Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reminiscing: The Any Oven Cookbook -- Microwave/Conventional Recipes from Saran Wrap

After surviving my fourth day in a row in 100+ degree temperatures in a house with no air conditioning, any cookbook with the word "oven" in it makes me want to cry.  However, for my gentle readers, I will sweat it out and bring you the highlights of:

This book was published in the best year ever--1981.  With one exception, which you will find at the end of this post, I have limited my commentary to the color photos.  Let's begin with this one:

Here we have bacon wrapped chicken livers, marinated chicken wings (these look more like drumsticks, but what do I know?), and shrimp and cheese canapes.  First of all, what a waste of bacon.  Second of all, who wants to eat chicken livers cooked in the microwave?  Third, who would serve these to party guests?

With a fantastic 80s backdrop of quilted yellow vinyl appliance covers, this next photo features chicken pineapple kabobs and Chinese-style ribs.

I'm not sure how you make the ribs look more appetizing, but those chicken kabobs look like blobs of brain matter next to chunks of epidermis.  Ugh.

As if those two dishes aren't bad enough, here is a photo of summer soup and cherry soup.  There are no words for that bowl of blood with a lemon garnish...

My objection in this case has little to do with the food.  I am frightened beyond all rational thought by the sneers of those totem pole vases holding clippings from Audrey II.

Nothing like a big old fish-shaped shrimp mousse cooked in the microwave...

I have stared at this photo of poached salmon for a long time and I cannot figure out how exactly one could achieve that color and texture, even using a microwave.  Maybe the steaks were cut from an albino salmon?

I didn't think there was any way to make tomato aspic any more horrible, but I think that making it in a microwave would definitely push it into horrendous territory.

Wouldn't you be thrilled if a well-meaning neighbor brought these rectangular morsels by your house to welcome you to the neighborhood?

I know what you're thinking--what are those?  Well, gentle readers, those are raisin bars, cooked in the microwave "until there are no wet spots on the surface."

And, finally, what I believe to be the worst idea in this entire cookbook (including the bacon-wrapped chicken livers):

A pie crust (yellow food coloring optional) baked in the microwave.  How would that even work?  Won't the shortening just melt?  Won't it sit in your stomach like a hunk of lead when you eat it?  Pie crust isn't that hard to make and if you're making a pie, for the love of God, bake the crust in the oven.

Until next time, gentle readers...


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Your cookbook additions amaze me.
How do you do it?

Leah said...

Why is this a Saran Wrap cookbook? Clearly these delicacies are so wonderful, they would get completely eaten and there would be no need for Saran Wrap to protect the leftovers!

Ken said...

Silly Leah. You don't just use the Saran Wrap for storage--you use it to help you cook things! This involves covering dishes and poking holes in the Saran Wrap--that kind of thing ;-)