the city chicken

Spiral slicing madness
04 22 2009, 10:07 pm
Filed under: food, fun stuff, vintage, vintage recipes

By now you all know how much I enjoy odd, bizarre, and ridiculous vintage items. One item I was particularly proud of owning was my Popeil Spiral Slicer.

The box is certainly great fun, but it did not compare to the pathetic little tool that was inside:

It you are uncertain of what that is, let me help you out. It is a screw. Yes, a plain old screw attached to something that looks like the end of a broken tool with a semi-sharp filed edge on one side.

The object is to stick the screw into the top of your vegetable or fruit, sit the vegetable upright, stick your finger in the finger hole, and begin to circle around and around your food item until you have spiral sliced through the entire thing.

I was convinced it was a joke and had ZERO intention of using this thing. Even now I wonder if it was really smart to stick this thing into something I intended to place in my mouth. It looks like something that you should find in a tool box, not in a kitchen for crying out loud!

Either way, last night for some dumb reason I decided to destroy one of my little zucchini that needed to be eaten up. At least destruction was what I expected to happen.

Instead, this is what I ended up with:

Yea, a beautifully spiral sliced zucchini.

Even cooked it all still stayed pretty much together and wrapped around my fork just like pasta. If I had thrown marinara on it, it would have sufficed as a carbohydrate sub.

Instead, I tossed the “zucchinasta” in olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt, and pepper and ate it right up.

Who knew.

However, I am still quite skeptical about the idea that little tool could go through a hard carrot, beet, or pineapple like the box suggests . . . but I might be inclined to find out for myself.


the best christmas ever
12 19 2007, 10:17 pm
Filed under: childhood, random info, retro, vintage

The Best Christmas I ever had? The year I got my Heart to Heart Bear. He still lives at my dad’s and his heart still beats. 

Heart to Heart Bear

I just wish there were pictures of these recipes to enhance the gag reflex…
11 26 2007, 11:27 pm
Filed under: food, humor, retro recipes, vintage

Back to my Household Hi-speed Cookbook and toady’s recipe comes from the vegetable casserole section.

Lima Bean Peanut

  • 2 cups medium cream sauce (from another recipe in the Rolodex – essentially butter, scalded milk, and flour)
  • 1 cup coarsely ground salted peanuts
  • 2 cups cooked lima beans, drained
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese (because that is clearly what this recipe is missing so far!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimientos (if you are unaware, green olives and pimientos were food groups back in the 40’s and 50’s)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoon catsup (no commentary needed)
  • Butter or margarine
  • Buttered Bread crumbs

Prepare cream sauce as directed from previous recipe. Combine with remaining ingredients, except butter, or margarine and crumbs. Blend thoroughly Pour into well-oiled 2-quart casserole. Dot top with butter or margarine. Cover with crumbs. Bake in moderate oven (350F.) about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot. (No shit? Wouldn’t that have just been the cat’s pajamas to serve this chilled!?) Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Yes, I have come to the conclusion that the only way to truly appreciate these recipes would be to actually make them and serve them to some poor, unassuming soul. One day, I will make this casserole… and run like hell when it is served.

mmm mmm good
11 8 2007, 8:07 pm
Filed under: books, food, nostalgia, recipes, recommendations, retro recipes, vintage

So this evening I went to the 1/2 price book store – great place and I found a couple Christmas gifts and I also picked up a little something for myself:

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This book has me doubled over and I am not even completely done looking through it.

So far, my favorite recipe is the cucumber ice salad; the ingredients list includes:
1/4 pound of marshmallows (based on the name of the salad, this should raise an immediate retro red flag!)
1/3 C lemon juice
2 medium-size cucumbers, grated (enough to yield two cups of pulp)
1 tsp. onion, grated
1/2 tsp. salt
3 drops of green food coloring
few grains of cayenne pepper
2 egg whites
1 tbsp. sugar
8 medium sized tomatoes

Scary no?
But wait, it gets BETTER!!!
The details of how to prepare this are pretty intense but here is the basic run down

You melt the marshmallows and lemon juice and freeze that until “mushy”. Most of the other ingredients are mixed together and then you make a meringue out of the sugar and egg whites and fold that into the rest of the ingredients (including the now half-frozen marshmallow mush).
Bounce that all back into the freezer until solid…

Gut a bunch of tomatoes and put the frozen cucumber puke…er… salad into the tomatoes – serve cold.

Keep barf baggies handy.

One of my favorite blogs, Nacho Underpants, has a recent post that also had me rolling in laughter – ham and bananas hollandaise.

Eat your heart out Ted Allen, this is the food that I wanna eat!!!

On a more realistic note, there really IS a recipe I do want to eat and SOON. Salted caramel cheesecake

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Picture is from Cream Puffs In Venice and although I normally don’t like using the pictures from other bloggers, I couldn’t help myself this time since this picture caused a bit of chaos in my Constitutional law class today as the people surrounding me all suddenly caught sight of it at the same time and all exclaimed “What is THAT!?” 

My mouth waters every time I see that picture…


need some identification help
08 4 2007, 12:09 pm
Filed under: vintage

I need some help from all of you antique and vintage lovers out there. I own a lucite wall light fixture. It is in art deco style and the main portion which is affixed to the wall is clear. There is a decorative piece attached in red lucite. At the very top is your “light bulb attachment piece” complete with pull string. The plug cord fits through a series of notches and holes throughout the decorative portion of the fixture. I have no clue what kind of bulb would look quite “right” in this.. it doesn’t appear that there would have been a shade.

The original tag is affixed to it and on the front states that it is “Genuine Plexiglass” (I am calling it lucite for search purposes!), on the back of the tag there is some info on the durability/usefulness of plexiglass as opposed to glass and there is also a company name – Art Plastics Novelty Company, Cleveland, Ohio. I have looked up that name and can find nothing.

The reason I really want to identify this is (A) I really like it and would just like to know more about the piece and (B) I own a matching test tube vase and if there are more matching pieces, I would certainly be interested.

Feel free to send me any info you may have!!

what a weird day already
07 18 2007, 10:31 am
Filed under: 1940's, ads, daily grind, food, fun stuff, nostalgia, vintage, War times, WWII

This has been an odd day already… and it is only 10am! I guess that is because I woke up at 4am having to use the bathroom for the 5th time last night (hmm…. UTI you think?) and I just didn’t have any desire to go back to sleep. So I showered and headed to Krogers. They are in the middle of some serious construction there and boy oh boy was that place jumping at 5am! Thank goodness I knew exactly what I needed because I felt very much in the way. After that I headed to the gas station seeing it had super cheap gas in comparrison to everyone else. I purchased a donut while I was there and began chatting with the clerk who is planning on applying to law school shortly. We talked for a good long time before the sudden rush of early morning commuters began to show up. When I got home I watched some odd movie that was on, ate my donut, and fell asleep. 🙂

Tonight I plan to make a super supper for Brian and his roommate again. I have ingredients that I don’t want to let go to waste while I am gone. I am whipping up 4 cheese stuffed shells and a variety of vegetable side dishes. It’s gonna be a fresh and flavorful dinner!

And now time for some more vintage fun:

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and so you aren’t straining your eyes:

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And now for some proof that although jell-o has printed some amazing recipes in the past, they have indeed gone wrong at times:

Cabbage Grapefruit Salad
1 package Lime Jell-o
3/4 tsp salt
1 C hot water
1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
1 large orange
1 medium sized grapefruit
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 Tbsp thinly sliced scallions
Disolve Jell-o and salt in hot water. Add lemon juice. Section orange and grapefruit, reserving juice. Add water to this juice to make 1 Cup; then add to Jell-O mixture. Chill until slightly thickened. Dice orange and grapefruit sections; fold into Jell-O with cabbage and scallions. Turn into 1 1/2-quart ring mold. Chill unti irm. Unmold on salad greens. Serve with mayonaise. Makes 6 servings.

The picture makes this recipe look… well… appetizing… the headline says “Want to please even the fussiest member of your family” but I just don’t see myself tryin’ this one anytime soon.

vintage magazines
07 17 2007, 9:01 pm
Filed under: 1940's, ads, food, recipes, vintage

Over the last two years or so I have found myself rather intrigued with vintage women’s magazines. Most of my favorites come from the war years particularly because of the rather insane recipes that were printed at that tme because of the shortage of certain foods (mainly good cuts of meat). The majority of the ads play up to women’s desires to be married (or to stay married!) and some of them are just plain hilarious. Other ads make it clear where some of the sayings and general cultural ideas originated. I plan to share some of the ads and recipes here over time.

*Note on the recipes (which I will be sure to reiterate as I post them)  While many of the recipes may be some that you have been looking for and some may help describe techniques not as often used anymore remember that these recipes generally were printed in the 1940’s in promotion of products that were new at the time. Note that just because the name of the product looks familiar, portion sizes, flavors, and ingredients can and do change over time. No recipes have been tried by myself and some …. well, should never be tried by anyone! However I will be sure to print the “good” recipes along with the funny/scary ones as there are plenty that sound wonderful and some that I am sure there are people out there searching for!*

And now for a fun starter recipe:

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Spam Upside Down Pie: Line bottom of well-greased 8-inch ring mold with Spam slices. (The Spam cooks to a beautiful golden brown, adds its own special flavor.) Cut more Spam into small cubes and add to dry ingredients of a standard baking powder biscuit recipe – home made or ready prepared. Add liquids pat dough into mold, bake 40-45 minutes at 425 degrees F. Turn onto a platter. Fill center with…Tart Cheese Sauce: Blend 1/3 C flour into 1/3 C melted margarine, stir in gradually 2 1/4 cups milk. Heat and stir until smooth and thickened. Add 1/2 pound grated American cheese, 1 tsp prepared mustard, 1/8 tsp Worcestershire, 1/4 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt. Cook in double broiler until cheese melts, stirring occasionally. Serve hot over Spam Upside Down Pie. (Or substitute spicy Spanish or horseradish sauce.)

A Del Monte Recipe from a 1943 Ladies Home Journal – This one just seemed like over kill to me for peaches and cottage cheese…

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And now for one of my all time favorite ads that I have come across so far – a portion of an ad for Ivory Bath Soap from Life Magazine, April 27, 1942 (which btw, a yearly subscription to was $4.50).

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And now just for the contrast, a quick Jell-o recipe that actually sounds easy (almost non-existent back then!) and good!

Easter Glory Whip:
1 package Strawberry Jell-o
1 1/3 cups hot water
2/3 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup cream, whipped
3/4 cup well-drained canned crushed pineapple
1/4 cup quartered maraschino cherries
cake cubes

Dissolve jell-o in hot water; add pineapple juice. Chill until slightly thickened. Reserve 1/4 cup mixture for garnish. Place remaining jell-o in bowl of ice and water and whip with rotary egg beater until fluffy and thick. Fold in whipped cream and fruit. Turn into serving bowl. Place slightly thickened Jell-o by spoonfulls on whipped mixture. Garnish with cake cubes. Chill. Makes 6-8 servings.

Hope you all enjoyed this little snippit of the past!!