Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Encyclopedia Repulsica, vol. 7 (Pot-Sal)

Excerpts from volume 13 (Pot-Sal) of Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking. Interestingly, there is no recipe for potato salad in this volume!

This menu proposes that teenagers have arrived at your house 'by the carload.' The book doesn't say whether the ravenous teenagers are friends of your youngsters or if they're a roving gang looking for sustenance. Pizza, the book insists, is 'the easiest way to cope with hungry teenagers.' I don't think that these two pies would be considered pizza to most teenagers, though! Here we see the crowd-pleasing Ham-and-Salami Pizza and the Antipasto Pizza.

The roast matches the walls, the table, and the salad!!! This is Pimiento-Stuffed Lamb with that gravel from fish tanks sprinkled over top.

The main heading of this section is 'Roasts: The Comeback Trail' which sounds vaguely political. I certainly wouldn't vote for anyone who would endorse any of these dishes! This page: Boeuf à la Mode en Gelée, Sweet and Pungent Pork, and the top of Cabbage Head's cranium.

'Cool Molded Pork Loaf is an appetizing work of art' - This is perhaps my favorite of all the Dadaist aspics.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Encyclopedia Repulsica, vol. 6 (Lun-Nut)

Today's retrospective of the Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking has us examining volume 11 in the series. (Lun-Nut) covers lunch ideas for when you're tired of pickle and pimiento loaf or grilled spam, unique decorations for your Sunday brunch, and jellied poultry.

'What lunchbox toter wouldn't welcome one of these?' That's what I want to know!

It came from the deep to make your lunch box (or bag) appealing!

A scene from the play A Lunch For All Seasons starring Baked Salmon Mousse with Poulette Sauce and Duchess Potato Nests with Peas.

Starbucks' new taste of spring: Watercress Frappé (with optional radish rose). Try this new flavor sensation with soy milk!

Showpiece Centerpieces for Lunches and Brunches - See what you can do with asparagus and a melon!

More centerpieces - You'll never look at eggplant and watermelon the same!

The last two dishes fall into the latter part of the book, the 'You've Got To Be Nuts To Make This' section - 'When you're down to the tag ends of a turkey, it's time to make a sensational Avocado-Turkey Crown.' I'm not sure what that means, but the mere fact that you can't make this dish until you're down to them doesn't bode well.

'Chicken Indienne is a curry, all right, but it's a cool and shimmery mold with chutney sealed on top.' - The text seems to be a bit defensive about this dish being a curry and quickly tries to distract the reader with its refreshing gelatinous nature. Strange!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Encyclopedia Repulsica, vol. 5 (Egg-Lan)

The Sun-Gold Egg Mold is 'a diadem of hard-cooked eggs, sparkling under a gelatin glaze.' Hovering o'er a halo of cuke slices! In actuality, the 'diadem' looks like a gruesome scientific experiment.

Probably the most frightening interpretation of the Swedish Smorgasbord yet. Includes Salmon in Aspic and.. other stuff in aspic.

Cornucopia Ham Glacé is one showy star on your Easter table!

These hotdogs seem to be wrapped in some sort of meat and sprinkled with some onions. I was trying to determine which recipe this was, but, after perusing all the 'Hotdog Happenings' in the book, including the Hotdog Hoedown, the Frankfurter Fiesta, the Hotdog Winders, and even the Hotdog Saucies (not to mention the Pickle Pups and the Trade-Winds Treasure Dogs), I couldn't find mention of a non-bacon meat wrapped round a frank. It is surely a glorious idea, though.

The Weiner Tiara Bake - A traditional dish served at the annual Miss America inaugural luncheon (and, allegedly, the tiara that the contestants actually want!)

Ah, 'The Joy Of Cooking For Others'! But it's hard not to be discouraged when others are calling your 'super-rich thick' milkshakes 'Awful Awfuls'.. Of all the concoctions I see in these cookbooks, a normal milkshake seems the least awful Awful of all! This scene is, by the way, a birthday party, and the Rocket Cones are pretty neat!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Encyclopedia Repulsica, vol. 4 (Des-Eas)

We're still trudging through the alphabetical world of the Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking series. Today, we're taking on portions of two letters in Volume 7: Des-Eas.

'Ever thought to use an orange as a vase?' Luckily, the elusive 'Family Circle' has, and this is just one more brilliant idea from their collective!

Spinach Mousse and Ladyfingers

From the 'Dinners in a Dish and/or a Dash' section: Poulet Marengo. All over the floor of the post office in Leytonstone. I'm sorry, I saw the name of this dish, and I couldn't help making a comment related to the brilliant Garth Marenghi's Darkplace that is neither funny nor relevant (the comment, not the show).

'Arroz Con Cerdo is that 'something different' dish.' That does sound promising!

'Bologna is available in single pieces as well as cold cuts. Try this unique recipe for Baked Bologna Jubilee.' I suspect this would make a splendid Easter dinner!

Great tip: 'When making Twin Meat Pie, simmer enough extra veal and pork to be able to make showy Jellied Meat Loaf.'

Monday, February 18, 2008

Encyclopedia Repulsica, vol. 3 (Coo-Cou)

Here are some highlights from volume 6, Coo-Cou, of the Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking. The most ridiculous part of this volume is that it covers: Cooking for a Crowd, Cooking for Just Two, Cooking on Location, Cooking over the Coals, and Countdown on Calories. There's really no logic to the organization of this series!

The post-modern Smorgasbord. Why, the beet and onion plate even resembles the Sunburst clock! Some Smorgasbord highlights include: Salmon Mousse in Aspic, Fish Balls with Parsley Sauce (described as 'steaming and savory'), and Ligonberry Torte.

Melrose Place starring Steak au Poivre

'Every dieter's best friends: tall, quivery, shimmering gelatin molds made with slimming low-calorie gelatins.'

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Encyclopedia Repulsica, vol. 2 (Cak-Coo)

From volume 4 of the Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking, here is the cake section:

The Buttercream Cake is unimportant. The ultracool 70s background clashing with the gaudy decor is the only reason to give this picture a second look. And, it's gorgeous!

'The birthday child will flip over this fairytale ice cream-and-cake castle turreted with pastel peppermints.' - This feat of architecture is pretty impressive even though it looks like it's about to cave in on itself.

Volume 5 (Chi-Coo) has absolutely no chicken in its pages. It does, however, have this mindblower under the 'Cool Cooking' heading. The caption says, 'As sparkly as a mini-mountain of topazes, cooling Jellied Madrilene Seville made with a cola drink.' This might be something good to make for Valentine's Day if you forgot to get a gift. When your loved one gives you an appropriately negative look, you can insist that it's like a mountain of jewels!

Not Another Smorgasbord! This one has an interesting twist: a spinal column garnish in the lemonade pitcher!

Happy Valentine's Day from Curly Wurly (and Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking, vol. 4)!! Celebrate the most romantic of holidays with tarts, cakes, embalmed hotdogs, and mucilage!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Encyclopedia Repulsica (A-Buy)

Perusing our vast collection of women's magazine cooking encyclopedias, I discovered quite a few images that were probably meant to be cosmopolitan and exciting in the 1970s. Most of the recipes, of course, seem fairly innocuous, but there are some dishes that just seem to question their own edibility. For the next week or two, I'll be posting the highlights from the various volumes. First up is the Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking series dating from 1972. Volume 1 comprises 'A - Bev.'

Maryland Moldy Ham

'A luscious lineup of milk and fruit based coolers' - I was entranced by the face in the top-middle beverage.

Volume 3 of the series is charmingly titled 'Bur-Buy.' The theme of this volume is 'How not to serve your hamburger.' Case in point:

Do not attempt to shape your hamburgers like this. It is best to stick to recognizable geometric shapes.

Beans are an acceptable side dish, but do not top the other bun with beans.

Not only should it not top the other bun, but spaghetti doesn't even really go with a burger.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

General Foods Kitchens - drawings

The book featured in yesterday's post isn't only filled with charming photos. 1959's General Foods Kitchens Cookbook is packed full of some of the best line drawings that I've seen in any cookbook. While Mary Ronin's technique is very simple, she managed to create vignettes that are at once surreal and disturbing. Which is exactly what you want in cookbook illustrations.

Mother's always harping on about what fruits and vegetables go with which meats and which sized pan you need to use. Why, she even has gigantic posters all over the house!

Hmm.. What's more important: my family or my all-consuming obsession with balanced nutrition and meal planning?

From the section 'How do you market when you have a job?' - But, seriously, it is hard to work with all the produce floating over your head! One false move and that strategically placed cast iron skillet will knock you out cold!

Put 'em up! Annie Oakley picks out her dinner.

Aaaaaahhh!! A huge arm just stretched out from the tossed salad, and it's got me! My only defense is this spoon that's about the size of my leg!

It looks like this woman is holding a gun? Well, no wonder all the dishes sprouted legs to run away!

Stepford Wife and Stepford Daughter. Also includes a very special section (and soon to be an ABC Afterschool Special that should be watched as a family) on the 'most controversial' item in meal planning: between-meal snacking.

The chafing dish might be a glorified double boiler, but it doesn't mean that this one is too good for her beau.

The hostess looks like she's about to collapse under the immense weight of the tray she's barely keeping aloft. Her friends exchange scornful looks behind her back, and when she does inevitably crumple to the ground, they'll probably just laugh and leave her there.

Now all my shish kebab needs is a miniature chef. Ah, here's one!

Show and Tell! The class' assignment was to bring in their most prized possessions. Bobby brought in his life-sized teddy bear. Freddy brought in his gramophone. Suzie brought in her one-legged grandfather, Frank.

O Pepperoni Pizza Tree, how glistening is your mozzarella.

And the most chilling illustration of all: The Unexpected Guest.