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Just Make Reservations

fearless cooking for crowds cover

Fearless Cooking for Crowds
Evans
1986

With Thanksgiving nearly here and the rest of the holiday madness kicking into high gear, it is time to break out some recipes for your special holiday meals. Evidently the woman on the cover has been taken over by some robot species and forced to create special family dinners. Nothing says “festive” robotic Stepford wives armed with complicated recipes. Or possibly she is really is afraid of cooking.

The actual recipes are decent. I guess we will eat well when the robot overlords come to steal our souls.

Mary

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Turning your buffet up to 11

buffet entertaining cookbook

Family Circle
Buffet Entertaining
Robinson, ed.
1978

When I think of buffets, I usually think of potlucks and lots of informal, easy prep food. I am a Midwesterner, after all. This book actually surprised me on the complexity of some of the dishes. More than half of these buffet recipes and presentation actually seem over the top for a family party or home entertaining. I suppose a Martha Stewart type or a professional wouldn’t find these challenging, but all I could see was a lot of work.

Actually, there are quite a few good recipes (i.e. would be popular in 2017) as well as the 1970s favorite of aspic molds and weird shapes for food. The artful arranging of food for the presentation makes me laugh as I think of my large extended family falling on a buffet so fast that no one would notice any special arrangement. I am guessing my family is NOT the target market for this book.

Mary

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Manly Brunches from the South

southern living party cookbook cover

Southern Living Party Cookbook
Marks and Editors of Southern Living Magazine
1972

Are you having to entertain a bunch of seriously rough and masculine men? Have I got the menu for you! You need to make the “He-Man” brunch. I am not sure what makes this particular menu “manly” but, then, I live in Michigan. (I am not sure what a manly man has for brunch around here…maybe a coney and a beer?) For the most part, the recipes are pretty good, although my Swedish grandmother may take issue with the recipe for Swedish meatballs. Southern foodies maybe could explain the tomato cocktail as apposed to a Bloody Mary. They are pretty similar. Maybe the garnishes of watercress or chopped cucumber are the difference. Maybe the watercress and lemon wedges are more masculine than a sprig of celery.

Happy Eating!

Mary

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