October 29, 2010

Friday's Frightening Food Photo - Halloween Edition

What is it?  And, no, that's not a Gieger counter at the top of the picture - 
although the food does look like it might be radioactive.

October 26, 2010

Fresh, Fresh, Fresh...

Cow tongue in situ

tongue.  Yes, today's feature is that special favorite, Pickled Fresh Tongue! [Fresh as opposed to..?? Rotten? Stale? No, smoked.  For which delicacy we are also given the recipe, and I quote, "For preparation, follow directions on wrapper."] Pay careful attention to the step that comes after simmering - if you think you might try tongue some day, this will dissuade you, I believe. If it still appeals, you are on the wrong blog.  Try the Food Network - I suggest Extreme Food with Jeff Corwin.


Set out a large kettle or sauce pot having a tight-fitting cover.  Wash thoroughly in warm water
1 fresh beef tongue, 3 to 4 lbs.
Place in the kettle.  Add water to cover and
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
4 whole cloves
3 bay leaves
Simmer covered 3 to 4 hrs., or until tender.

Slit skin on underside of tongue and peel it off.  Cut away roots and gristle. {{Shiver}}

Return to liquid to complete cooling. Drain and chill in refrigerator.

Slice and wrap for lunch or use in sandwiches.  ["You'll never guess what I packed for you today, little Billy. Nyah hah hah hah."]

9 to 12 servings [ Right. As if you could find 9 to 12 willing tongue-eaters.]

The Lunch Box Cookbook, Culinary Arts Institute, 1954

October 18, 2010

Friday's Frightening Photo was.....

from 230 Sandwiches, Culinary Institute of America, 1975.  Although I think it looks like cockroaches emerging from a block of wood shavings, no. Here's how they describe it: "Sprinkle a cream cheese frosted sandwich generously with sieved cooked egg yolk for a goldenrod color." That doesn't answer the question of what is emerging from the loaf, now, does it?  I still say cockroaches.  And you have to wonder what yummy use they will find for all those hard-cooked egg whites that will be left over, because they will not let them go to waste.

October 15, 2010

Last One Picked

The final recipe in "Balls on Picks" uses everybody's favorite fishy treat: Anchovies!
This ball-on-a-pick has been given the clever name of - yes, wait for it -

Mash 4 oz. anchovy paste with 2 hard-cooked eggs; add 5 drops Worcestershire sauce, few grains of cayenne and 1/4 cup minced parsley. Form the mixture into balls. Chill. Serve on picks.

500 Tasty Snacks, Ideas for Entertaining, Culinary Arts Institute, 1949 

Friday's Frightening Food Photo


October 14, 2010

Do You Like Green Balls and Ham?

Ever hear of a hand model?  How about a ham model?  In one of our dinner table conversations, someone ( I can't remember who) misheard hand model as ham model.  We have had a good bit of fun with that phrase over the years, elaborating on the role of a good ham model.  I just thought of that because a recipe for Ham Mold is on the same page as this week's frightening food category of Balls on Picks.  Once again - who chooses these names?  Molded Ham, I think food.  Ham Mold, I think of a ham covered with black slime. Worse, it falls into the jellied meat category, so even if it isn't moldy, it's a frightening food

Today's Balls on Picks selection is Green Balls.  What a mouthwatering title! 

Guest: "What are you serving for snacks tonight?"
Host:  "Green Balls!"
Guest: "You know, I'm just not hungry this evening."

Bonus! The recipe for Ham Mold, New Orleans Style follows the Green Balls.


1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/2 cup minced ham
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp. salt
dash pepper

Mix and roll in minced chives or parsley. Chill. Serve on picks.

500 Tasty Snacks, Ideas for Entertaining, Culinary Arts Institute, 1949

2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
2 Tbs. cold water
3 ounces cream cheese
1 can condensed chicken gumbo soup
1 cup ground ham
4-5 Tbs. salad dressing

Soften gelatin in water.  Heat cream cheese and 1/3 of the can of chicken gumbo soup until cheese and soup are blended.  Add remaining soup and heat and dissolve softened gelatin in hot mixture.  Cool and add ham and salad dressing.  Pour into molds and chill until firm.  Makes 6 to 8.

500 Tasty Snacks, Ideas for Entertaining, Culinary Arts Institute, 1949

October 13, 2010

Burn, Baby, Burn

500 Tasty Snacks, Ideas for Entertaining offers a seemingly endless supply of awful and/or ugly dishes.  Today's recipe falls into the ugly appearance category, though it does have a beautifually alliterative name.  Burning Bush is just one among several bad choices featured under the scary heading 'Balls on Picks'. Sadly, I don't have a photo to accompany this recipe, so you will have to use your imagination.

3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 tsp. minced onion

Mix cream cheese and onion.  Form into balls and roll in minced dried beef.  Chill. Serve on picks.

500 Tasty Snacks, Ideas for Entertaining, Culinary Arts Institute, 1949

Friday's Frightening Photo was.....

a cranberry-stuffed omelet served with sausage links.

October 8, 2010

Taking a Turn..ip for the Worse

Indiana has three entries in The Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places. Sour Cream Raisin Pie - well, anything sweet gets a bye from me.  Sweet-Sour Cucumbers - a bit of an odd item for a signature dish at a famous restaurant, yet interesting.  But Turnip Soup?  That's the best dish of the house? Certainly they have a secret blend of herbs and spices that makes this Turnip Soup special, you say?  Sorry! Salt is riding solo in this dish, but for a sprinkle of parsley on top to perk up the presentation. 

Can you imagine how bland the rest of the Nashville House menu must have been? Thankfully, they've perked things up since then, and feature a "country" menu in the rebuilt restaurant (the original burned in the '40's).  The description of the restaurant in the Ford recipe book sounds like this could have been the model for the Cracker Barrel chain, with it's country store entry (or, gift shop from hell, as some in my household prefer to call it).  Nashville House is now one of four dining choices at the Brown County Inn, an apparently attractive and reasonably priced resort.  http://www.browncountyinn.com/content/nashville-house-restaurant

"A giant [!] bowl makes a hearty lunch". Perhaps for patients restricted to a bland diet.  Poor things.

Frightening Friday Photo

What is it? 

October 7, 2010

French Fried Frog

Frog's legs, like organ meats, are a type of food that reminds me a bit too much that they belonged to some other animal before they hit the table.  Much as my daughter preferred to think of her little rabbit fur jacket as being made from bunnies who passed away peacefully in the woods, I prefer to avoid conscious consideration of where my food originates.  As I've said before, if I ever have to "live off the land", I'm a goner unless I can find a wild soybean field to supply my protein.

Today's recipe is from Au Petit Robinson, a restaurant and inn on d'Ile Bizard, which is now annexed to Montreal. Today it exists only on postcards, which is disappointing, because it offered an interesting and unusual ambience - the tables were set up on treetop platforms a la Swiss Family Robinson. 

The worst part of this recipe is the first step.  I don't know how you pare a leg, and I hope I never have to learn.

October 6, 2010

Two Great Tastes That [Don't] Go Great Together

♪♫ Meat and bananas, meat and bananas ♫♪, Go together like ♫♫ um…hmm….the shore and cabanas♪♪.  Well, maybe not quite that well. An interesting choice of ingredients, though.  Banana Meat Rolls are exactly what you would expect - bananas (sliced) and meat (cold, ground, type unspecified) rolled up in a biscuit dough.  The Gold Eagle is no longer in existence.  If all of the dishes were described as enticingly as this one, who's surprised?

Another recipe from The Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Favorite Eating Places, Simon and Schuster, Dearborn Michigan, 1950

For a short history of the Gold Eagle Inn, visit http://www.beaufortcountylibrary.org/htdocs-sirsi/eagle.htm

October 5, 2010

That Damn Pfnudel!

 What do you expect from a dish called Dampfnudel?  I immediately pictured a bowl of pale, limpid, damp noodles - oh yummy. It was a welcome surprise to read the ingredients and find that Dampfnudel is a Tyrolean sweet roll, made with almond butter and a little lemon rind, and topped with vanilla sauce.  Which raises the question, what is Tyrolean?  I pictured it having something to do with Heidi and the Swiss Alps. Close, but no cigar.  According to Wikipedia, it is in west Austria, and it turns out that most of us are vaguely familiar with the area - it's capitol is Innsbruck, site of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. I also learned that a Tyrolean hat is what Pinnocchio wears, but that he has it all wrong - to wear it correctly, you are supposed to get your hat a size smaller than your head and sit it on your head, rather than over it.  There is no mention of how the hat is supposed to stay on your head; maybe the tradition is a subtle way to promote excellent posture. Pinnocchio isn't the only character who doesn't know how to sport a Tyrolean hat with style.  Yes, Reeeeeeeecola guy, I'm talking about you. Shape up.

Another recipe from The Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Favorite Eating Places, Simon and Schuster, Dearborn Michigan, 1950

The Blue Spruce Inn, the former Skillman house, was destroyed by fire in 1975. The Harbour View Shopping Center occupies its former site.

October 4, 2010

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck... before it was hungry for a nice salad?

Does anyone go on Sunday drives these days?  I've been thinking about that for two reasons. First, because we went to the Barnes Museum yesterday, only to discover that our tickets were for the first Sunday in November, not the first Sunday in October. (The guard at the gate was very nice about it, but I still felt like a moron, since the date was printed right on the parking pass.) So, Casey and I decided to make the best of it.  Since the Barnes was right off of Old Lancaster Avenue, we decided to see if Old Lancaster Ave. actaully went to Lancaster (and it did - it turns out you can take Route 23 almost the entire way from Lancaster to Philly's City Line Avenue and it's a heckuva lot prettier than the Schyulkill).  It was a beautiful day and we poked along behind dozens of buggies on our way up 897 through farm country.  It's the first time we've just taken a drive, however unintentionally, in a long time and it was a really relaxing way to spend a beautiful fall day.

The second reason I've been thinking of just going for a drive is this week's featured  frightening food cookbook, The Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places.

This small hard-backed book was published for "the touring public" in 1950.  It includes an illustration with each recipe, picturing either the interior or exterior of a restaurant that gives travelers a dining experience that provides, as Editor-in-Chief W.D. Kennedy puts it, "exciting food in an unusual atmosphere".

Today's frightening food recipe gets it's frightfulness from its name, which makes it sound like it will be a side of mincemeat made from groundhogs.  The actual dish sounds a lot like PA Dutch coleslaw:

The Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places, copyright Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Michigan, 1950

The Walpole Inn is still being operated, as a bed-and-breakfast and reception hall. http://www.walpoleinn.com/Inn.htm

Friday's Frightening Photo was.....

grilled new potatoes.  I think the skewers look more like straws, but not everyone agrees with me...

October 1, 2010

Name That Food! Friday Photo

What's your guess?

Orange You Glad It's Friday?

For the final frightening food feature of SPAM week, I chose a recipe that's shown on the cover of Meals in Minutes, a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from 1963. The picture is actually what made me pick up the book - it's the kind of picture you look at and just think, "What IS that?" and also, "Does that shade of orange really exist in nature?"

The sweet potatoes are recognizable, but would you have guessed that the radiantly tangerine stuff in the center was good old SPAM?  Two cans worth, sliced and stuffed with half-rings of pineapple and topped with apricot jam.  The pastry shop where I once worked used thinned apricot jam to make fruits shiny and to keep them from turning brown.  I do not recall them radiating with this intensity, but perhaps that was the fluorescent lighting under which none of us look our best. The dish also has an alliterative but completely non-descriptive name, so you can keep the family guessing even when you answer the daily question, "What's for dinner?"


1 1-pund can applesauce
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 12-oz. cans lucheon meat [SPAM, wonderful SPAM]
1 8-oz. can pineapple slices
1 1-pound 2-oz. can sweet potatoes
*   *   *   *
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. water

Combine applesauce and ginger; spread in 10x6x11/2-inch baking dish. Slice each loaf of luncheon meat 3 times on the diagonal, cutting only 3/4 of the way through. Halve pineapple slices; insert in cuts in meat. Place meat atop applesauce, arrange sweet potatoes around meat. Combine remaining ingredients. Spread over meat, pineapple and potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Meals in Minutes, Meredith Corporation, 1963