Wednesday, February 28, 2007

scrambled dogs and guckempuckie

I love cookbooks. Especially the family cookbooks or church cookbooks. One Christmas I received the above pictured family cookbook from my mom's side of the family. The title is enough to make anyone's stomach churn. Scrambled Dogs, Guckempuckie & Other Gourmet Favorites. I don't care who you are, or how boring cookbooks are to you, with a title like that you've got to be curious. Unfortunately, scrambled dogs is nothing more than chopped hot dogs topped with mustard, ketchup, pickles, oyster crackers, and chili piled on top of an open hot dog bun. That's still a scary thing to eat, but nothing like the name suggests. This would be a recipe from my great-grandmother's collection. In her notes it said "for a busy day". I'm thinking that's still doing too much work for a busy day. Why not mac and chesse, or baked potatoes?

Now Guckempuckie is a name my grandfather gave to a meal he made up as a young, single man. It consists of hamburger, onions, pork & beans and ketchup. Not that exotic as the name suggests, but still not something you should eat really.

I guess I love family cookbooks because it tells a story of where I came from and what I have to pass on. Tasty or not, these recipes show personalities. My grandpa's sense of humor with the guckempuckie, "that one cousin" that only submits awful recipes because she is a bad cook and everyone knows it, the food we've been eating at family get-togethers since before I can remember, and the pictures old and recent. I adore this book.

Now church cookbooks are another story. These crack me up because there are always a few ladies that submit recipes that make you scratch your head. This has been a question long on my mind and I have to ask. Why do some people insist on passing on to future generations of women things like, frog eye salad, jello with vegetables in it, spiced tang, almond punch, pineapple drop cookies, and other mysterious atrocities. Not to sound snobby, but I don't know people that eat or make these things. And I'm not sure if the women submitting these recipes have themselves either. They just pass them on because at some point frog eye salad became "churchy" or something. I can't imagine whipping up some frog eye salad for someone who is new in the neighborhood or not feeling well. "Made ya some frog-eye salad. Hope ya like it." This person might get the idea that you wish they never moved in down the street at all and you have every intention of letting it be known. I have no idea, but I thoroughly enjoy seeing what turns up in these books.

Every now and then I get curious about these undesirable recipes or we are given some of this food by people and I think, "Maybe. Just maybe these nasty ingredients combined will create an amazing taste combination. . . " Nope. Never. And this is coming from someone who was fed jello at least once a week with "something" inside it. My mom laughs about it now, but she has this jello cookbook from the 60's that she used in college and every now and then she would put something in jello for us that didn't belong. We never liked it unless it was bananas. This book is the only thing I want my mom to leave to me when she passes away. Oh, and the grand piano too. My friend Atalie's grandma brings green jello with shredded carrots in it to Easter dinner every year. Sometimes this green jello has been known to have hot dog slices in it instead of carrots. Not a substitution I would think of, but hey, if you are going to put carrots in jello, you're probably capable of anything.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

First of all, I love your blog. Hence the reason I'm reading through all your old posts. But I just have to say, I like frog-eye salad. I've never made it, but I love it!!