My friend M. and I try to spend one afternoon a week in the library. We are nerds in the traditional sense. She does research in the archives and I browse for random books. One day I found a cookbook titled, Woodward’s No Time to Plan ME’N’U Book, by Ralph E. Russell and Wayne Baxter, circa 1976. After flipping through it, I walked quickly back to M. to show her an excerpt. She read it, looked at me, and we broke into muffled giggles. I know nerd humour is subjective but here goes:
“A girl walks into a library and sees…”
A good recipe speaks for itself:
1. Place a slice of pineapple on a lettuce leaf.
2. Top with a small cup of cottage cheese, a mint leaf and a strawberry or maraschino cherry.
3. Serve with a combination of mayonnaise and French dressing.
But in all seriousness, I really might try this with toast one Sunday morning:
Scrambled Eggs with Chicken Livers:
1. Pre-heat pan and add fresh butter.
Beat 3 eggs in bowl and add to pan. With a wooden spoon, displace eggs.
Take off heat. Swirl vigorously and don’t over heat.
2. Pre-heat fat until (smoking) hot in pan.
Add chicken livers. Brown all sides.
3. In a separate pan with butter, add crushed garlic, chopped onion and swirl around.
Add ¼ cup mushrooms.
Add a little sherry and browned chicken livers to mixture.
The following combination is new to me but perhaps not to you?
¼” diced apples, 2 parts
¼”diced celery, 1 part
¼” chopped walnuts, 1 part
1. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
2. Bind with mayonnaise.
3. Place directly on plate. Garnish with whipped cream and cherry.
Waldorf Salad, named after the original Waldorf Hotel in New York, was created in 1893 by Oscar Tschirky. The original recipe includes grapes and more recent versions substitute yogurt for mayonnaise. Perhaps Americans connect the salad to the luxury hotel in New York, but when I hear “Waldorf,” my mind turns to Vancouver’s very own Waldorf Hotel at 1489 East Hastings Street. Pink stucco. Bus stop in the front. Parking lot on the side. Cold beer and wine store on the ground floor. If you don’t already know, The Waldorf is known as a drinking hole in East Van.
I was curious whether our Waldorf served the salad of their namesake so I checked the online menu of their restaurant, The Grove Pub. Sadly, it is not on the menu. I considered emailing them to add it but decided against it. How can I endorse a salad I’ve never tasted?
Here is the original recipe from The Cookbook by Oscar Tschirky (1866-1950), published c. 1896 by The Werner Company:
Peel two raw apples and cut them into small pieces, say about half an inch square, also cut some celery the same way, and mix it with the apple. Be very careful not to let any seeds of the apples be mixed with it. The salad must be dressed with a good mayonnaise.
***Thanks to Curious Domestic for finding the recipe from The Cookbook online.
I found a second noteworthy cookbook that afternoon in the library: Cooking with Mona: The Original Woodward’s Cookbook, by Mona Brun, first published in 1977 and revised in 2003.
Mona Burns was a food consultant for Woodward’s Food Floors for 28 years. She also hosted the TV cooking shows Culinary Capers and Creative Cooking. Her comprehensive book is divided into 15 sections including: drinks, appetizers, salads, meat, seafood, rice and pasta, vegetables and various kinds of baking.
I read some of the recipes and would say they sound wholesome and filling, but dated. Recipes listing canned or frozen goods as ingredients won’t be popular among people concerned with preservatives and additives in their food. But there are many dishes made from scratch too. I might make the cabbage rolls and clam chowder. I’ll let you know how it goes.