Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Fast and Fancy

Today's treasure is 1969's June Roth's Fast and Fancy Cookbook, which promises 'glamourous gourmet dishes from inexpensive quick-fix foods'. Now, on first glance, that merely sounds like every other book from the era, but June Roth really did have a pantry and freezer filled with those 'quick-fixes' and intended to use them, as you'll soon see!

Front cover

This colorful, festive page shows the menu for a great cocktail party. Clockwise from top left: Pantry Paella, Kernal Corn Bread, Fiesta Chili, Calypso Kabobs, Polka Dot Peppers. A note on the Pantry Paella: Paella is an exotic Spanish delicacy. But, as with all fancy foreign dishes, there is often the dilemma of locating those rare ingredients. What do you do when you want sophisticated cuisine but can't track down such unheard-of ingredients as chicken and shrimp? Well, June Roth's Pantry Paella to the rescue! It's a melange of all the fruits of the pantry: canned corn beef and the dollar store favorite, Vienna sausages!

It's Game Night and you're feeling lucky with the complex Ham 'N Cheese Logs and delectable 'Tater Bean Salad (featuring frozen french fries and hard-cooked eggs)! The highlight of the page isn't the sticks of vegetables spiking out of the orange, but the adorable egg and olive penguin!

Beans! Beans! Beans! Would you rather try the North Star Bean Bake or the Beefed-Up Beans?

The frightening Spinach Ring, filled with (and swimming in) creamed eggs

June Roth really has a way with hard-cooked eggs. Behold the Flip-Top Deviled Eggs!

She has less of a way with frozen potato products. But, boy, does she love them! Clockwise from top left: Baked Seafood Salad (with a ring of tater tots), Crab a la Parmentiere (crinkle cut fry dippers!), Broccoli Crab Divan, and Curried Quiche (with a decorative sunburst of crinkle cut fries - she bought a big bag of 'em!). Hey, we all have different definitions of fancy!...

...And, she certainly does! The tomato topped chops, chicken, and meatloaf aren't the classiest part of this scene. It's the novel tomato candles! If only we could ask June what store she found them in because they're just darling!

Finally, if June were serious about compiling a recipe book with 'quick-fix foods,' she really couldn't ignore the classics: hotdogs and processed cheese food. First, we've got the wiener-studded Casserole Jardiniere. Towards the back, on the fancy pom-pom runner, is the Corn Medley Supper.