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Monday, February 18, 2013

Creole. Merde.

Do you want to know what the hardest part of making a good blog post is? It's not finding the perfect cookbook, putting the sticky tabs on the the pictures I want to use, scanning, editing, posting, shaping and sculpting the subject and adding my little anecdotes. The hard part is finding a title

I'll go out on a limb and say my knowledge of Creole or Cajun or either type of cooking is limited to what is in a box of Zatarain's which is neither Creole nor Cajun. It's New Orlean's style with a red and white box, dadgumit. Perhaps one day I will find myself in that part of the country and I will be scarfing down Creole food with both hands and feet. 

Until then, 1972 Creole cooking as only Southern Living could do with their wide cast net will be my reference. I don't know why I always want to write "Southern Comfort" instead but I do. If I drank, I would say I need a shot after all of this. 


The Creole Cookbook, Southern Living, 1972. Glazed spareribs and prunes. Not quite catching the Creole theme but I have an open mind. 
This series wants YOU the reader/Southern homemaker to search for the title page. That's why it is always on the inside.
  
Marengo Casserole. Looks a little more like a stew to me. The secret ingredient has to be the jar of sweet, sliced, what? What could it be? The picture is on the first page and the recipe is on page 67. How unfriendly to the non Creole/Southern homemaker to have to flip 66 pages to see if their 3 lbs of venison in a yellow diarrhea colored sauce is cooking as it should?


If you are keeping up, you will know that all of the prefaces in these Southern Living are as full of fluff and probably the most edible of any recipe in here. There..are..at..least...12..pages..of..this..before..it..gets..to..the..recipes.


Of course this is an avocado omelet. That's why there are avocados in the background. What did you think, green peppers? Okay I did. Shush.
This descriptive intro to soups and gumbo makes me need to send my children out for some snappin' turtles so I can make us some damn soup.
Seconds, please. I sure would like a second helping of a beautifully shimmering molded salad, thirds perhaps of Veal Mold, and perhaps I could lick the condensation from the Molded Lamb Salad plate. Maybe chomp on the remaining lettuce leaves from where it rested.
California Avocado Ribbon Loaf. This has it all. Tomato juice, lemon gelatin, horseradish, shrimp, mashed avocados, sour cream. It's even sliced to show off the luscious layers.
Close your eyes for a second. Imagine a gelatin so rich and lively, made of tomato juice, chicken broth, egg whites, and egg shells passed through a strainer. Slice a few boiled eggs but remove the yolks. Mash the yolks and mix with mustard and then stuff in the egg whites. Place some aspic in the bottom of a custard cup, chill. Add a dill sprig. Chill. Add two more tbsp of aspic and egg, yellow side down and chill. Add vegetables. Chill. Pour remaining aspic over vegetables and chill. Sounds like it should only take 10 hours. It's called a nest egg. How wry.
Dividend Dinner. I do not know why or it is called this. All I see is a gelatin mold ham, celery, and every canned vegetable and radish known to man stuffed inside it. I really want to run my finger across that shiny part. I don't know why. I would be afraid to poke it for fear of being sucked into it.
IF you have a bunch of extra ice cube trays and are hard pressed to find something compact and otherwise creepy, then these Vegetable Jubilee Salads are the thing for you! Is this what they serve in the land of Creole cooking because I think this can be in any of these Southern Living books. I can't personally remove ice cubes from a tray without cracking half of them. This seems like an important lesson in futility.
Flounder salad. Curled tongues. Call it how you see it.
Golden Flower Salad. Nothing too weird about it except the taste combo of cucumbers, apples, shrimp, celery, lettuce, and lots of sugar and vinegar. Ehh, I stand corrected. That does seem weird.
    
Stuffed Veal Timbale. I'm seeing a crisp, golden brown meaty wonder. Maybe it smells good, maybe it doesn't. Then a slice, a hiss of steam, and an avalanche of brussels sprouts, carrots, and peas. Is this a Creole specialty dish? I didn't think so.

While you chew on all of that, if I'm looking for an unusual main dish, I'm not going to feature fried rabbit or squirrel pie. It would definitely be unusual.
 Mrs. Jack Adams of Miami, Oklahoma, you are a little far off the Creole map to make suggestions of what to do with your disjointed squirrels.
Shellfish trio. Very showy. That's all I can contribute to this. It's watery and showy.
Mushrooms and Eggs A La Ritz. The "ritz" is lost on me.
Creolean Omelette. They just had to find something to add pimiento stuffed olives didn't they? I went 130 pages without their little red eyes looking at me. I have never seen eggs made this way and I really don't know if I want or need to ever see it again.
Pistachio Ice Cream. In the sense of being made out of marshmallows, peppermint oil, green food coloring anyway.
I'm leaving the crayons out of this. I just wanted to say that a Jolly Prune Coffee Ring does exist and if I wanted people over for coffee ring, it would have to be Jolly Prune Coffee Ring. 
I'm going to go with the assumption there wasn't much Creole in any of these.

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