Back to Eden (1997), Jethro Kloss.

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Nice censorship, Vanier Public Library, putting your big ugly barcode over the kitschterpiece “Man’s First Home,” by Harry Anderson.   This is the cover art for Back to Eden, a reference guide to healthy living through natural foods and home remedies, first published in 1939 by patriarch Jethro Kloss.  See below:  he rates two purple dots.

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Jethro Kloss was a religious man, whose advised eating food “as God made it”: no preservatives.  He also looks like he might like to take a switch to you if you take the Lord’s name in vain.

The New Hotdog Cookbook (1983), Mettja C. Roate.

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Major find:  $1 on Duck Street in St John’s.  The NEW Hotdog Cookbook, people.  Author Mettja C Roate’s theory that hotdogs are medicine food is one I wish were true.  She writes:

Hail to the Hot Dog!  It is wonderful protein food, equally good for young and old.  Wieners contain the same top protein and meat value as very lean steaks and roasts. 

I guess Mettja didn’t get the memo about nitrates.  And I’m fairly certain she didn’t work for Oscar Meyer, but I have no proof either way.  Every recipe in this is a gem.  Starting with Hot Dog and Cuke Spread.  As in “chop the hot dogs until they are the consistency of coarse corn meal.”  As in:  not a topping for your dog, the dog IS the topping.  (I’m blowing your mind, I realize).  Then we have the second chapter:

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Margo Oliver’s Weekend Magazine Cookbook (1967), Margo Oliver.

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Let’s celebrate the centennial with a cookbook!  Margo Oliver ran the food column for a national newspaper insert Weekend Magazine.  Her recipes were used by millions of Canadians and she was a household name.  Oliver’s tastes were surprisingly sophisticated, but then she lived in Montreal back when it was LA CITÉ.  Oh yes, Canada. Back in ’67 Margo was using ginger, Gruyère and chili powder back when most WASP heritage Canucks only knew of two kinds of cheese: white Cheddar and orange Cheddar.  Had to giggle, though, at this:

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Company’s Coming Vegetables (1989), Jean Paré.

Best of Bridge VS Jean Paré, both cerlox powerhouses:  in a wrasslin’ match which would you bet on?  I guess vegetables were foreign fare to Albertans in 1989; even Jean says, “vegetables are often given too little thought”.  On the other hand, Jean’s ideas are still pretty traditional although I don’t doubt she could handily feed a crowd on short notice!

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The Recipes of Champions (1998), Martin Glynn et al.

Nutritional secret:  get some exercise.

Taking the Heat: Canadian Politicians in the Kitchen (2001), Yasmin John-Thorpe.

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I apologize in advance for not scanning this entire book.  It is priceless.

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Oh, Stock, all those puns. I guess that’s supposed to say “garlic powder”?  Again with the garlic-shy Canadian politicians.

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Kraft Dinner AND moose meat!

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No, wait, this is the most Canadian one.  You win, Mr Pay Your Taxes!  I’m heading to the airport to bag my dinner.

Bruno: Love in the Kitchen (1996), Nancy Morrison.

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Oh, dear!  Bruno: Love in the Kitchen is a memorial to Bruno Gerussi written by his partner (Supreme Court Judge!) Nancy Morrison after his death in 1995.  So not to say Bruno Gerussi himself was kitsch, although who else but Nick Adonidas would inspire the band Bruno Gerussi’s Medallion?  Like it or not, Bruno Gerussi is firmly part of the Canadian pop-culture canon.  So yeah, he’s also on the very short list of celebs I got to meet.  This was on the Sunshine Coast (go figure).  I remember carrying fish and chips in a cardboard dish and being attacked by seagulls.  I’m sure it was a very special moment for Mr Gerussi.

 

BC’s VIP Cookbook (1985), Kay Docksteader.

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Ah yes, BC prior to Expo ’86.  It was hiding out, behind the Rockies, its incredible hipster potential yet undiscovered.  This is an awesome book of BC personalities and their recipes.  It has an entertainingly high-falutin’ tone.  It seems Caesar Salad was the rage in ’85.  Ex-Premier Bill Bennett uses a whole two cloves in his version.  Whoa, take it easy Bill!  But Bennett’s tolerance for garlic is positively Italian next to that of then-Mayor of Penticton Ivan Messmer, who can only recommend one clove cut in half.

This gem also offers the recipes of Robert Clothier, better known as Relic from The Beachcombers.  TMZ can suck it because I personally met Relic when I was around 9.   I would pay good money for Robert’s headshot.  Check it out.  I wonder if he acted in any Stratford productions.  If anyone wants the deets on his recipes I will oblige.

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Air Fare (1984), Allan Gould.

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Hells yes, bitches, I own a CBC celebrity cookbook from 1984.  It includes recipes from the hi-larious cast of Air Farce, David Suzuki and a very young, slim Jay Ingram.  Oh, and Louis Del Grande from Seeing Things.  Once I accidentally pressed “record” instead of “pause” and taped over part of The Secret of N.I.M.H. with Seeing Things, so I am not terrifically nostalgic about that program.  For the record, Louis recommends tuna cutlets with creole sauce, and I’m including the recipe below.  Interestingly, the recipe does not call for actual tuna cutlets.  It’s like, trompe l’oeil tuna.

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Louis Del Grande and Martha Gibson

Tuna Cutlets

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1, 7-oz can of tuna
  • 1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten

Make a white sauce by combining butter, flour, and milk.  Add tuna, breadcrumbs, onion, salt, paprika and Worcestershire sauce.  Cook 5 minutes.  Spread on a plate to cool.  Shape into small cutlets.  Roll in crumbs, then egg, then crumbs.  Brown in hot fat.  Serve with creole sauce.

Creole sauce ingredients

  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp salad oil
  • 1, 7 1/2 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp pimento, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Brown onions and green pepper in salad oil.  Add remaining ingredients.  Simmer 15 to 20 minutes.

Cooking for Geeks (2010), Jeff Potter.

This is a very informative book that delves into the chemistry of the kitchen.  It’s meant as a fun guide for mostly novice chefs.  Apparently geeks, although capable of understanding the sciences behind cooking, order out a lot.  I always associate the word “geek” with a guy in a dark tent biting off the heads of chickens, but I guess this word has been rehabilitated to mean smart people that are up on their math and science.  Well, here comes an arts major to walk by and randomly shout NERDS.  Cooking for Geeks was published in 2010, only two years ago, but feels a bit dated already.  It’s filled with segments authored by people with blogs and even one woman who simply tweets recipes.  Get out!  Then we have this classic zeitgeist moment:

Man, this is soooooo nerdy.