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Quick Cooking 101: Presto entrees and desserts

April 29, 2008

Well, yesterday I had no luck with finding anything remotely edible and quick to fix in the Presto cookbook. But I never did make it to the entree section (the Pizza Pizza guy buzzed up just as I was ready to turn the page. Honestly).

So, what shall I cook tonight? Meat? Well, there’s plenty of that in the deep freezer…


Hmm… all I can really say is that I’ve never seen a roast beef served on a bed of cucumber and whole radish before. Hmm. Well, I’ll turn the page (skipping the photographed selections, methinks…).

A bit more exotic than the Soup section, at any rate:

Norwegian Meatballs (which appear to be meatballs boiled in milk and cream. Next…)
Swiss Steak No. 1
Swiss Steak No. 2 (which appears to be the same as Swiss Steak No. 1 except that it also features a cup of tomato soup and “2 T. cornstarch”. 2 tablespoons?!?!? Must be a hangover from the Cereal page…)

Another exoticism: Porcupine Meatballs – oh, those racy 50s housewives! What were they doing, hanging out at the side of the highway looking for roadkill??

Moving on…some items that no 50s cookbook would be complete without:

Savory (sic) Beef Neck
Economy Pork Steak
Beef Liver
Devilled Lamb Neck Slices (have you ever had lamb neck? I make it quite often as I love lamb and it’s a cheap homestyle greek dish. However, if you don’t do it in the crockpot or, failing that, in the oven for about five hours, you might as well buy a pack of chewing gum and save yourself the trouble. This recipe calls for 15 minutes cooking time. I’m sceptical…)
Stuffed Beef Heart (the minute I left home, I vowed that never again would organ meat pass my lips. It is perhaps the one vow I have never broken).
Fresh Tongue (nah, although I’m sure it’s far better than that stale tongue in all the other cookbooks…)

and finally (drumroll, please…)

Pigs in a Blanket. That time honoured favourite. However, paradoxically, this recipe calls for round steak wrapped in bacon. So, shouldn’t it be “Cow in a Blanket”?

The next section, luckily, looks intriguing:

“Combination” of what? you may well ask? I certainly did, looking at the above photo. Vegetables and vegetables? Meat and blobs of unknown origin? Meatballs and blood?

Let’s peek within to try to shed some light on this mystery:

More international exoticism!!!
Belgian Stew (with beef neck and carrots)
Sauerbraten (German beef stew)
3 – count ’em – 3 versions of Chop Suey!!!!! (American, Fancy and Plain. The only difference I can see is that the Fancy has three types of meat instead of one. All share copious amounts of canned vegetables in common. And, isn’t chop suey all American anyway?)

And some more stuff I’ve never heard of before (with good reason, in my opinion):
Corn Cabbage
Squash with Pineapple

Chicken is starting to look pretty good right about now…

Check out the cooking time table!!


Let’s zoom in, shall we?

Qu’est-ce que c’est “gosling”? I have no idea.


Well, that’s one way to get them onto the plate, I guess. I can just hear Mr. Scotland now, though: “Puir wee pheasant, smothered before its time.”

Shiskabugs!!!

Puir wee Bugs Bunny. I don’t want any harm coming to him. He did have the guts to go around in
drag in the 1940s
, after all. You might call him a role model of mine…

Next…

I’ve got some frozen shrimp I scored at Loblaws a while back …


Frozen shrimp, blood and Ritz crackers – all hauled in by a serf. No thanks.

I don’t really like vegetables, but I’m getting desperate here:
The flowers look nice anyway.

There are recipes for 28 vegetables. The recipes are all identical except for the main ingredient. Here’s a sample:

Potatoes (small)

small whole new potatoes
1 cup water
salt

I kid you not. Oh wait, I lie to you. Some of the recipes are a bit different:

Peas (green)

Fresh peas
1/2 cup water
salt

I guess it’s dessert for dinner again…

What the hell is “steamed bread”??? Is it that stuff that weighs about a pound for a small slice and sits in your stomach for days afterward? Not in this house…give me a Viennetta or some Cadbury’s any old day.

And finally…

Maybe I’m out of it, but isn’t a “fruit recipe” a dessert? (by the look of the photo, maybe not – especially when served swimming in Vaseline and food colouring).

Damn it all. I guess I’m going to have to come up with some quick cooking ideas of my own.

Hmm…. perogies, perhaps?

Come on back tomorrow to see how they turned out.
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