Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reminiscing: Sunday Night Suppers

Mother and Father of Ken generously gifted me with three more cookbooks to add to my collection for my birthday. Since I know that many of you are looking for ways to use up the surplus gelatin in your pantries and new ways to serve tongue, I have scanned some of the pages of these cookbooks for your enjoyment. Today's offering is Sunday Night Suppers:

Click on the image below (or any of the others) to enlarge it so that you can read all about the history of chafing dishes, harking back to the "glittering 90s" (1890s, that is):

First, a new take on chicken livers, this time with pineapple and almonds. I am certain that the photograph does not do justice to this succulent dish:

I love the illustrations on this page--the guy hunting for a rabbit to make into Welsh Rabbit I, Welsh Rabbit II, Welsh Rabbit III, or Glorified Welsh Rabbit. I also love the stereotypical Swiss girl on the next page.

Here, the writers from the Culinary Arts Institute have written some fine words in praise of casseroles as a choice for Sunday night suppers. They also provide great recipes for delicious casseroles such as "Noodle-Frankfurter Casserole." The word "frankfurter" always makes me laugh because it makes me think of the children's book Zag: A Search Through the Alphabet and the three furious frankfurters in the frying pan. I do like a good frankfurter, but not in a casserole, just in a bun.

The idea of a 3 lb. roll of bologna is disgusting to me. The idea of surrounding it with scrambled eggs (one of the few foods that I absolutely refuse to eat unless I am forced to do so) is even worse:

The "Quick Cheese Loaf" on the right unappetizing. Process Swiss cheese, poppy seeds, lemon juice, MSG...ew.

The one color picture in the whole book really puts these recipes in a positive light. From the top left, we have avocado tomato cups, then make-it-yourself sundaes on the right, creamed ham in potato cups on the bottom right, and "Savory Roast Ham" on the bottom left. It looks like that ham has been cooked to death. Can you imagine trying to hack through the layer of hardened caramel? I hope they had an electric knife.

I love the introduction to the "Sky-High Braunschweiger Towers": "Here's a way to make that modest old stand-by, liver sausage, into an impressive hot supper dish. It's handsome, it's delicious, it's easy!" Remind me not to try this. And "Summertime Supper Spread with Spicy Minted Prunes"?

Check out the amount of time you are supposed to cook these green beans--15 to 20 minutes! I know I love a good plate of gray beans with the texture of baby food. I am also intrigued by the recipe for "Broccoli with Fluffy Sauce." "Fluffy sauce" is made from mayonnaise, pickle relish, pimento, lemon juice, celery salt, cayenne pepper, and beaten egg whites. Ugh.

The photograph below illustrates the recipe for club salad with jellied consomme. Why did people like jiggly textures in the 1950s? There is also a recipe for "Creamy Lemon Mayonnaise" at the bottom of the page that includes sweetened whipped cream.

The choice of words here is just unfortunate: "Molded Ham Salad" and "Tuna Delight Salad Mold." I really don't think that "mold" should be in any recipe title. Also, the word "delight" or "surprise" in a recipe title is a clear indication that the dish will include one or all of the following pantry staples of the 1950s: gelatin (any flavor), canned soup (any flavor), processed meat and/or cheese, mayonnaise, evaporated milk, or canned pineapple.

In what world do cherries, blue cheese, olives, and mayonnaise go together?

I guess the gentleman in the lower right corner really enjoyed the "Grapefruit Cake" that his new bride baked for him.

If you can stomach it, gentle readers, the next installment will be So Easy Recipes (And So Good, Too).


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thank you, for what you do.

liddadog said...

Oh my word, I don't know where to start. The pictures, the recipes, the comments! During my childhood, I believe my mother tried some of these kinds of things, particularly the jello concoctions. The good thing is - memories do fade!

Debbie said...

ha ha ha.....I too, had some of those dishes when growing up. Congealed salads...the whole bit.
I just discovered your's a fun one.