September 23, 2010

Nasty Names

The way food is described has a lot to do with how appealing it is.  What was an "All-beef burger with cheese on kaiser" at the diner becomes "100% corn-fed Angus beef, aged to perfection then individually grilled to order, capped with rich, creamy cheese on a fresh-baked roll" at the pricey place uptown - and it just sounds like it would taste better, doesn't it?  The editors of  the Culinary Arts Institute's 200 Dishes for Children (1975) should have leaned a bit more towards that uptown prose to make their recipes more appealing.  They're already laboring uphill, with an allegedly child-oriented cookbook that includes Liver and Tomato Pie, Lima Bean Chowder and Cabbage Cooked in Milk.  A little creative embellishment might make some of these obviously-good-for-you dishes more appealing.  But no, they not only fail to embellish, they've chosen some names that make recipes that might otherwise be appealing sound just as repulsive as their Liver Soup.  For example:

Crunchy Wax Beans - Crisp wax beans? Possibly, though I prefer mine soft.  But Crunchy? No, thanks.
Crusty Franks - Sounds like it's missing 'Old' between the 'Crusty' and the 'Franks'.  It's actually a recipe for corn dogs that doesn't sound half-bad.
Rolled Oat Rocks - In case you thought these cookies would be soft and moist - now you know better! It's actually a recipe for a fairly ordinary oatmeal raisin cookie.
Crunch-Nut Balls  - The cookie that makes men want to cross their legs! It's just a popcorn ball, guys. 

Since the past few posts have included recipes for some really frightening food, I think it's about time to feature a recipe that only sounds scary. It's actually alot like "Cracker Jack" [a registerd trademark of the Frito-Lay Co.] 

"Love me some Cracker Jack.
And those Crunch-Nut Balls, too"


1-1/2 cups light molasses
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 TBS. vegetable shortening
1 cup peanuts
3 cups popped corn

Combine first 5 ingredients in a heavy saucepan; cook slowly, stirring constantly, to 270 degrees F. (or when a small quantity dropped into cold water forms a hard ball). Remove from heat; add extract, shortening and peanuts, stirring only to mix. Pour over corn, stirring constantly.  Grease hands; shape quickly into balls.  Cool. Makes about 28 balls. [Serves 14 men]

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