Sunday, March 4, 2007

1976 was a good year for cream of mushroom

My favorite cookbook is immune to current fads; it hearkens back to my childhood, and it's the first place I go when I want comfort food. It's also unintentionally hilarious, long out of print, and falling apart.

The contributors are familiar. When I leaf through the pages, the last names bring me back to classmates, former neighbors, local business owners and famous former residents.

Some highlights (and these are direct quotes).

Metric section
Don't be afraid of grams and liters!

Pheasant in a Clay Pot

Ham hocks 'N Beans
True soul food*

Grandmother's Stuffing
And Grandmother was from Greece!

Coq Au Riesling
White instead of red wine for a great classic dish

Chicken Breasts, Forgive me Chavez!**

*the recipe calls for Michigan navy beans, and most of the Junior League contributors come from my hometown, which is 96.99% white
**I don't understand the reference, and the recipe uses exactly 48 seedless white grapes


Betty Ford's Contribution

Liver Deluxe (Serves 4)
1 lb. liver, sliced thin
2 cups brown gravy
Sprinkle of parsley
Dash of salt
1 large onion, sliced thin
8 slices of bacon, fried crisp
1/2 cup flour
1 T butter

Sauté onion in butter. Dredge slices of liver in flour and brown each side. Pour gravy on liver and season with parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 2 minutes and arrange on a serving platter. Place bacon on top of liver.