Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The moral of this story: steak knives are deceptive?

I made soup. The soup required straining, so I bought a strainer. I’ll be taking the strainer back to Target because I didn’t strain the soup. That’s one of those final little steps you have to do if you are serving guests, isn’t it? I am just me eating it as is. Cooking is simpler and I’m $8.99 richer.

After I shared with you all my canned meeet recipes, my friend Pippa sent me an email right away telling me how disgusted she was begging me for more. Pippa is from Georgia, so I am including in today’s post a recipe called Dixie Dandy Bake.

The Dixie Dandy Bake is super spectacular enough to be featured on the cover of this cookbook. It's the delicacy item in the lower left corner looking a lot like a meatloaf with cling peach slices on top surrounded by tomatoes and drizzled in a glaze of heavy syrup.

Those crazy folks down in Dixie!

Dixie Dandy Bake
1 1-pound can applesauce
¼ teaspoon ginger
2 12-ounce cans luncheon meat
1 8-ounce can pineapple slices
1 1-pound 2-ounce can sweet potatoes
* * *
½ cup apricot jam
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water

Combine applesauce and ginger; spread in 10x6x1-1/2 inch baking dish. Slice each loaf of luncheon meat 3 times on the diagonal, cutting only ¾ of the way through.
Halve pineapple slices; insert in cuts in meat. Place meat atop applesauce; arrange sweet potatoes around meat. Combine remaining ingredients. Spread over meat, pineapple and potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

I’m now keenly aware that in the 1960s in the United States, there were no fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy or meat. Were they trying to rid the country of a stockpile of canned goods from the war? Was it all from bomb shelter rations? Someone tell me. Here is another hot dog recipe to have your family rushing to the dinner table.

Go meat!

Cheese Franks
1 pound (8 to 10) frankfurters
* * *
1 6-ounce roll process cheese food: pepper, garlic, smoky or bacon flavor
1 3-ounce package corn chips, coarsely crushed (about 1 cup)

Split frankfurters lengthwise, cutting only about ¾ the way through. Place in a shallow baking dish or jellyroll pan. Spread cut surfaces with cheese food; sprinkle cheese generously with crushed corn chips. Bake in moderate over (350) until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serves 4 or 5.

I’m thinking about cooking my way through the Better Homes and Garden Creative Cooking Library like that woman did for Julia Childs’ cookbook and then made a vast fortune from a book and movie. Can’t you see it? Who should play me in the movie? Helen Hunt? Sarah Jessica Parker? Those are the stars I’ve been compared to most often.


You won’t believe what they suggest you do to bologna, which I prefer spelling like this: baloney. Yes, I have a preference about how to spell it, pronounce it and eat it. Yes, I am willing to eat it on the rare occasion. I eat it fried to death in a hot skillet and served on white bread with mayo and lettuce. That’s all my brother Mike’s fault because he was in charge of me for a few summers and had to feed me.

Clearly he took that job seriously. Well, OK. He was pretty good at looking after me. OK, at any rate he was good at feeding me.

Oh! and since we are blaming our brothers and talking about food all at once I will tell you a story.

When I was a kid, we ate supper together every night. I don’t remember there being exceptions to that. When I was in elementary school, I didn’t get grounded for being late to the table, although reality kicked into high gear once yours truly got into junior high.

I was playing with Belinda Butcher, she of the Parisian mother/Butcher Hollow connection fame of late. I never heard my mother call. Heaven only knows what we were so engrossed in that I totally missed supper.

I wasn’t just late, I completely missed supper.

My brother John’s bedroom was a spare room that was behind the garage and connected to the dining room in our three-bedroom ranch. His bedroom was the “fourth” and my parents let him paint the walls black. Oh, our rooms are a whole ‘nother story. One room had the prettiest wallpaper and the other was bigger and Mike and I changed rooms incessantly.

Back to suppertime.

John was in his room and heard me come into the kitchen and he told me my plate was in the oven. I took it out of the oven and I asked him what it was. He said it was some sort of steak. I ate it all and I swear I even remember sitting alone at the table with a steak knife cutting through the meat. I liked it and since I was incredibly busy that day, I’m sure I was famished. Moreover, I also remember sitting there wondering if I was going to be in trouble (probably the first time I had never shown up for supper) and what I missed (my family make do without moi? Impossible!)

If I remember this right everyone was more than a little amazed that I had eaten my entire supper. I will spare you the suspense: it was liver, not steak.

My lying brother was very clever, but I liked the liver and will eat it to this day.

The moral of the story is that if you lay out steak knives, no one will suspect they aren’t eating steak: It’s the power of suggestion.

I dare you to make the Dixie Dandy (Steak) Bake and serve it for supper tonight.


Annie Robertson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
allthingsjuice said...

These recipes are revolting! Do you think our grandkids will say that about Cooking Light 50 years from now?

Rambling Woods said...

Oh liver...how I suffered through liver and onions...Oh gross....I would rather eat the Dandy Bake....with a fork....