Posted tagged ‘humour’

Quick Cooking 101: Presto breakfast and soup

April 25, 2008

Well, now that I’ve stopped beating myself up for being less than the perfect Suzie Homemaker, it’s back to the Presto Cookbook (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here).

Gotta love these old cookbooks. The photography is so appetizing. Let’s see – I haven’t had breakfast yet (unless you count the nougat bar with jujubes…) so perhaps I can find something tasty here:

Um, didn’t realise that “mucilage” was one of the food groups. Hmm.

Well, maybe it’s actually time for lunch. How about some soup? It’s chilly today…


Hmm… blood and bile with swirls of pus? Nah…but let me see if I can find anything that appeals within the section…

– Oyster Chowder
– Southern Okra Gumbo
– Gumbo… maybe… but with oysters? Nope.

To top it off, the Soup and Chowder section is in that mysterious land where any spice save Salt and Pepper apparently fear to tread.

Sigh. I’ve now completely lost my appetite. Perhaps this was some kind of secret 1950s diet aid? Is that how they all stayed so skinny?

See you Monday!

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Coming Tuesday: More on the Presto Cookbook – don’t say you weren’t warned!!

Coming Monday: another fabulous article.

Homepage? click here.

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Foolproof Recipe No. 1: Tortellini Soup

April 24, 2008

Can’t cook anything without burning it?

Think again. Here’s a recipe so simple that anyone can manage it. And… it’s tasty. And… it disguises leftover meat! In fifteen minutes or less, to boot. And it’s even got a fancy eyetalian name, too!

Zuppa di Tortellini

1. Get some stock or broth.

This is actually homemade chicken stock. Don’t be impressed. It’s easy to make. I’ll post some tips in the next week if you can’t figure it out for yourself. In the meantime, it comes in cans or tetrapak boxes or little dry bouillon cubes for your convenience. About a litre (or quart) of stock will do for four or so people plus leftovers.

LAME COOK TIP: No stock? Try tomato juice or V-8 juice! No juice? Hey, I’m not a magician. Go get some bouillon cubes.

2. Extract the trusty tortellini stash from the freezer.

I always have some of this stuff kicking around and buy it by the kilo at Loblaws:

A couple of handfuls will do for a litre of stock.

3. Cut up whatever leftover meat you have as long as it goes with the broth.

Yesterday’s selection: the remains of one of those prepackaged mini ham roasts. MMMM. I actually prefer ham to chicken in this soup for some reason. A cup of so of diced meat should work.

4. Bring the stock to a boil…

Simmer all of the above for 5 minutes or so. When the tortellini are done they will float to the top. Turn off the heat.

5. I guess you’d better stick in some green stuff as well.

I know that not everyone wants to be the only North American with scurvy in the 21st century!! Since I don’t usually have any fresh veg about, I typically stick in some frozen peas (which I like because they are easy to fish out of the soup!)

If using frozen veg, just let them sit in the hot broth for a couple or three minutes.

6. Season to taste.
I like parmesan cheese grated on top of this. The Scotsman who lives with me, however, does not. Salt and pepper also go well with everything, I find!

7. Serve up with some homemade crackers which you have spent all day whipping up.
Oh, sorry – I forgot. This is the fancy Italian tortellini soup, not the boring old Britisher soup. So – serve with crusty bread, preferably italian style.

LAME COOK TIP: Don’t have tortellini? All the fixings for another tasty ethnic soup are available at your local smoke shop. Stop there on your way home and pick them up:

Green onions and sesame oil are a nice touch too, I find.

So there you have it – not one, but two foolproof recipes!

(And, by the way, if you don’t find them to be foolproof, don’t bother dropping me a line unless you want me to create a Hall of Shame page and post it there. I mean, there are limits!)

Coming Tomorrow: Presto Cooking part ii: Breakfast and Soup

Quick Cooking 101: an introduction to Presto

April 23, 2008

Lest you think that cooking in 30 minutes or less was an invention of the Food Network, I’m here to tell you otherwise. There is every indication that quick cookery started as early as …

…hmm. I’m not sure – no date on the cookbook I found, sadly neglected, in the book swap at work. I’d put it at early 1950s.

But I guess it really doesn’t need a date, because the information it contains is timeless, not to mention priceless.

I mean get a load of this:

Where on earth are these vegetables grown, anyway?! I’ve certainly never come across corn and carrots which are the same size. Some weird post-nuclear accident?

But really, I shouldn’t jest. Maybe if I actually consult this book, I will acquire some gourmet hausfrau tips. As I leave my halcyon takeout-swilling chip-eating youth further and further behind, I’m increasingly worried that I am not the best helpmeet I could be. And if I start working on them now, I should be Queen of the Homemakers by 2010 when I turn 40!

And besides, the women all looked so happy back then!


Um… well, most of the time they did. Unfortunately, there is no caption for this picture. And check out the bottle!

I mean, I’ve never had kids, so I don’t really know… but it strikes me that it’s not appropriate to heat a baby bottle to boiling point. Am I wrong?

And… is that a fist I see hiding under the dishcloth?

Ah – it all makes sense now. This must be the missing caption:


“That’ll teach you for making me play ‘airplane’ for the 57th time today, kid… “

Would you just shut up and eat, already?!?!?!? If Mommy misses seeing Victor and Nikki’s fifth wedding on the Young and the Restless you’re going to your room until you turn 18 and I kick your worthless @$$ onto the street…”

And now for a short break from our sponsor… the back of the Presto book!
I want to be a model for a Presto ad!

Look how fun it is to do housework!!!

Hmm… I might not be dressed quite the part, though…


Maybe they’d go for something like this instead?

Um… maybe not. Unless, of course, the product is called “Mommy’s Dirty Little Secrets”…

Sigh – I’m not really picking up this hausfrau thing too swiftly, am I?

But what about the recipes? Well, I’m tired now. Check back tomorrow, wouldja?

Or, actually, Friday. Tomorrow I’ll give you one of my secret recipes instead.

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