed lawn. We still laugh to this day over zucchini Jello!

steve said...

i might be ill...

CR said...

Hmmm, my Thanksgiving Day plate never included the gelatin items, unless it was Orange Salad.

Funny though, I don't recall ever seeing those dishes when we were visiting the GP's.