Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thirty-Minute Meals

A recent thrifting find was this little book, produced by our old friends the Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago, and first published in 1954 (reprinted in 1959 and 1964) to help “…the working woman, busy with career and apartment; the homemaker whose day is filled with community, club, home and family activities; the hostess whose guests sometimes arrive without notice.”

This spread is luscious but I don’t think even Rachel Ray could produce it in thirty minutes unless she’d done a lot of prep the night before.

The recipes are a pretty standard selection, typically for the time a little heavy on the monosodium glutamate (Accent™ was introduced in the U.S. in 1947), but there is at least one that thoroughly baffles me:

Tomatoes with Banana Topper. Wash, remove stem ends and cut into halves crosswise 2 large tomatoes. Brush with melted butter or margarine. Sprinkle salt over tomato halves. Peel and slice 1 banana. Overlap banana slices on buttered tomato halves. Sprinkle ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese over bananas. Broil until cheese melts (20 minutes).”


Oddly, the book does not offer any suggested menus; it’s set up in the usual fashion with sections for breads, main dishes, salads, desserts, etc. The only way this differs from a conventional cookbook is that it provides cooking times for each recipe, so how useful is this for who is looking for help in getting a decent meal on the table in half an hour?

Still, it’s a keeper, if only for this illustration from the salads chapter, which just cracks me up.



Lapin in Lettuce Alone! I'm laughin' in my lettuce.

Anonymous said...

Bananas and tomatoes with cheese?? Gag
Lapin in lettuce LOL

Shay said...

What every cookbook needs; an anthropomorphic bunny doing a Sally Rand imitation!

Amy said...

wow 30 mins? that would probably take me a couple of hours at least to produce all that.

Rochelle R. said...

That illustration is so cute. I think I have that book. I'll have to get it out and take a better look.


Thanks for your support; Sweetie has changed his mind.

The bad weather slipped just north of us last night, as it often does. We got rain. Tonight is forecast to be near freezing - and the apple tree has just bloomed.

Anonymous said...

That's the main reason I collect old cook books - the illustrations are totally awesome! I love the dancing rabbit - makes me laugh. :)

Tomatoes and bananas with cheese? Well that makes me laugh too! Maybe that's how you punish the unexpected dinner guests? teehee.