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  • We should have a party with things from long-forgotten cookbooks. I recently came across a copy of the Timmins Ontario chapter of the Hadassah Daughters of Israel’s Centennial (ie 1967) Cookbook. Second edition! Did the first just fly off the shelves? Some things look great, but I bet if I studied the party food chapter, I could come up with a companion dish to your cake. Yum!

  • For a thanksgiving side dish we made the mushroom lasagne from the long gone Cucina Bella restaurant in Chicago. We loved it when we lived there and found their cookbook used on Amazon. Turns out that mushroom lasagne doesn’t sound as healthy when you realize it has 4 pounds of cheese and 2 1/2 quarts of cream. No wonder it tasted so good!

    Happy Thanksgiving– can’t wait to see the sweater.

  • This made me realize that the word “etc.” does not appear in recipes often enough. Or knitting patterns.

    “K 1, sl 1, psso etc. until it looks like the picture.”

    It also made me hungry. I’m picturing a nice round focaccia, some lox, and a lot of pickles. Little Italy meets Delancey Street.

    Happy Thanksgiving to All!

    • Isn’t that what Russ & Daughters is for? Love the etc. thought.

    • “etc. until it looks like the picture” is priceless!

  • When I was in junior high (you know that was long ago; the term “middle school” had not yet appeared on the horizon) I had a cookbook compiled by Minnesota home ec teachers. One recipe, for some type of hamburger-cream soup-noodle hot dish (“casserole” to the rest of the world) had a note: “For the spicy version, add 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.” Yah, that quarter teaspoon would make it real spicy, yew betcha.

  • BEER CHEESE. Caps required – that recipe is going to be BIG in this household.

    In return, let me give you this lovely ’70s-era recipe for Frito chili dip: Put a couple cans’ worth of all-beef chili (no beans!) and a bunch of chunked-up cheddar (not grated, but diced up into half-inch cubes or bigger) in a crockpot or other heatable serving pot. Heat it until the cheese melts and swirls through the chili. Keep on low heat and serve with bags and bags of those scoop-sized Fritos. Men and boys will go through cases of this stuff, believe me. With appetizers like this, no one will need dinner. De rigueur for Superbowl parties!

  • Love the older cookbooks with their hidden gems. This one looks superb! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • After a day of cooking from the Internet-inspired recipes, it was interesting to open your blog and see a book-inspired concoction which immediately brought to mind something I could only think of as a Tarantula Cake. I’ll never find that on the Food Network, I betcha.

  • This post made me so happy. Thank you. I love reading about weird food, and this is magnificent.

  • Oh dear. I remember it. It looked mighty impressive, and I’m just sorry I never tasted it. Well, sorrynotsorry.

  • Great cake idea! Years ago, we had a surprise birthday breakfast for my son’s friend. We made a 12-layer cake (the friend was turning 12) out of big pancakes, with various fillings of sliced strawberries, bananas, jam, nutella, and whipped cream. No frosting, but I believe it was glazed with maple syrup. And, of course, there were candles. It was kind of Birthday Cocktail Cake, Morning Edition.

  • I have a cookbook titled “Retro Food Fiascos” that looks like the companion book to your cocktail cake! It has so many odd recipes that use lemon jello as aspic and little vienna sausages and mayonaisse (often all together) – it’s a gourmet’s nightmare in technicolor!

  • Looking forward to the Shayne rendition of Candle Salad. (Cf. : http://vintagerecipecards.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/christmas_candle_salad.jpg?w=600&h=405)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • thank you, Christina, for the laugh!!

  • Our “food as craft” experience doesn’t hold a candle to yours, but we drained the juice from a can of pineapple rings and then used the can, pineapple and all, as a Jello mold. We used black cherry sugar-free Jello, and it actually was pretty good. We followed the Jello recipe on the box, but the next time we make it, we are going to cut the water by half. I found this delightful idea on Ellen Bloom’s “L.A. is My Beat” blog—she is all about the retro food this holiday season.

  • My birthday is coming up.

    • I onced worked with folks who brought in “fixings” for my birthday cake. Each person decided what they would bring, such as a chocolate layer, a yellow layer, berries, pudding, whipped cream, etc. It was my job to put my own cake together–blindfolded!

      • Now that is brilliant!

  • This seems to be related to Swedish “Smörgåstårta”, sandwich cake that’s often served at get-togethers like christenings, graduations, funerals. Mix a bit of everything and decorate with everything nice in your fridge.

    Like this: Google images: Smörgåstårta</a

    • Do not skip clicking on Jorun’s link to the images of Smorgastarta — inspirational! I did not expect such fun rococo food art from Sweden. 🙂

    • Here’s one way to make a smorgastarta:


      Make sure the volume is turned down if you watch this! Yes, this is a very strange cooking series.

  • Oh man, I’m going to a wreath-making party this Saturday, and everyone brings snacks to share. I’m envisioning the Cocktail Yule Log Cake!

  • May I suggest Pepperidge Farm white bread…crust removed of course! Properly thin and dense enough to support the fillings. Arrange in a loaf shape, maybe three slices in a row…much easier to serve.

    I made this for my college roomie’s Dad’s birthday 25+ years ago…decorated with radish roses and sprigs of watercress. We used her brand new cuisinart for the tuna layer…..Tuna Frappe anyone?