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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pantry Shelf Specials

After a long day of working the last thing anybody wants to do after coming home from work is spend the rest of the evening in the kitchen. With that sentence alone, I can almost sound like I am making a cookbook introduction. 

The year is 1974. I spent 8 months of that year as a fetus. I can't ascertain what my mother cooked so I can't say for sure these delicacies where passed into my delicate fetal bloodstream. 

What gist I can grab is there just weren't enough books about cooking in a jiffy/hurry/convenience/make-ahead/fast in the 1960s and beyond. Food became more of a molecular structure and what better way to get these chemical experiments into the kitchen then by putting them in these cookbooks? 

I present ANOTHER Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I need to find out how many of these things were spawned over the course of a few decades. 

Better Homes and Gardens After Work Cookbook, 1974. "Appetizing" is subjective.
Strange white light aside, this looks suspiciously normal. I would even eat it. Minus the white glop of course. Do I have the right book for the right time? 
Yes, it is aimed squarely at YOU! If you are a working mom, bachelor, college student, working woman, this book is for YOU! If you are a husband, you get a free pass. This book is not for you. Move along. Maybe someone is busy every night. Don't assume! Don't the writers know what happens when you assume? Ass U Me.
The shiny shish kebobs on swords should be the focal point of this picture. The catsup (not ketchup) in the little pan and the 1970's green are afterthoughts. But look at the toaster oven! That's the first thing you notice. Make shish kebobs in toaster oven. Buy toaster oven. Quick. Convenient. Burn the house down. Who makes shish kebobs in a dang toaster oven? How many people own a toaster oven?
When you are in a hurry, cooking your food is optional.
I thought I was creative with Tuna Noodle Surprise. This Cauliflower Tuna Ahoy calls my originality into question. Maybe next time I make it, I should put an empty frame up behind it. Maybe they will be tricked into eating it because they are so intrigued at how real the picture behind them looks.
Spaghetti and Meat Rolls. If there's time to add a parsley garnish that will go uneaten, there's time to roll those suckers into meatballs. Just saying.
Lazy Paella. If one attempts to pass this off as paella and then put lazy in front of it, then maybe the chef behind the madness should just call it chicken, shrimp, rice, and peas. Paella and Lazy don't go together. There's actual work involved in making one.
Because this book excludes husbands from kitchen duties, make a chest pounding meal of MEAT with a BEER marinade. I'd think there would be a unusual flavor because it just doesn't sound good. Then again, I am a woman so this would not please me. It's for a MAN. Make sure there's plenty of toilet paper and a plunger in the bathroom. Unless your MAN is above plunging the toilet and leaves you to clear his stoppage.
Oh joy and happiness! Look at this sharp mold. It's stiffness could be used to test ballistics. Sour cream mix, lemon gelatin, lemon juice, vegetables, and canned chicken make this happen. Plant some seeds in the middle and watch them grow! The salt and pepper shakers are kind of interesting.
Special Chicken Dinner Omelet. Secret's in the sauce. Eh, I'm not going to keep this a secret. Canned chicken a la king is the secret. Why even bother cooking for your family if this is what shit you produce? Gag.
The Gateway to all that is FONDUE! Oh wait, this is not a fondue. It's merely beef broth heated on the range and then put in a fondue pot for shits and giggles. Then an arch is placed over it. Why? It's art, man. Don't you understand art? One thing I do understand is that food safety and handling seems to be lacking A LOT in the 1970s. Dirty + Dirty = Dirty. In other words, raw meat touching raw vegetables equals cross contamination and that equals food borne illnesses. GAH!! Don't try this at home!! Unless you have an arch and maybe use a different plate.
The parsley is probably the only thing edible. Slashing the wieners for a "special touch" is trickery! Anyone knows if the thing don't breathe they will crack and hiss and stink. Who wants to smell cracked wieners, sauerkraut, and cheese soup for the next three months?
What nobody counted on was the meatball plummeting to its demise and ruining the chi of the Confetti Meatball Supper.
Okay what's up with this target? Is it a metaphor to saying this sweet potato turkey pie was right on target? It needs to go away before I make more lame comments. It's distracting me from the chunkage blarp below the target.

Retro food photography has an uncanny way of mixing meat and rice together to make it look like maggots are squirming all over the place. The beaker of "naughty water" might help in the digestive process. Maggots, maggots, maggots, mushroom, mushroom.
So we call this a "pantry shelf special"? Okay. That works. Throw a little Rice Chex on top for more flair. It sounds like a good title for a blog post and so it shall be.

U.N.T.

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