Recipe Monday: There are only two great foes to successful meal planning – Monotony and Fear.

So, my sister just had her baby boy (Logan Robert), Thanksgiving was had, job was mostly finished though I will be working a shift this week and hopefully having holiday lunch this week. Of course, that means that I’m exhausted, fibromyalgia flared up and have a cold.

So that means, Retro Recipe Monday! The line from the title comes from the book to give you a peek into what we’re getting ourselves into. The book is called The General Foods Kitchens Cookbook (published: 1959) and has exciting subchapters like “When you have a maid. (with a silent understood) Bitch.”, “Pamela’s dieting again.”, Saved by a salad! (subtitled: Is your husband clutching his chest a lot?) and “Good grief, we’ll never get the yearbook out!”

Pros: They address possibly living alone (though there’s the silent understood that you better be an old maid or a widow and not a slutty divorcee, Missy!) and that you may be a working gal (with the silent understood that you better get your ass into the kitchen because that dinner isn’t making itself and it’s not your husband’s fault you can’t be satisfied with the spending money he gives you), the fifties is actually when global cuisine started being brought into middle class homes so there’s recipes for curry, lasagna (we were still ethnic then boys and girls!), sukiyaki, etc. which is cool and the best part imo is that there’s a can do spirit about it. I know that’s a complaint of the time but I *like* that they’re like hokay, you need to make a wedding dinner including a wedding cake? You can do this, Sheila. Let’s get organized. For all the unintentional irony and pre-second wave lack of choice, there’s a very no nonsense let’s get this done vibe and covers like every possible culinary emergency you can think of. Having just picked this book up for the first time in a while, I realize my Kitchen Witch outline unconsciously follows this outline with an updated modern spirit.

Cons: Oh lordess, where to start? Okay. The drawings of “ethnic” people are pretty bad (for the Southern cooking there’s a “Mamee” style drawing to give you a taste), when shit goes wrong and/or your family is being mulish about trying new food, guess whose fault that is? The pictures, oh god the color photos of some of these horrors. And of course that the “ethnic” food is whatever is the most Americanized version of what that ethnicity has to offer.

Onto the recipe! If you get brave and make it yourself, you get a guest blog spot here. Pics or it never happened!

Glazed Pate

1 cup chicken liver pate
1 1/3 cups condensed beef consomme
1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1 package (3 oz) Jell-O Lemon Gelatin Dessert
2 tablespoons sauterne wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar
Stuffed olives, thinly sliced (optional)

Pack the chicken liver pate in a buttered mold and chill. Combine consomme, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper in a saucepan. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Then remove bay leaf and dissolve the gelatin in hot liquid. Add sauterne, lemon juice and vinegar. Chill mixture until syrupy.

Then unmold pate, garnish with olive slices if desired and pour on a thin layer of the gelatin mixture (if gelatin mixture becomes too firm to pour, let stand over hot water for a few minutes to soften). Chill until almost firm. Pour a second layer over pate. Chill again until almost firm. Add a third layer; chill until set. Makes 1 cup. (Double recipe to serve 10.)

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  

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3 Responses

  1. The Scribbler

    Oh God, that sounds nasty! I just imagined someone deciding that lime jello is close enough to lemon and then substituting the year-old "cooking sherry" under the sink for the sauterne wine. And, well, "there ain't no tarragon in the kitchen (whatever that is, Martha), so I'll just chuck in some oregano." Calling Ralph! Hey Ralph! Can you hear me Ralph? Who would have thought cool porcelain could be so comforting to hug this way?

  2. I love these retro recipes! They are so gross. Hee hee! I hope you get to feeling better soon.

  3. Pallas Renatus

    I really will never understand the period's obsession with combining meat and jello. Bleh.

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