Friday, January 23, 2015

Cooking retro!

I collect cookbooks. I love experimenting with new foods, new recipes, anything different. Sometimes the results are wonderful....sometimes not. But it's fun!

I especially love old cookbooks. I troll thrift shops, junk stores, antique shops looking for ones that catch my eye. My favorites though are the small Better Homes and Gardens hardback specialty books. Published in the 60's and 70's, these books have great recipes and fun retro text to read.

After a couple months of avoiding the local thrift shops (at the holidays they are so busy and picked over that it isn't worth the trip), my son and I went on a Thrift run last week.  I'm glad I did -- Jackpot!!

I found 12 BH&G vintage cookbooks I didn't have!

My favorite has got to be this one:  Fondue and Tabletop Cooking, published in 1972. On the front cover it has one of those goblet-shaped, bright, retro-yellow fondue pots. Made me smile the minute I saw the cover! I paid $1 apiece for the books....many are in new condition and appear to have never been used. I'm going to use them!

Since the Fondue book is my fav, I'm going to review it. :)

The first section of the book is about Fondue. Because it is 42 years old, the information on fondue pots is outdated. Today they are electric with temperature controls, but 40 years ago fondue pots used canned heat or candles. Much safer to fondue these days! :) The safety information was fun to read, but very outdated.

The recipes sound amazing! Everything from dips and soup to appetizers and entrees! Just looking at this book makes me want to have a retro party!

I think it would be a hit. The book even tells me so! Experimenting with their menu plans and recipes will make me "an effervescent, day-by-day fondue hostess.'' Now what gal doesn't want to be effervescent?

The next section is about chafing dishes....a step up from a Fondue pot, chafing dishes can be used to make crepe suzettes, seafood dishes, asian cuisine, etc.The recipes show that chafing dishes are for more than flaming cherries jubilee! (although they do include a recipe for that too!)

This recipe caught my eye:

Sweet-sour surprises
2 T cornstarch
2 T sugar
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 C pineapple juice
1/3 cup vinegar
2 T soy sauce
1 T butter or margarine
1/2 lb tiny meatballs
1/2 lb shrimp, cooked, peeled, and cleaned
1/2 lb chicken livers, cooked and halved

In blazer pan of chafing dish, combine first 3 ingredients. Add pineapple juice, 1/2 c water, vinegar, soy and butter. Cook and stir over direct heat til boiling. Cover; simmer 5 minutes. Arrange meats in sauce. Heat through. Keep warm over hot water (bain-marie). Spear with cocktail picks. Makes 60-65 appetizers.

Nom nom nom!  Yes, I am definitely going to have to host a retro party!

The last section is on other tabletop cooking: griddles, waffle makers, hot plates and electric skillets. There are some pancake recipes that sound divine! And thanks to my handy-dandy George Foreman Grill I can try some of the awesome griddle sandwich ideas as well! They would taste great as panini sandwiches as well! 

I'm going to have great fun with this book!  I have a fondue pot on my wish list at Amazon now, and that retro party is going to happen!  March I think is a good time to go retro.....break out the leisure suits and white belts! Oh dear -- that means another trip to the thrift shops!! :)

Here are photos of my whole haul! :)

Peace out!  TTFN

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