While garage-saling this summer, Jay purchased a box of books that contained this gem, “The ABC of Casseroles.” It’s the exact book I’ve been waiting for: plenty of unbelievable, crappy recipes that I can make fun of on this blog. This book puts Mary Ann to shame. It was published by the Peter Pauper Press in 1954. Apparently Peter was such a Pauper that he couldn’t afford the ” ‘s ” for ABC in the title. This little jewel is gonna supply me with plenty of “recipes” to make fun of for a good, long time. And many of the recipes have fancy little introductory poems to make more fun of. Life is good.
It was difficult to choose the first entry to ridicule. There are so many choices. I mean no disrespect to the editors (no one appears to take responsibility for this book by name, which is understandable), but they asked for it. Just look at the book’s intro:
TO THE READER:
In this book, you will find countless ideas for quick one-course dinners as well as imaginative and festive dishes that you will want to set before your most cherished guests.
None of the recipes is complicated, or too difficult for the inexperienced cook. We have had her particularly in mind in assembling these recipes, since it is she, and not her older and more experienced sister, who usually holds down a job, and cooks too. Many of the dishes can be prepared the day before, and baked at the last minute. And many are quickies that can be both prepared and cooked in an hour’s time.
A casserole, a tossed green salad, and steaming coffee make an elegant and sophisticated dinner. Add a fancy dessert and you have a feast!
Alright, first of all I’ll admit … these recipes are definitely imaginative though I’m actually afraid to have any of my most cherished guests read about them in this post, let alone eat them. It’s really sweet of the editors to assemble these for my dumb, inexperienced self, especially since a lot of my older sisters were cooking for their families AND holding down a job in 1954. That was an eye-opener. Women with full-time jobs in the ’50s? Hmm. Maybe they were all stewardesses? Or nuns? I do appreciate that the editors threw the word “quickies” in there. And although I don’t serve steaming hot coffee for dinner, it’s not a bad idea. I may want to pour it on myself for distraction while I suffer through these recipes. But I do love that they used the word “fancy” in the last sentence since it’s my favorite Friday Night Casserole adjective.
So let’s get started. I’ve decided to treat you to this special recipe first. And I’ve thrown in the fancy introductory poem to, well, make it fancy:
Wait a minute … my Mom never told me she wrote poems for a fancy casserole book!!
Gulp. The title of this recipe just made me shudder. Hard-boiled eggs with scallops? That has my spit glands in overdrive … I need to take a few deep breaths. Now, I love scallops. But I’ve never wanted to boil them in water and then prepare them with hard-boiled eggs. Then bell peppers? And then mushy celery? I don’t even want to know what they consider “white sauce.” This recipe sounds like a triple-dog dare. I’d rather stick my tongue to a frozen flag pole than eat one bite of this dish.