Monday, August 01, 2016

Ginger Rogers and the Royal Desserts Cookbook

This our 1,000th post!!
I found this small recipe book at a garage sale, and fell in love with the horrible food photography and blatant whoring-out of Ginger Rogers.
If you ever wanted to feel the thrill of fame and stardom (like "a burst of applause"), Ginger Rogers has the recipe book for you.

The inside description really peaks your interest.  After all, I can't recall ever giving my dinner a happy ending!

I guess back in the day you could just put a string of words together in hyphens and suddenly invent phrases like "praise-getter."  

But enough of this frivolity.  Let's get to the "applause-worthy" recipes, and I'm sure more photos of Ginger, right?

Wrong.  Instead you get pictures like this, apparently before food styling was invented. There had to have been a better way to make this butterscotch rice pudding look edible. Did they burn it and then just say "F&%$ it, I'm not making it again"?  
Would Ms Rogers really endorse this brown crusty mess?

I'd hope not...but let's move on.

No, we didn't switch cookbooks. Although this looks like tiny bowls of mashed potatoes and gravy, this is butterscotch sauce over vanilla ice cream.  If I served this and was waiting for applause, I'd be waiting quite a while.  

Okay, so the last two photos are both brown because they're butterscotch-flavored.  So let's try to find a recipe that has another color...something besides brown.

Ah, found one.  Look at the rich orange hues of a 1940's gelatin-based concoction, with just the perfect amount of green chunks. And who doesn't love their dessert served on a bed of iceberg lettuce?  Maybe the lettuce acts as a palette-cleanser between courses, who knows?

So this "Orange Vegetable Salad" is the perfect way to get your kids to eat their veggies with dessert.  The perfect mixture of orange-flavored gelatin, cabbage, celery, carrots, onions, and sweet pickles will definitely get a visceral reaction from your offspring.  

No, I'm not making this up, this is the real recipe.  It even says to garnish with orange sections and ripe olives.  UGH.

But my all-time favorite recipe in this booklet is the Grapefruit Mayonnaise, intended to be served with a fruit salad.  Yep, you read that right. Oh, and don't worry, it's such an easy recipe:
You just have to see what it looks like, don't you?  You're dying to see what the hell grapefruit mayo looks like.  Well, since it says the "illustration" is on page 21, let's take a look...
Once again, disappointment, as we get a majority of the picture with the above-mentioned fruit salad, and we only get a peek in the upper left of the curious grapefruit mayo.  But we do get the added pleasure of seeing yet another colorful gelatin-based concoction with lettuce -- this time arugula.  Who'd have ever thought of pairing peppery bitter leaves with a fruit salad? The people at Royal Desserts, that's who!

That's pretty much the highlights of the booklet, which was printed in 1940.  Someone penciled in my copy August 16, 1941.  Perhaps when they got it?  

I can't believe I bought it for like 50 cents and I'm seeing them online for $10... Anyway, I love looking back in time at these recipe books.  Expect more in the future!

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