Tuesday, January 15


This recipe is by far one of the strangest I've unearthed in my time studyin mid-century Midwestern cookbooks. The ingredients are sad, the final product sounds disgustin, but that's standard for Midwest Cookin-worthy fare. However, there are two things about this that really make it stand out: the title, and the name of the person who submitted the recipe to the cookbook where I found it:

1) The recipe is actually titled Cedric. Nothin else, just Cedric. Why? Who is this Cedric? It can't possibly be referrin to The Entertainer because this is a 1973 Lutheran Church cookbook from Waterloo, Iowa, and while Waterlooeans (is that a word?) can lay claim to such famous former residents as John Wayne Gacy, Dan Gable, and Tracie Spencer, I am unaware of any time that Cedric the Entertainer spent in the 'Loo.

2) The original submission to the cookbook was not authored by Mrs. Joe Schmoe or Reverend J.C. Onthacross, as so many, many other Midwest cookbook recipes are. No, the author of this recipe is simply known as "Wally". Quotation marks and all. After readin the ingredients list, I have concluded that this is no one-word vanity name like "Cher" or "Prince" - this guy is in disguise, an "Alan Smithee" of cookery, if you will. Obviously, a recipe so bad that the author doesn't even want to use his real name is a recipe that must be examined here on Midwest Cookin!

Ground beef, lean (oh, good, keep it healthy)
Onions (how many? two? a dozen? - yeah, better make it a dozen)
Cabbage, shredded
Tomato Soup

Oven temp: 350 degrees

How to:
Brown meat and chop so that it is fine. (There's nothin fine about this, not to me at least.) Add onions, salt and pepper. Layer into buttered casserole (grrrrrr...vague dish size and exclusion of butter from the ingredients list...), cabbage, meat, cabbage, meat, etc. till all is used. Cover with soup and bake 1 hour. (Oh my god, this is hobo lasagna! That would be a far better name for this shit...er...dish. Maybe that's where the Cedric in the title comes from - named in honor of "Wally"'s dear train-hoppin hobo friend Cedric, who used to hang out near the kiddie carousel in front of the old Kmart on University Ave. Why is "Jimmy Crack Corn" playin nonstop in my head now?! AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!)

Thursday, January 10

Avocada Paste

No, that's not a misspellin. The recipe is for "Avocada Paste". Where on God's Green Earth, I ask, does one get an Avocada? (Maybe it's just a female Avocado? It sounds a little like a revolutionary movement too. ¡Viva las Avocadas!)

"Okay, okay, enough with the jokes", you're sayin. "This is just guacamole with a funny name, and the most un-Midwest Cookin recipe you've ever posted. You're slippin."

To that, I reply "GRRRRRRRRRRL PLEASE." Read on.

(Well, what do you know? There is no separate ingredients list. There's your first indication that this is a recipe worthy of Midwest Cookin. You have to actually read the block of tiny text to know what goes in the paste besides Avocadas.)

How To:
This is a wonderful hors d'oeuvre and so easy to prepare. (Okay, so we've got assurances of both deliciousness and ease before we've even gotten to the instructions...)

Mash 1 RIPE AVOCADA (oh, I see - the ingredients are screamed at you to make them easier to discern) thru (sic) strainer into bowl which has been rubbed with garlic, add enough MAYONAISE (1, gross and 2, cue Smashin Pumpkins) so that resultin mixture will be of spreadin consistency. Add LIME or LEMON JUICE and SALT to taste. Arrange POTATO CHIPS (another clue to the Midwesternness - don't use tortilla chips for cryin out loud, that would make it <whispers> 'ethnic') on a large plate around small bowl (what if I want to use a large bowl and a small plate? I'll decide my own presentation and platin, thanks) of the paste you have just made (no, use the paste you made 3 weeks ago. DUH). Use as a dip for potato chips. (yeah, you already said that.)

(...and here's where things get truly, disgustinly, Midwest Cookin...) Canned minced clams may be finely chopped and added to the mixture for added delicacy. (Ugh. Blecch. Seriously though, if you are apt to make guacamole to take to potlucks and parties, what more hilarious surprise could be added to the usual mix than chopped clams? {Other than SPAM, of course.})

The Verdict:
I'll let you know once I've convinced Mr. McQuack to take this to his next work potluck.