Sunday, June 14, 2009

Buffet Bounty

Because I am basically lazy, buffet suppers are my preferred form of entertainment. I think the last time I gave a planned sit-down supper for guests—as opposed to people who showed up at mealtime and needed to be fed—was ten years ago. When you want to get lots of people together for good food and good talk, a buffet is logistically the best way to do it.

It also allows for a liberal mixing of guests, for example the parish priest from St. Joe's across the street and a sweet but dippy friend of mine who just announced her conversion to Buddhism. N.B. I like Father Carl and would not do this to him if I didn't think him more than capable of discussing theology with a woman who changes her religion almost as often as she does her underwear.

I found this cookbook at the Mission Mart last week for fifty-nine cents. The height of homemaking glory, circa 1963, it assures the hostess that all her guests will be begging for her recipes, and is an interesting mixture of new-fangled convenience and old-fashioned kitchen goodness. For example, all of the food on this buffet except the slaw and the frosting comes from a box or a can.

But the angel-food cake here is still made from scratch. As Sisiggy asked a few days ago, what on earth do you do with all those leftover egg yolks?

Even if at least half the recipes contradict some of my most deeply-held culinary beliefs (their instructions for Shrimp deJonghe tell you to bake pre-cooked shrimp for an additional twenty minutes at 350º and to me that means really chewy shrimp) it’s a fun read. And although I think I’ll leave the Duchess Franks and Avocado Fruit Squares alone, I have to try the Spiced Orange Mold. Plenty swank!


Amy said...

oh man I am SO envious, I love old books like that, can you scan each page and upload to flickr?

GDad said...

Alton Brown used egg yolks when he made pretzels. He painted the pretzel with the yolk before baking so the salt would stick and so the yolk would turn the pretzel a nice amber brown.

Sisiggy said...

We made lots of custard ice cream with as many egg yolks as I could pick out, meaning this week it's nothing but lettuce and carrot sticks. The rest were fried up for the dogs.

Yeah, they gelatined a lot of stuff in the 50s and 60s -- kind of creepy. But in my Catholic family, while we saw pictures of Jello molds, we never saw any in real life until we all married Protestants. So we have decided Jello molds must be a Protestant phenomenon and refer to them as Protestant Salad.

Shay said...

Amy, I'd love to oblige but it's a forty-eight page book :-(

Maybe if I get one of those rainy weekends....

Sisiggy, for one or two egg yolks we just feed 'em to the dogs (does great things for their coats). But I think this is why ladies a hundred years ago planned to make noodles the same week they made angel cake.

(Housewifery back then was a science).

Packrat said...

Egg yolk problem solved! When you make an angel food cake, make an old fashioned pound cake that only uses egg yolks the same day. If it is too much cake too use quickly, freeze the pound cake. It holds up well when thawed.