Not Saussure

March 28, 2007

Food for Thought (don’t try these at home)

Filed under: Blogroll, Food — notsaussure @ 8:12 pm

Feeling hungry? Looking to add to your culinary repertoire? Perhaps you had better not use the recipes and photographs to be found at The Gallery of Regrettable Food, an hilarious collection of truly horrid recipes, accompanied by even worse photographs, collected from cookbooks of the 40s, 50s and 60s. As J. Likleks, the anthologist, says,

They’re not really recipe books. They’re ads for food companies, with every recipe using the company’s products, often in unexpected ways. (Hot day? Kids love a frosty Bacon Milkshake!) There’s not a single edible dish in the entire collection. The pictures in the books are ghastly – the Italian dishes look like a surgeon got a sneezing fit during an operation, and the queasy casseroles look like something on which the janitor dumps sawdust. But you have to enjoy the spirit behind the books – cheerful postwar perfect housewifery is taught in every book. Sure, you’ll fall short of the ideal. But what’s an ideal for if not to show up your shortcomings?

Great stuff.
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  1. I swear by Mrs Beaton’s cook book.

    Comment by jailhouselawyer — March 28, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

  2. I’ve got a copy, not of the original but of a sort of edited highlights version of Household Management that my late father acquired when he was a young, single man looking after himself in the 1930s. There’s some very good stuff in there; I don’t understand where she got some of the timings from (well, I do; their tastes must have been different from ours) but it’s a far more sensible book than some of modern spin-offs of the cooking as a spectator sport TV shows.

    Comment by notsaussure — March 28, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

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