Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Try a little tomato soup in your gingerbread!

This past Saturday, it was cool and damp and BH and I had the two younger members of our brood in tow and nothing to do. So we moseyed on down to the monthly Citywide Garage Sale just to see what kind of treasures we could see. BH had been saying he wanted to check it out, and I hadn't been to one since it was house in City Coliseum (RIP). We got there right as it was opening, and started at the back corner and made our way back up to the front. I'm not sure what's stranger: the people who have booths at this thing, or the people who come and scavenge through the goodies. I mean, it was a certified freak show up in there. Very entertaining people watching, eavesdropping, and "merchandising."
Awww...a headless sleeping cowboy toddler. Ain't that cute?

About 2/3 of the way through the booths, we ran across a booth that had old magazines and cookbooks for sale. I'm not sure why, but I always love finding those little pamphlet cookbooks, usually produced as a promo piece for a food or cooking equipment company to showcase their products. Well, I hit the jackpot on Saturday, and I must share.

First off, the buying experience was wonderful. The vendor lady was in her mid-60s, had wildly frizzy "blonde" hair and some of the most effed up teeth I've ever seen. BH called them a "country cemetery." She was sporting a gold sequined fanny pack in which she kept her cash to make change. I picked up these two little books, one cost $2.00 and the other cost $.50. Here's the conversation that ensued with the vendor:

Karla May: I'd like these two please.

Vendor Lady: (distracted/scatterbrained...think Vera from that TV show "Alice") Oh! Yes! Let me see.

(She takes them from me and looks at the prices written in pencil inside the front covers.)

VL: Okay. Two dollars plus fifty cents...that'll be three dollars.

(BH and I exchange WTF?! glances, and he pulls out a $20 bill he'd been wanting to break and hands it to her.)

VL: Let me get your change.

(She goes off to the other end of the booth with the books, puts them in a plastic bag, then rifles through her fanny pack seeming utterly confused. After a couple of minutes, she returns to BH and hands him a wad of bills amounting to $21.)

BH: This is too much. Now I owe YOU some money.

VL: Oh my! I'm not very good at math!!

After all of that, here's what I got:
I've e-mailed the highly talented and funny gal at Cakewrecks offering to mail her the Animal Cut-up Cakes book because, frankly, that shit needs to be shared with the WORLD. So I'm going to keep that under wraps for now. But let's take a peek-a-loo inside the "Cooking with Condensed Soups" book (brought to us by the good folks at Campbell's, natch):

First up, how's about an appetizer (that's utterly UNappetizing)--Eggs a la King:
I'm not sure what "king" these suckers were intended for, but I'll be willing to bet the chef was hastily beheaded after presentation.

Next up, how's about a tasty salad?
There are 9 salad recipes in the "Salads and Salad Dressings" section of this book. SIX of them have "unflavored gelatin" as their primary ingredient.

And now, it's time for the entree--Celery Salmon Loaf:

With an entree as spectacular as this, you'll want a couple of stellar sides. I think that "Carrots with Celery Cream Sauce" and "Unidentified Brownish Cones of Soup-covered Nastiness" fits the bill nicely:

And finally, you'll want to complete this feast with a truly special dessert:There are 5 desserts in the "Desserts" section of this booklet, and each one of them calls for a can of condensed tomato soup. Ewww.

Some of the recipes deserve recognition just because of their spectacularly disturbing titles:
  • Beef Treat in Tomato-rice Ring
  • Ham-Asparagus Shortcake
  • Baked Chicken Puff
  • Liver Creole
  • Ring-Around-Rosy Beef
  • Rum Tum Ditty
  • Fluffy Tomato Rabbit
  • Rosy Blanketed Beans (Rosy? Again?)
  • Chicken Cornmeal Waffles
  • Tomato Soup Cake

So time I see a can of "cream of tomato" soup, I'm gonna be thinking, "Cake!" That's like looking at Paris Hilton and thinking "Talented!" IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT!! Damn you, garage sale cookbook. DAMN YOU!!


Badger said...

OMG, I LOVE shit like that. LOVE IT. That's one of the reasons I collect women's magazines from back in the 40s & 50s, for recipes like that.

But to have them all compiled in one place? I am GREEN with envy.

And color photos of foods that look like they've already been eaten once = BONUS.

Karla said...

half my house is furnished (still) from things I got at the City wide.

I still use cookbooks from the 60's my mom gave me. I've had them so long they look normal, until at some point I'm all, WTF? What IS that ingredient. (Canned beef butt with aspic, or some such shite.) Then I back away from the 60's cookbooks and make, like, risotto or something.

Keetha said...

Oh, stop, stop - now I feel sick! That book is priceless.

I'll be watching for that other book on Cake Wrecks. :-)

mama herbivore said...

because i inherited my grandpa's selection of such cookbooks....i can tell you the celery loaf has appeared in more than one publication.