Thursday, August 27, 2009

Reminiscing: Good Housekeeping's Appetizer Book

...and I'm back, gentle readers, with another example of the fabulous fare of the days of yore.

This time, I present Good Housekeeping's Appetizer Book:

I will apologize now for the wonky scans. Apparently my scanner was drunk and some of the images are strangely oriented.

This book is full of "irresistible canapes, hors d'oeuvres and nibblers." I do not care for the word "nibbler" in reference to food and this cookbook really overuses the term. By the way, I have to mention the odd "tablescape" on the cover--are those "cracker kabobs" sticking out of a pillar candle that is sitting in a base full of fake flowers? Fancy...

So, on the first page of recipes, we have the following: "Garlic Cheese Dunk," which contains something called "garlic cheese" that I have never heard of, "Speedy Tuna Dunk," which is a combination of butter, olives, and canned tuna, and my personal favorite, "Peanut Butter-Catchup Dip." Peanut butter mixed with catchup with corn chips to dip? Is this a joke? Can you imagine the color? The texture? Ugh.

The next page offers a recipe of equally squicky color: "Avocado Cream Cheese Dip," which not only contains fresh avocado and cream cheese, but also milk and green food coloring. And then there is the picture and recipe for "Pineapple Dip-Its." You know it's a party when the hostess brings out some canned pineapple stuck with toothpicks and some piles of cheddar cheese and flaked coconut for dipping.

I really like the name of the recipe on the top left corner: "Carra-Chee Appetizers." This one includes my favorite: frankfurters.

Also, there is a recipe for "Cress and Curry." This seems like they ran out of ideas on page six and had to think of something to fill the last two inches on the page. Dip water cress into "mayonnaise stepped up with curry powder."

The people in the illustration really seem to be enjoying the "Deviled Ham and Cheese Spread," "Peanut-Ham Spread," and "Surprise Cheese Whip." Again, why were people so into deviled ham in the 50s and 60s? And in what world does deviled ham taste good with chunky peanut butter, mayonnaise (or salad dressing!), and dill pickle?

You just have to read this one for yourself--the phrase "stick and pick" should draw you in anyway. Click on the image to enlarge it.

The things these people do to avocado. "Avocado Crunchies" are cubes of avocado rolled in French dressing and then in crushed potato chips. How horrible! The textures, the flavors...the textures... And then, of course, you have your "Salami Kabobs" which include salami, stuffed olives, and canned pineapple. All three are delicious on their own. Together on a "pick"? Not so much.

Two things on this page. First, "Ham-Grape Pickups," which are pieces of deviled ham on crackers topped with sour cream and half of a grape. Seriously? Second, "Twin Bars," which are pieces of "process cheese" rolled in caraway or poppy seeds or parsley served with pumpernickel (why waste good pumpernickel?) and bottled mustard.

Below you will find recipes including frankfurters! My favorite on this page is the recipe for "Pineapple Sausage Kabobs." The instructions sound like something Father of Ken would write (he tends to put things in the most basic terms possible): "With each pick, stab a pineapple chink, then a piece of sausage." Then, you put them in a chafing dish full of hot pineapple juice to serve. Yummy.

Glamour shot! At the top, we have "Avocado Cream Cheese Dip" (the one with the green food coloring) then, below that, "Ham-Grape Pickups" which look as good as they sound. On the board is a "Chili-Cheese Log." I dislike the word "log" in reference to food as much as I dislike the word "nibbler" and I also think that they should have cleaned the knife next to the log before they took a picture.

On this next page, the authors got creative. They tell us how to make "Bologna Lillies" and "Planetary Frankfurters." You can read the recipe for the frankfurters for yourself and then take a look at the photo on the left--they do look tasty.

If you look closely at the picture, you can see the "Bologna Lillies" in the top left section of the serving dish.

I scanned this page for Leah:

Pickle boats! I love to make my food look like a sea faring vessel! Plus, you can use salami to make a sail!

For the next birthday you celebrate, how about a tasty "Hors d'Oeuvre Birthday Cake"? I mean, who wouldn't want a cake made from pumpernickel bread layered with cheese, olive spread, deviled ham, and liver pate and then frosted with cream cheese? Mmmmmm... I believe that the next birthday person in my life is Maile. I wonder if this would make it to Kansas in one piece?

Since I got you thinking about Christmas earlier this week, I wanted to offer an idea for any of your winter/holiday gatherings: "Snowman Appetizer Server." This is simply two plastic foam balls (one large and one small) purchased from the dime store, fastened together, and then topped with a "jaunty paper hat" (see the photo below).

This is so weird I don't even know where to begin. This is the photo on the back page of the book--shrimp on "picks" stuck randomly into a basket? How does that work when everyone is trying to get a shrimp? Does one person hold on to the basket while the others have a tug-of-war over the shrimp?

As I end, I have one more question. Do you think that when people went to these parties where the hosts served food on "picks" and "sticks" and they got really drunk there were ever any serious accidents like people getting stabbed in the eye or slipping on a random glob of deviled ham that someone dropped on the floor during a game of Twister or accidental "pick" swallowing and subsequent choking? This kind of party with "picks" and "sticks" seems potentially dangerous.


dle1004 said...

I was cleaning out some stuff and found this same book, and now I am going to have to show it to my sister to see if she remembers our Mom making any of those recipies or centerpieces!! My all time old time favorite is The American Woman's Cookbook...that one I remember cooking from!

Leah said...

That's what she said!

Also, if you take that cake to Maile for her birthday, please please please please take pictures of her expression when she sees it.