Hello Dear Readers. On this blog’s never-ending quest to uncover some of the most unappetizing foods ever trotted out in front of the human race, I am pleased to share my latest findings in the form of:
This cookbook from 1934:
Here’s Mary Hale Martin, herself, smiling enigmatically:
Anyway, let’s take a little journey back in time to marvel at what people actually put in their mouths in 1934 or as it is sometimes referred to by Food Historians, 193gore:
Baked Spinach 193gore Style!
In case you’re wondering how to measure a speck, I have it on good authority that you simply show the can of Nutmeg to the spinach and then put it back in the cupboard.
(And I don’t have any idea what Mary’s rich white sauce was but since it was concocted during the Great Depression, I have a feeling it wasn’t all that rich.)
In the mood for a little 193gore Salmon Pie?
See there’s nothing in it that will hurt you. No need to be frightened. But if you look closely you will see that Mary has finally come to fiscal terms with the white sauce and has downgraded it from rich white sauce to thick white sauce. Which is why Mary comes across as someone we can trust — even if she does smile like The Mona Lisa.
And now for the Ultimate 193gore Treat: Luncheon Tongue Sandwich!
That Mary does it again! She has cleverly stuck one can of Libby’s lunch tongue in between an entire loaf of rye bread, 12 pieces of bacon and three tomatoes. Then peppered it with pickles and even went so far as to throw in a very exotic 193gore ingredient called Lettuce! And all to keep that luncheon tongue from wagging!
Plus Mary has wisely chosen not to mention which animal’s mouth the tongue originally occupied.
Dear Readers, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Dudes and Dudettes, Babes and Babies, Presidents and Prime Ministers:
It’s time for us to say goodbye to awkward moments! Turn our backs on social faux pas and bid adieu to obnoxious behavior. For I have managed to procure for us, Dear Readers, the answers to all our problems:
Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette!
Let’s flip through some pages . . . Ah here we go!
A Guide to Tactful Conversation!
“In greeting people we say, “how do you do?” we do not really expect an answer, but it is all right to reply, “Very well, thank you,” even if it is a blue Monday and you feel far from well.” No one wants a clinical discussion in response to this purely rhetorical question.”
Amy will illustrate what she means by doing a little role playing with a Typical Person.
Amy: How do you do?
Typical Person: Does your stomach stick out like that because your preggers or are you just fat?
Amy says sorry but it is never polite to answer a question with a question. Amy says try again:
Amy: How do you do?
Typical Person: That depends . . . is that mildew smell coming from me or you?
Amy says this is better, but this reply is still in the form of a question. Amy says try again:
Amy: How do you do?
Typical Person: Who wants to know Funyun breath?
Amy says this reply is trending towards tactful but is not quite there yet. (She also says this typical person reminds her of someone but she can’t think who.) Amy says try again.
Amy says: How do you do?
Typical Person: I like Funyuns.
Yes! Very good! Amy is so proud!! Now Amy will move on to the next part of the tactful conversation lesson which covers not remembering names:
“If you are warmly greeted by someone whose name — or maybe whose face, too — you can’t recall say something harmless such as “nice to see you”. Then while looking quite attentive, let the other person do the talking until he or she gives a clue as to identity.”
Amy: Nice to see you.
Typical Person: You do not have a clue who I am, you are just pretending to look attentive but you have not been listening to a word I just said about the en-vi-RON-ment.
Amy says she likes this response because there are no contractions in it. Amy says this person reminds her of someone but she still cannot think who.
Amy: You are looking well.
Typical Person: It feels like we have been talking for one thousand, billion, million trillion hours.
Amy: Al? Al Gore? Is that you?
Typical Person, Al: Yes. Yes. Yes. It is me Al Gore. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Amy: Thanks for standing me up the other night! You have some nerve!
Typical person, Al: Sorry I cannot do anything but stand up. Plus I was out of Funyuns. Do you want to go to get some Funyuns with me?
Amy: Of course Al! You know, I cannot resist a man who does not use contractions!
Amy says that concludes our Guide to Tactful Conversation lesson one! But Amy is sure she will be back real soon to teach us more etiquette because she just cannot help herself!
I found thiswonderful Viennese Folk Dancing LP at the thrift store for us to examine more closely. Let’s take a little look see, shall we?
Here we have a collection of Viennese dance-songs which are sung by Austrian man peasants while other Austrian peasants perform intricate Viennese folk dances.
Well now! Isn’t that a fine kettle of Neujahrsschießen!
I may not know muchabout the country of Austria, but that definitely doesn’t stop me from thinking I do. Here’s my best guess about what the Viennese songs and folk dances featured on this LP might be about:
First up is the hauntingly beautiful —
Hochzeitmarsch aus Ebensee (from Tanze)
This ironic folk dance opens with the Austrian peasant, Hoch, who is wading in the marsh when he becomes stuck in the mud clear up to his eben, see? And a beautiful peasant girl, Aus from Tanze, grabs him — and in a series of complicated twists — manages to free his eben, see? The act of which paralyzes Hoch for the rest of his life, even though Hoch inexplicably retains the full use of his eben, see? Which is probably where the irony comes in but nobody is really sure what’s going on so maybe not.
Next is the surprisingly poignant:
Schuhplattler (from Bauernmusi)
Austrian Peasant Mrs. Butterhorn dances exuberantly past all the young maidens in the village of Bauernmusi carrying a large plattler of schuh. The maidens jump and twirl for joy as Mrs. Butterhorn carries her plattler of Schuh through the village square where they all gaily sit down at the annual Neujahrsschießen Feast and everybody partakes heartily and dies shortly thereafter from food poisoning which everybody blamed on a bad batch of Schuh. Things are pretty much downhill from there on out. If you ever decide to go to a live performance of Schuhplattler, definitely plan to leave at the intermission.
And finally, a story that is near and dear to all our hearts:
Of all the music and dancing performed on this LP, Guggu Polka is perhaps the most well known. We join our revelers just as Austria’s most famous seafaring explorer, Guggu Polka shimmies his way into town in celebration of his historic discovery that there is absolutely no way to get to the ocean from Austria. His crew of 18 sailors do a fantastic kick line while dragging the would-be seafaring vessel christened The Hokey Pokey along behind them. Then the villagers put their right foot in and put their right foot out and that’s when Guggu Polka trips and dies. It may not have a happy ending, but sometimes that’s what it’s all about.
Pottery Fragments Discovered by Archaeologists from China and France (Who Got Along Really Well!)
A team of Chinese archaeologists working side by side with a team of French Archaeologists and only sometimes getting in each other’s way, have discovered pottery fragments in a cave in Maiden, China now thought to be 20,000 years older than the pottery fragments of the Chinese family who are currently living in the cave.
“The pottery was probablyused to cook food and/or water in.” Dr. Wang Lung Wang has been interpreted as saying by French Archaeologist, Jacques Pierre Jacques who claims to speak Chinese.
“The pottery was used by hunter gatherers,” added Jacques Pierre Jacques, who holds a one-year Doctor of Archaeology Certificate from Yoplait Community College and who has been a leader in hunting and gathering pottery fragments of hunter gatherers for the last 37 years (except for the year he had to have his spleen removed).
In an unprecedented display of cooperation between French Archaeologists and Chinese Archaeologists, both teams agreed everyday during the excavation to order a large pepperoni pizza with olives and green peppers and split it so that both teams got exactly the same amount of slices.
The Oldest Known Rock Art in Britain Has Finally Been Discovered.
A team of French Archaeologists led by Renowned French Archaeologist, Jacques Pierre Jacques, (see above) has stumbled upon the oldest known rock art in Britain. After tripping over some pottery fragments in a cave in Shrapnailshire, England, Jacques Pierre Jacques (who has a terrible time seeing in the dark) stumbled upon a rendering of either a mosquito or a bison — he is unable to ascertain which one for certain until the French Archaeologists Team flashlight arrives.
Gold Coins of the Past
Thirty Seven old gold coins produced in Holland were discovered underneath some oily rags in the basement of 1515 Cherry Rose Lane, Ottoman, Canada by Renowned French Archaeologist, Jacques Pierre Jacques while he was residing at the home of his brother-in-law, Pierre Jacques Pierre, until some personal business of Jacques Pierre Jacques (which can all be explained) is cleared up.
Jacques Pierre Jacques estimates the coins to be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000 in today’s dollars (Canadian). The coins are thought to date back to the year 1732 because that is the year that is engraved on each of the coins; but Jacques Pierre Jacques insists on delivering the valuable coins, personally, to the lab for carbon dating.
Jacques Pierre Jacqueshas promised his brother-in-law that nothing untoward will happen to the gold coins on the way there and has even sworn as much on a stack of bibles that were produced shortly before the dawn of the middle ages.
Humorous Archaeology Happenings!
Last week in Ibuprofen, Germany, a team of French Archeologists lead by Jacques Pierre Jacques unearthed the grave of what they thought was going to be the remains of a viking pillager villager –but turned out, instead, to be the remains of Mrs.Gustav Heidelburg who was buried just last Wednesday.
Why hello Dear Reader and welcome to Monday morning here at the blog!
This might be a good time to warn you that my brain, Peanuts, has been thinking again — the act of which has produced the following ideas for some dubious WordPress blogs:
My Favorite Government Documents! .com
Bureaucrats estimate that government documents now out number stars in the universe by a ratio of three to one! And Peanuts thinks choosing my favorites among them (the most adorable) would make for a good blog.
Ah! Have you ever seen such an adorable government document? Don’t you just want to squeeze it?
What about Lard?.com
My brain, Peanuts has high hopes for this blog! It will encompass anything and everything about lard and lard-related products. Readers will be invited to experience the world through the eyes of lard which should prove to be an exhilarating — if not somewhat disgusting– experience!
Soups Most People Never Tasted .com
There must be literally hundreds maybe even thousands of them! My brain, Peanuts turns to mush just thinking about all the soup out there that most people have never tasted!
Your Friend, Cement! .com
Peanuts wants us to stop and think a minute about where we would all be without our dearest friend, cement . . . well, probably right in the exact same place we currently are . . . but still!
“Hey Cement, wanna get coffee later?”
“Uh . . . no.”
On a scale of one to ten, how Chapped Are Your Lips? .com
Finally a way to tell just exactly how chapped those lips of yours really are. Send pictures and Peanuts and I will post the best and the worst! Chapped lips will be judged on a sliding scale of one to ten, ten being the worst and one being the best or maybe vice versa. Either way we are predicting success that smacks of success.
Sticks that were responsible for poking people’s eyes out! .com
Just between you and me and Peanuts and WordPress and everybody else in the world, this idea is a little iffy, taste-wise. Of course, there is the potential for eye patch advertisements and perhaps a lucrative manacle endorsement deal so the tastelessness might well be worth it.
Watching old parades from the 70’s on YouTube! .com
Peanuts asks: Who doesn’t like watching parades that took place 40 years ago?
Peanuts answers: No one! That’s who!
Body parts I have yet to stub — The Forum .com
Sure we’ve all stubbed our toe, but what body parts haven‘t we stubbed. Are you stumped? Good! That means you’ll go check out the forum!
In this 1956 government issued Bulletin No. 10, the government suggests 1956 Mom go about killing the lonely hours of her day by freezing some strawberries!
To that end, the government has transformed the simple task of placing some strawberries in the freezer into a complicated, time-consuming ordeal that is guaranteed to take 1956 Mom all day long!
First, 1956 Mom needs to wash the strawberries, then gently lift them out of the water where they will be ready for contemplation (as pictured).
To kill as many lonely hours as possible, the government is suggesting 1956 Mom contemplate the berries for two hours minimum — the same length of time she was instructed to contemplate her navel in the previously issued government Bulletin No. 9 entitled 1956 Moms and Their Navels.
1956 Mom now needs to remove the hulls from the berries which is easier said than done. 1956 Mom knows that she doesn’t exactly know what a strawberry hull is — which means a trip to the local library where she can study the anatomy of a strawberry and sketch it into her Things I Once Froze diary for future strawberry freezing reference.
1956 Mom is happy to finally get to the high point of her day, the sprinkling of the sugar! Oh what fun she will have! But the fun doesn’t end there. She also gets to turn the strawberries over and over in the sugar for as long as her little arms will allow –giving nary a care to carpal tunnel syndrome — which, in 1956, hadn’t even been invented yet!
The next step is to pack the berries into a container. This step is self-explanatory. To find out more about things that are self-explanatory, 1956 Mom will have refer to previously issued government Bulletin No. 7 entitled The Government Explains Things That Are Self-Explanatory.
Next 1956 Mom is going to need to press the lid on the container firmly making sure it’s on watertight — which means 1956 Mom will have to go to the garage, locate Father’s fishing gear, then find the nearest body of water in which to throw the container. Then quickly fish it out, open the lid and check carefully for wet strawberries. Phew! What 1956 Mom won’t do to kill the lonely hours of her day!
Finally, 1956 Mom has made it to the very last step of her herculean strawberry freezing project. It was touch and go there for a couple of hours! But thanks to 1956 Mom’s perseverance, the only thing left to do now is label the containers with the name of the fruit (that’s easy . . . strawberries!) and the date she froze them. For this, 1956 Mom will carefully pen 1 9 5 6. Because if there’s one thing 1956 Mom knows, it’s her name!
Of course 1956Mom might want to take a calligraphy class first to kill a few more hours of her lonely day — but that’s another government issued bulletin for another government issued day!
Meet Ruth Conrad Bateman.There are a couple of things you should know about Ruth. Ruth is a Professional Home Economist, Ruth has a “genuine feeling” for food, and Ruth doesn’t take any guff.
Now, Ruth has always been a restless soul and back in 1967, before the invention of transportation, Ruth apparently stumbled upon a little known country name Italy where they eat “Italy” food and stuff.
That’s when Ruth got a wonderful, very good idea. She would compile a booklet with “instructions” on how to make “Italy” food. And here it is:
Now look closely at this cover. There’s wine, scallops and overly large wooden utensils that Italy people are so fond of cooking with. If that doesn’t smack of Italy — Ruth Conrad Bateman doesn’t know what does.
Also note that Ruth has included valuable coupons inside. That adorable, irrepressible Ruth! Let’s see what gives with that:
See you learn something every day! Who knew “Prune Shine” was Italian? Prune Shine is the natural way to stay regular, day after day! And when viewed in a prudential light, this could be considered a good thing.
However, if it turns out not to be a good thing due to having to urgently leave the room every ten minutes, Ruth has thoughtfully included a coupon to make you feel better about the situation:
Because Ruth knew that back in 1967, there really wasn’t much a person wasn’t willing to put up with for a nickel.
It’s also interesting to note thatthe makers of Sunsweet Prune Juice felt it necessary to use six adjectives to get you to drink it. Just a fun fact!
Now on to the Italy food! Or as Ruth puts it, “Lookee what I made!”
Here’s where Ruth really gets into the nuts and bolts of Italian food! Except instead of using nuts and bolts, Ruth is using jumbo shrimp. For you see, Ruth wanted an opportunity to tell us that jumbo shrimp is a delicacy that is available in many fine Italian restaurants which serve Italy food.
But Ruth doesn’t want us to feel embarrassed if we’ve never heard of jumbo shrimp before because they were only recently discovered by Ruth Conrad Bateman, herself, when she accidentally fell overboard while sailing in the Adriatic and surfaced with jumbo shrimp stuck in her hair net! So you see it’s nothing to feel unsophisticated about.
And finally, what Italian Cookbookwould be complete without this helpful hint fresh from the lips of the Italy Food Diva, herself, Ruth Conrad Bateman:
And if that little treasure of wisdom doesn’t save you at least a nickel, Ruth Conrad Bateman will eat her hair net, jumbo shrimp and all!
It’s nice to be mature or so I’m told. Now that I am nearly old enough to collect Social Security (so I can finally be more secure socially), and now that I am a Grandmother, and now that AARP is positively drooling every time I walk by, well I’m pretty much hot stuff in the fast-paced world of Aging Boomerism.
That is why, Dear Readers, I am delighted to be nominated for an award so infantile, so juvenile, so puerile, so River Nile, that I couldn’t be more pleased if God, himself, had instructed Moses to part the Red Sea and let me hunt for sea shells for a full five minutes!
I am speaking of course of the most coveted and the most revered award to ever grace the Blogosphere:
And now let us proceed to the Nomination Hoops through which one must jump when nominated for the Glitter E. Yaynus Award!
Name five things that would make people want to kill me:
Lagging at every greenlight for miles trying to find my lip gloss.
Eating the last Girl Scout Cookie (OK, make that eating all of the Girl Scout Cookies).
Meeting up with out-of-town guests, and forgetting my cell phone.
Talking during the most important part of everything.
Reading the time wrong on the airplane tickets.
Next: Name five things I would take to Uranus:
(OK, this isn’t the real version. In the real version, you are supposed to name five things you would stick up your ass, if forced. I’m doing the watered-down, old-lady, granny version because I wouldn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize my membership eligibility for AARP.) So here are the five things I would take to Uranus:
A copy of Pride and Prejudice because a little culture never hurt Uranus.
A herd of elephants because it’s rumored that Uranus is quite spacious.
Martha Stewart in case Uranus needs redecorating.
A pot of gold to place at the end of Uranus in case there’s no rainbows.
A fireworks factory because nothing spices up Uranus like firecrackers and sparklers!
Next: Run across a Freeway Blindfolded.
Only if the freeway is blindfolded too, let’s make it fair!
Next: Pick a Prom Court:
Ok, what happened here? Things were progressing so logically until the last two questions. I think the person who thought this up might have a touch of the ADD! Nevertheless. I will pick a prom court by passing the nomination on to the following bloggers who I think can really do this Prestigious Award justice and the nominees are:
Browsing through the latest Pottery Barn catalog reminds me of the I Love Lucy episode where Fred, Ethel and Lucy are in Hollywood dining at the Brown Derby to spot movie stars:
Announcer: Telephone call for Ava Gardner.
Fred: Where? Where?
Ethel: Fred, remember, she’s just people like you and me.
Fred: She might be people but she’s not like you and me!
Well the same goes for Pottery Barn.
Pottery Barn might be People but they’re not like you and me!
For instance, Pottery Barn tells us this is a “Family Home”. How do we know this? Because it says FAMILY HOME in great big letters. Underneath that it says:
“A home is where a family lives together.” Pottery Barn Catalog, (January 2012) Page: 54
The Pottery Barn Catalog goes on to platitude-ize, “For your family home makes every room a place to catch up and reconnect.”
And in that vein may I present:
The Pottery Barn People Pizza Fantasy:
I would imagine when the Pottery Barn People were creating this space, they were imagining the following family scenario:
Off camera we hear a daughter’s voice answering a cell phone call from her mom:
“Hello? Oh hello, Mummy! What’s that? Oh yes, rest assured Dearest Mother that I have just this very moment removed the fresh-fig pizzas from the open flames of our very own Pizza Oven and tastefully set them upon the two-teared pizza serving platter. What’s that? Yes Mother! Of course it’s the platter that is crafted from sustainable wood with an exclusive Signature Whiskey Finish, I’m not an idiot! What’s that Mummy? Oh yes, I’d say everything is ready, and it’s time to round up Father, Brother and Sister from within the walls of our home where our family lives together! What’s that? Yes, Mother! I know we need to reconnect with one another by gathering round our casual, yet boldly-scaled table made entirely from reclaimed pine for which we paid $1,999 and dig in! I am not an idiot!”
The Real People Pizza Reality:
“Hey Everybody! Pizza’s here! Grab your sodas and turn on Seinfeld!