I call it, "Rosie The Renegade Redefines Retro."
My assignment was to take "vintage" food and revamp it with my spin on it - a makeover, if you will. I'm taking 3 very popular food preparations from a particular era and transforming them into something else.
Please read the article. If you're of a "certain age," you'll enjoy this bit of nostalgia.
First, let's take a look at what I had to work with.
Food of the fifties was highly processed, sodium-laden, and many were ready-to-eat. Casseroles were the number one food choice at the family dinner table. Cream of whatever soup thickly blanketed unidentifiable meats and vegetables which struggled to swim, floundering in a condensed sea of mediocrity. Jello molds were de rigueur with all sorts of unrecognizable food pieces artfully trapped in a quivering gelatinous mass.
Let's take a look at some of that Jello, shall we?
Here's the inspiration for my article.
"Please, sir. Let us out!"
Shrimp frolic in a congealed sea of green.
This is called "Perfection Salad," thereby giving new meaning to the words perfection and salad.
This is where bad vegetables end up - in prison.
Those vegetables, whatever they are, never hurt anyone.
And that there is some gourmay radish carving, I tell you what!
I prefer my food not to watch me.
The eyes follow you everywhere.
The 50s nod to Fifty Shades of Chicken - Hen in Bondage.
My life is now complete. Jello meatloaf, where have you been all this time?
Is that a meat cylinder in the center?
Imagine cutting into this, actually expecting pineapple, and instead biting into a mixture of liverwurst, mayo, and Worcestershire sauce. I know! YUM!!!!!
The eyeballs impaled with pretzel sticks are a nice touch.
Too often, food seemed to be trying to escape.
This has to be my favorite of the genre. It's so versatile.
You can have Vienna sausage and SpaghettiOs for dinner or Vienna sausages and CherriOs for breakfast. It's win-win!
Lovin' the heads-on shrimp riding piggyback!
I would be too with remora-shrimp sucking on my back.
And what's up with the anthropomorphism of fish?
Don't you love it when you can see the internal organs?
I'm loving the olive eyes.
I hate it when fish argue with me.
He probably knows nobody will eat him.
Now that you're firmly implanted in the decade, let's concentrate on the food. I'm updating vintage recipes from the golden age in which I grew up and giving them a fresh new look, concentrating on simplicity, freshness, and goodness.
I'll be focusing on preparing three dishes to pay homage to my generation.
I'm starting with fondue.
Ahhh. The communal fondue pot which practically begged double dipping and screamed, "Fondon't!"
For my appetizer course, I'll be transforming the fondue pot into an edible bowl filled with a sublime crab meat dip.
I prepared an edible container - a hollowed-out boule - and filled it with a heady crab concoction containing crab meat, butter, cream cheese, Brie cheese, minced peppers, and sherry.
Next up is the ubiquitous can of
Fresh green beans and scallion curls round off the dish, with a nod and a smile to the ever-present green bean casserole.
At any rate, not to worry, the Campbell's can turned right up.
This is Mr. Hawthorne's favorite soup. Mushroom Bisque.
Around a year ago, Mr. H. and I had lunch at The Saltbox Café.
I had the soup de jour which happened to be a mushroom bisque.
I believe I might have swooned after tasting it. Sometimes food will do that to me.
Anyhoos, I told Mr. Hawthorne my next food project would be to make a Mushroom Bisque.
I made my own mushroom stock with mushroom pieces I save in the freezer, then created this lovely concoction.
I know. It sounds like the mushrooms are pole dancers.
Fresh thyme and scallions from the garden.
A few drops of truffle oil.
It's Umami, Mama!
And the thing I liked best about writing about my mushroom bisque was throwing in the line, "Let the shiitake hit the pan." I was not censored.
Now, let's get to the main course - my tuna fillets.
butter/lemon/peppercorn/chopped olive sauce.
I spiral cut potatoes and fried them. Scallion curls topped off the dish.