Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Recipes of the Damned, Volume II: WOULD YOU RATHER?

Below are actual recipe titles from my vast, five-volume collection of vintage upper-Midwestern cookbooks. Do yourself a favor and read them out loud! If there are other people in the room, do not explain me, it's better that way. Feel free to use dramatic inflection. Something between Adam West and Norma Desmond should do nicely.

If you can't bring yourself to recite these abominations like a Shakespearean William Shatner--and believe me when I say you are missing out--imagine James Earl Jones doing it...and by "doing it," I mean reading these recipe names aloud in a theatrical manner. What did you think I meant? [Whistles casually, studies fingernails.]

[Cancels cue, Barry White.]

Favorite Fudge "Microwave"
Barbecue Sour Kraut
Chopped Egg Mold
Miracle Whip Cake
Moose Enchiladas
Curried Turkey Turnovers
Salmon Log
Porcupine Balls
Popover Buckaroo Beef Bake
Seafoam Cantaloupe Tarts
Stir-Fry Chicken Livers
Bison Slamdunk
Burning Bush*
Sunny Jim
Lemon Stuff
Goose Liver Bonbons
Porky Good Spread
Steaks Cujo
Gravy-Meat Casserole
Chicken Wiggle

Now: imagine yourself in a restaurant in some far-flung land. For the sake of this exercise, let's say your car just broke down in Roseau, Minnesota. There is only one greasy spoon open at the advanced hour of 8 pm, and you are absolutely famished. The items on this list comprise the entire menu. The waitress only speaks Norwegian, ya. WHAT DO YOU ORDER?

Before you go with the relatively innocent-sounding Favorite Fudge "Microwave" or "Beans," ask yourself why they need the quotation marks.

*[I have to say, Porcupine Balls and Chicken Wiggle notwithstanding, Burning Bush scares me most of all. Not only do I not recall what genre of food or drink it is, but it reminds me of an episode of Sex and the City and that is ALL I WILL SAY ON THIS MATTER.]

Bon appetit!


  1. Where are you getting this nasty stuff? What kind of cookbook has this kind of crap??


  2. Well, Sean, I am getting these fascinating examples of regional cuisine from several cookbooks that are made up of recipes submitted by either Family of God Lutheran Church congregants, Herberger's Department Store employees, or Telephone Pioneers of America members. So. If these tasty meals were deemed worthy of being preserved in print to be handed down through the generations, ask yourself this: WHAT WERE THEY EATING THAT DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT????