Vingate Nineteen Seventy-Icks Time-Killing Recipes


Hello Dear Readers! It’s Monday morning again! Which means we’ve all got some pushy little To-do Lists yapping at our heels. 

Well, what better way to ignore such things than by taking time out to relive the tedious days of 1970’s, a decade when time oozed by slower than a drug-free Tour de France.

And to that end, let us open this 1976 McCall’s Cooking School magazine and see how people killed time by cooking disgusting-looking dishes back in, what I like to call, 197-icks:

McCalls's Cooking School Magazine Number 3
It’s not just a magazine, it’s an icky cooking school!

Now having lived through the 1970’s,  I can vouch for the fact that life in the 70’s was extremely boring and tedious.

On any given day your choices to kill time boiled down to 1) watching a rerun of Maude 2) macrameing a hanging plant holder or 3) whipping up something god-awful like this:

1976 Chicken and Dumplings
Slabs of gray chicken slowly and painstakingly placed amid balls of dough gussied up with individually placed chives guaranteed to kill 4 to 5 hours of 70’s mind-numbing tedium.

This 197-icks take on Chicken and Dumplings killed two chickens with one stone.  The placement of the chives alone served to distract one from the 70’s monotony for several hours, but what killed a far bigger chunk of time was trying to find someone who would actually eat it.

Here’s a time-consuming dish that McCall’s Cooking School called French.

The French Casserole called for goose.  A boon to 70's cooks as wild goose chases can last indefinitely.
This 197-icks French Casserole called for goose. A boon to 70’s cooks, because, as everyone knows, wild goose chases are hugely time-consuming.

In the description, McCall’s is bandying around the word melange. Naturally this word melange was a big plus to 70s cooks, as it would have required a time-consuming trip downtown to the main library (the one with the really big dictionary) to look up the word melange — taking up an entire day and bringing them just that much closer to the end of the decade!

In the 70’s there were so many people dying to kill time that McCall’s Cooking School  magazine was thoughtful enough to include this “Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen Pie”

Mincemeat Pecan Pie from 1976
The preparation of this mincemeat pie managed to kill many hours of tedium for as many as five cooks.

If you look at this mincemeat pie (not too closely though unless you have your Tums nearby), you can see that the preparation required:

 A Melissa to not only prepare the dough from scratch, but also, to perform the lengthy process of braiding it as well (killing 17 hours)

A Kimberly to slowly transfer the hand-whipped, whipped cream  into a cake-decorating funnel so that each and every squiggle could be thoroughly obsessed over (killing 22 hours)

A  Jessica to mince the meat over and over and over and over until 7 hours was up (killing 7 hours)

A Stephanie to eat the grape bunch down to a suitable size that would fit picturesquely upon the pie —  choking on several for ten minutes at a time (killing 45 minutes)

And, finally, a Heather to garnish the grapes with the leaves she found after scavenging the neighborhood all night long (killing 12 hours).

Rest assured, Dear Readers that even though the decade of the 70’s was one of the most boring decades to ever grace the pages of a calendar, The McCall’s Cooking School magazine did it’s level best to help us kill the time ad nauseam. 

And for that we shall  be forever sort of grateful.

Until next time . . . I love you

27 thoughts on “Vingate Nineteen Seventy-Icks Time-Killing Recipes

  1. I’m sorry for your loss of a decade… On my planet, the ’70’s were quite engagingly active, beginning with the massive protests over the invasion of Cambodia, and ending with the welcome death of disco…. For my money, the 80’s and 90’s, with their unending parade of Republican assholes in charge of the economy were far more boring to watch… but, then, I love to cook…. 🙂

    You should know, though, that I laughed right out loud at the Chicken & Dumplings picture and accompanying text (as well as most of the rest of the piece… I try to ignore any references to mincemeat, since the accident….); it almost looks like a salad platter I had to make in culinary school… Such an ugly way to present one of the finest examples of Colonial cooking there is, but I guess there isn’t really any way to dress up a dumpling so it’s attractive to the eye; it’s the tongue that wins there….

    Stay funny, milady, you’re a true Bozoid…. 🙂

    • Haha Ned! It sounds like you had way more fun in the 70’s than I did. And I wonder if there was anybody who lamented the end of disco except for John Travolta and The Beegees?

      I agree that chicken and dumplings were delicious and I must say it seems to be a lost art. I fixed my son-in-law homemade fried chicken the other day (he had never had the homemade kind) and I realized that you can no longer buy chicken partially cut up for frying. I ended up buying a whole chicken and cutting it up for frying (also a forgotten art that will soon to become extinct!)

      I don’t think in the 50’s anyone could have predicted how much food, itself would change. I remember my mother saying that she hoped in the future there would be dining room tables that would also become (through the magic of technology) a dishwasher with robotic arms that would clean up the dishes and wash them and then re-set the table. Nobody predicted the demise of the family dinner table. 😀

      • You may be giving up on the culinary arts too soon, methinks… I myself can still cut up a whole chicken in under a minute, as can my son and daughter… It’s a skill one develops by cutting up a minimum of 300 of the little suckers at a time; in self-defense, the skill is honed to perfection in practically no time… But, I guess not everyone gets the opportunity, or finds the need, to cut up that many at once too many times in their lives… ‘cept for us caterers…

        I agree with you that the food scene at home has changed, and not always for the better…. Your mom probably is waiting for the technology we saw in Back To The Future, with the voice activated microwave and food replicator machine like they had in the future home of Marty and his girlfriend…. 🙂

  2. There were three Melissas in every single one of my grade school classes. At one point, there was another Melissa B. The teacher said we would know which one of us she was talking to because she would look at that one when she said “Melissa.” I didn’t look that teacher in the eye for the entire fourth grade year. Melissa Blue took a lot of heat that year.

    • Hahaha! Oh I love that story Melissa! And you didn’t look the teacher in the eye for an entire year! HA! You sound very much like my daughter who never raised her hand all through grade school! Her name’s not Melissa though! She’s a Nichole and I think there were three Nichole’s in her class too! HA!

  3. haha! I started laughing at the mention of Maude and macrame!! Those were the days, huh? My mom was really into macrame hanging plant holders. Our house was full of hemp. haha! The 70’s were such a crafty time because, you’re so right, we had too much time on our hands.
    That chicken and dumpling dish literally made me gag when I scrolled up and saw the grayish color. I’m guessing it was served in a Corning ware casserole dish. Our family had the avocado green pattern, which in those days would go nicely with most of the McCalls recipes.

    • You’re mom could macrame! My mother would have been very impressed. I remember once when my mother was visiting us, my husband’s niece, Kelly, who was about 12 was also visiting and she was macrameing a hanging planter (of course). I remember my mother was so impressed with her ability to macrame and every time Kelly’s name came up in the conversation (even years later) my mother would bring up how smart she was that she could macrame! I don’t think my mother could have been more impressed if Kelly would have been spinning straw in gold!

      And oh I remember the avocado corningware. That color green is forever burned in my retinas along with the color of orange countertops! LOL!

  4. Ours was the Harvest Gold pattern. So 70’s!!

    This line, “… time oozed by slower than a drug-free Tour de France.” is a 9.7 on a scale of 10. Oh, how I laughed. Then, viewing the food, I kinda gagged.

    • Haha! Addie! I should have put the Tour de France line at the end. Gagging isn’t a very good note to go out on. LOL!

      I remember that harvest gold pattern! It’s probably a collector’s item now. I don’t know what the deal was with the 70’s and harvest gold. Everything that wasn’t avacado green and bright orange was harvest gold. I wonder what colors we are living with now will end up being the iconic colors of this decade?

  5. The 197-icks makes me glad I was born in the 198-dorks. There is nothing worse than home decor from 1970’s to go along with the overly handled food. I have indigestion just looking at that mince meat pie.

    • Mincemeat pie looks horrible and I have never tasted it and never will just like I have never tasted a peanut butter sandwich. And guess that means I’ll probably never be caught with my hand in the mincemeat pie/peanut butter and jelly jar.

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