This past weekend, we visited the Goodwill Store. Marcus was looking for some cheap t-shirts and we always like to look at the book and CD selections there. Marcus found me a copy of River Road Recipes, a cookbook I remember seeing on my mom and grandma's shelves during my childhood. The book has dubbed itself "The textbook of Louisiana Cuisine." I was excited to read it and hoped to be reaquainted with some of the Cajun recipes I grew up eating.
The book was originally published by the Junior League of Baton Rouge in 1959 and has suffered gotten a reprint every year or so since then. I eagerly started with the salad section. Before I'd made it even two pages into the book, I was laughing so hard there were tears streaming down my face. I continued thumbing through, stopping only to laugh and google unknown ingredients. Here are some of my favorite recipes:
Egg and Chicken Mold. Now I understand the congealed salad craze, really I do. I think they are the nastiest thing ever created, especially when they involve mayonnaise, but I get it. However, could we not find a more catchy name than "mold" for this creation? When I think of chicken, eggs and mold, "ooh, boy, gotta get me summa that" is not the first thing that pops into my brain.
Aspic. I had to call my grandma and ask what this was. She very helpfully said, "It's an aspic!" From what I can find online, an aspic is a savory jelly, which is enough to make me gag. (Click the link...a guy will pronounce it for you.) My favorite aspic recipe was for Tomato Soup Salad, which included the subtitle, "Men like it." I'll tell you it contains 2 cans of condensed tomato soup and a cup of mayonnaise and leave the rest to your imagination.
Baked Cushaw. Do you know what a cushaw is? I didn't either.
Green Salad for 70 people. Not 50. Not 75. 70 people. 18 heads of iceberg lettuce, 5 bunches of parsley, chopped, and 4 quarts of salad dressing. Mmmmm, mmm. (NOT)
Actually, the more I look through here, the more recipes I see for feeding giant crowds, like "Remoulade for 100 people" and "Vegetable Galore."
My biggest laughs came from some of the titles of recipes, such as:
- Toad in Hole (We call it Eggs in a Basket)
- Cheese Mold (hahahaha)
- Woodcock (it's a nasty looking version of rotel cheese dip involving Worchestire sauce and raw eggs)
- City Chicken (funny because that's what my husband called pigeons when we lived in NYC )
- Oysters Johnny Reb
- Beer Chicken Jambalaya (the person who originally owned this book scribbled "With Beer" next to the recipe)
- Coon a la Delta (Yep. RAcoon.)
- Squirrel Pie
- Foamy Sauce
The desserts look fantastic, especially the ones for coconut pie.
But don't worry. I won't be featuring any of my "favorites" for Comfort Food Saturday any time soon.