Lamest-Ass Recipe Ever (Saturday AM Open Thread)

lame-ass recipe

I realize Krispy Soup & Oyster Cracker Company’s primary focus is on the development and manufacture of crisp, delicious and petite complementary crackers rather than recipe creation, but come on! That’s just lazy.

Not looking forward to today’s activities: We’re painting our dining room (which requires herding all of the furniture into the middle of the room, etc.). Then I have to go get an eye exam and new glasses, which will probably entail enduring that process where they blow puffs of air into my eyes (I HATE that) plus possibly pupil dilation. But picking out new glasses can be fun.

What’s on your agenda for the weekend?

151 replies
  1. 1
    ant says:

    if you not blink when they give the air puff, it only happen once. It aint that bad….. I just had it happen last week.

    I have this link in my firefox fav bar for making soups.

    When I make soup, I use bones and beans and shit, cans and boxes of broth are for morans.

  2. 2

    It’s a gloomy and cool day in South Florida, so I’ll probably curl up with a crossword puzzle or two.

    I concur with disliking eye exams… they never give you a lollipop for being a good patient.

  3. 3
    Suffern ACE says:

    I’m off today to frolic in Morristown, NJ to see Lego art and musical toys. Bucket list is now almost completed. All that’s left is that trip to Yonkers and we’re ready to meet St. Peter.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Suppose will have to attempt to get some sleep, as will be spending most of Saturday afternoon cooking for 16 for our weekly gathering tonight.

    The cooking is fun; the transporting of everything to the house the gathering is held at is a pain.

  5. 5
    Hunter says:

    They’re also strongly oriented toward selling other brands made by the same company if at all possible — or any other prepared food that seems appropriate.

    So today I’m learning to use my new tablet, which so far is mystifying. I’ll get it, eventually.

  6. 6
    PurpleGirl says:

    I don’t know what I’m doing later today. Right now, though, I’m playing jigsaw puzzles at, watching the newest kittens on the kittencam, and reading Balloon Juice. There are dishes waiting to be washed…

    Hunter: If I may ask, what kind of tablet did you get?

  7. 7
    c u n d gulag says:

    Today is my 55th (the old speed limit/double-nickel) birthday – and it’s also my Mom’s birthday, too!!! She’s 81!!!!!

    So, I’ll go to Adams, a local, high-quality, small food chain, and bust the budget on some fresh fish, and veggies, and make us a nice dinner.

    I’d prefer my fish poached, but Mom likes fried – so, fried it will be!

    Tomorrow, my sister and brother-in-law are coming over with some Chinese food, so this might turn out to be a fairly fattening weekend.

    Oh well…
    After all, birthday’s are only once a year – even if you do celebrate them for a couple of days! :-)

  8. 8
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I told my wife about this and she told me of a Food Network recipe for barbecued beans.

    One can of pinto beans and one bottle of barbecue sauce.

    Ahhh… American cuisine.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    @c u n d gulag: Happy birthday to you and your mom! What a good son you are to fry that fish!

  10. 10
    Raven says:

    Pretty chilly here at the bakery but the pups are loving their marrow bones! The high will be 48 so yard work is in order!

  11. 11
    PurpleGirl says:

    @c u n d gulag: Happy Birthday. Have a good day and good meals.

  12. 12
    Raven says:

    @c u n d gulag: rock on

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    @c u n d gulag: happy birthday. If you’re looking for a soup to go with that fish, I hear Betty knows the secret to a fine clam chowder…

  14. 14
    WereBear says:

    @c u n d gulag: Happy Birthday to you & your mom!

  15. 15
    Cathy W says:

    Hey, Sandra Lee had a whole TV show about adding things to canned food.

    This weekend I will be a) looking out over the snow-covered grey in my back yard and planning for a garden full of sunflowers and tomatoes, and b) looking out over the snow-covered grey in my current employment situation and planning for a resume. I’m going to enjoy the tomato fantasies a lot more.

  16. 16
    HinTN says:

    Enjoying a rare snowy day. Burn some nice dry oak in the fireplace and lounge about.

  17. 17
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Hunter: look, if you’re going to go all hoity toity and buy oyster crackers, you’re going to need to improve that canned clam chowder. Otherwise, you might as well just use saltines. The oyster cracker folk are just trying to be polite and remind you that their product is for special occasions.

    Now if one wants to futz with the oyster crackers, Hiidden Valley says use our product.

  18. 18

    For the cat-lovers here, of which there seem to be a few: CAT MAN a Taiwanese opera set in Ancient Egypt, brought to you by the Ming Hwa Troupe.

  19. 19
    Maude says:

    Why is it they dilate your pupils and Then you pick out the frames?

    @c u n d gulag:
    HB to you. I wish a downfall of the Republicans for your gift. HB to mom as well.

  20. 20
    Ron says:

    There is a page called (which is currently on hiatus, though the last entry promised it was coming back some time this year) that has links to equally ridiculous “recipes” on Food Network’s website. That is actually scarier.

    A sample: a frozen grapes “recipe” :

  21. 21
    dmsilev says:

    Working all weekend long. Sigh. That’s the problem with heavily-scheduled shared instruments; whenever you get time on them, you use it. Even if it is for 48 hours worth of weekend.

    On the flip side, there’s always the possibility that we’ll explode a diamond. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  22. 22
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Maude: That’s a damn good question. Usually I narrow the choices down to a couple of contenders while I’m waiting for the exam. But the truth is, I’ve been buying pretty much the same damn glasses for the past 15 years. If life were fair, I would be credited with starting the nerd chic trend.

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Happy birthday to you and your mom! What fun to have a double celebration!!

  24. 24
    Older_Wiser says:

    Maybe you’ll be like me and get “second sight” which happened about 6 yrs ago in my mid-60s and is rare. After a lifetime of myopia, going back and forth between glasses and contact lenses, and never needing reading glasses, or developing presbyopia, I can now drive w/o them, too, vision being 20/40 in both eyes, w/one eye compensating for the other for distance and reading. Go figure. Some eye doctors say it’s a precursor of cataracts, but so far, nada.

    And, I can now wear cheap sunglasses, although the Polaroid types are the best, which I can ill-afford on SS, though, and Medicare provides no routine eye exams or glasses–only for eye diseases and surgery. Good luck!

    BTW, I make a terrific chicken soup from scratch, everything fresh–chicken breasts, carrots, onion, celery w/brown rice or cous-cous, chunky and a meal in itself. Very easy w/no exotic ingredients and only s&p for seasoning. Love my food simple and fresh, mostly veggies, and I’m no purist, will eat fowl and fish occasionally, eggs and dairy more frequently.

  25. 25
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Betty Cracker: you see, this is why I come here. 35 years of wearing glasses, and I’ve never thought of selecting them before I can’t see the choices. Still doesn’t overcome the problem that when I look in the mirror to see what they look like on my face, I need to stand two inches from the mirror.

  26. 26
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I always go in the day before my exam to pick out my frames (yes, it helps that my optometrist is in my office building, so I haven’t far to go). That way, I’m wearing normal eye make-up and with undilated pupils I see well enough to make a decent choice.

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    @c u n d gulag: So… (doing arithmetic in head)… your mom had a, um, busy 26th birthday. HB to both of you.

  28. 28
    Elizabelle says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Happy Birthday to you and the Mom. Enjoy the birthday weekend.

    FWIW, saw “Django” this week and absolutely loved it.

    Hadn’t seen Christoph Waltz in a film, and he’s addicting.

  29. 29
    WereBear says:

    @Ninedragonspot: Thanks! That was, er, mind blowing? And there were kitty movements in there, good performance.

  30. 30
    Maude says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    Say Happy Birthday to the Morristown National Park. If you ever get a chance, go on one of their tours.

    That’s a smart idea.
    My old glasses have large frames and I love them. The newer glasses, one of the lenses keeps falling out.
    I wear dime store glasses for the computer.

  31. 31
    Maude says:

    There was a time when recipes included canned goods as starters. It was for people who didn’t have the inclination to spend a lot of time cooking.
    I have two old cookbooks that have recipes like that.
    This one is far more complicated than those.

    @Betty Cracker:
    They keep changing the sizes of frames around here to go with whatever is in fashion. I couldn’t find a large frame the last time. The edges of the frames drive me crazy because I can see them out of the corner of my eye.

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    Charlie Rose program next week with Paul Krugman and Joe Scarborough. Talking about “the debt.”

    Bring popcorn.

  33. 33
    c u n d gulag says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Yeah, I was the 10 pound present on my Mom’s 26th birthday.

    Luv ya all!!!

  34. 34
    Suffern ACE says:

    Somehow, google has decided that I’m a woman looking for gluten free foods. Anyone want to swap ads? The ones following me around the web today aren’t enticing me to shop.

  35. 35
    debit says:

    @c u n d gulag: Happy birthday to you and your mom!

    @ thread:

    Today I’m going to take my most recent bike build out for an actual test ride, as opposed to a quick zip around the block. Please, FSM, let my brake adjustments be correct as I am tired of fucking with them.

  36. 36
    Maude says:

    Enjoy the test ride. I hope everything works and well.

  37. 37

    @c u n d gulag: Ah, I remember 55, but I was younger then…

    Best wishes!

  38. 38
    scav says:

    Personally, I’m now firmly in the camp of waiting for @dmsilev to explode a diamond. Awaiting can-based recipes would be fun, but I’ve managed that before in my misspent youth (and can manage it again during my misspent non-youth). But gem-abuse?

  39. 39
    dance around in your bones says:

    @c u n d gulag: Happy Birthday, c u n d gulag!

    Today my daughter, her husband and their 3 kids are going to a campground to frolic in a tent. A pool and playground is involved, as well – way different from family camping back in MY day when we would take the old Rambler up into the Pecos with our 100 pound sleeping bags that my dad ‘won’ at his sales job and just set up in a nice spot.

    (Ok, when I was but a young teen I used to go to the old D.H. Lawrence ranch and hang out in the hot springs, fending off ‘Free Love’ advances from much older guys – I know, prolly too much information).

    Which means I will be reading on my kindle a lot and bemoaning the dearth of Balloon Juice threads over the weekend, since my bum hip prevents me from joining the family.

    So please try to to keep me amused, Juicers!

  40. 40
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Timing is everything. ;)

    Happy Birthday to you and yer Ma!

  41. 41
    dmsilev says:

    @scav: It’s collateral damage which we try to avoid (diamonds, even the relatively small ones we work with, can be pricey). It does happen from time to time though. We work with these widgets, and if they’re not aligned exactly right, Bad Things can happen.

  42. 42
    Redshirt says:

    @c u n d gulag: Happy Birthday! It’s my birthday too! Also, Dr. Seuss, may he rest in some crazy happy peace.

    I’m having a big party and wavering on how much effort I should be putting forth. It’s my birthday after all – shouldn’t I be maxin’/relaxin’?

    Ah well, off to the grocery and hours of cooking.

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @c u n d gulag: Happy Birthday to you and your mom. Have a great time celebrating.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    Sounds of the howling winds outside keeping me from sleeping.

    Gusts around 50 mph shaking the entire cottage. Gonna be like this (or even higher winds) all weekend long.

    This is the most winter-like season I can recall in the 30 years I’ve lived here. Around 51 degrees F right now (and heading down from that until sunrise in 2 hours). Single-wall construction and no insulation means can feel the breezes sneaking in through cracks and crannies throughout the abode.

  45. 45
    Phoenix_rising says:

    Happy birthdays! My ex-lover, which in lesbian translates to ‘oldest friend’ because these are our laws, is also having one today. Since she has agreed to use her professional skills editing my writing, I’m sending her the draft tomorrow morning as a post-birthday. Which means I’m about 6 hours of hammer and tongs away…

    Here’s how to avoid the air puff: grow an invasive cancer on or in your eyeball. There’s a WAY more expensive method for that test, and once you have scar tissue on your eye’s exterior, you’ll be buying that one for as long as you live. Whee! Just had it done a few weeks ago, and while my checking account paid a terrible price, the eyeball is functioning perfectly.

  46. 46
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’ve had this rather odd earworm in my head all day: Nur Für Mich from Les Misérables.
    Nur für mich, im Stillen ist er bei mir
    Ganz allein, durchwachen wir die Nächte
    Dann spür ich sein ferner Arm berührt mich
    Und wenn ich mich verlauf schließ ich die Augen
    Und er führt mich …

    I love that song in English, too.

    Inquiring minds want to know: whose diamond are you blowing up? Do they know about it?

  47. 47
    Jennifer says:

    When I saw that recipe, I thought McMegan was food blogging again.

  48. 48
    dmsilev says:

    @Amir Khalid: No engagement rings were or will be sacrificed in the name of science. By us, anyway. The diamonds we use were purchased (and cut) specifically for this task; they’re shaped for strength rather than shininess.

  49. 49
    La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    @Suffern ACE: I’m getting the gluten free ads too. Just finished a breakfast of eggs and baking powder biscuits made with, um, white flour.

    Recovering from my two cat trapping sessions at the Navy Yard yesterday. We had to temporarily evacuate some of our waterfront kitties who survived the Sandy storm surge because their part of the yard has developed sinkholes. Today they’re demolishing a couple of trailers, removing some old docks and FSM knows what else.

  50. 50
    dance around in your bones says:


    Happy birthday to you,Redshirt!♪

  51. 51
    Gex says:

    I have a question that no one has yet bothered to answer for me.

    Why is it that when any mention of non-heteronormity comes up, straight people immediately talk about fucking animals or fucking children? Us queers didn’t bring it up. We’re the ones trying to make a point about *consenting adults*.

    What is wrong with straight people that they go there right away EVERY.SINGLE.TIME? It’s coming out of their heads, not ours.

  52. 52
    Chyron HR says:


    I’m astounded to learn that when you walk up to random people and demand to know why they, specifically, have accused you of fucking animals and children, you don’t receive a satisfactory answer.

  53. 53
    WereBear says:

    @La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes): Bless you for your work with kitties.

    I asked about the alternative to the “eye puff” test and my doctor said there was another way to do it; didn’t cost me anything more. I think they just don’t think of it unless you ask!

  54. 54
    scav says:

    @dmsilev: Diamonds shaped for strength rather than shininess? Maybe we’ve just identified a flaw in wedding rings — they’ve made the wrong gem choice (although the chance of explosion under high pressure and misalignment apparently still remains).

  55. 55
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Gex: I think straight people just think “oooh, gay sex icky, not like mine!” and extrapolate from there.

    heteros never have icky sex (hahahahahaha!)

  56. 56
    Shortstop says:

    Hey, my ophthalmologist says that air puff is old school. I haven’t had it for years. Can you find a swinging, edgy, hip ophth to switch to?

  57. 57
    debit says:

    @Maude: Thanks! I’m just having some breakfast while I wait for it to warm up a little.

    ETA: could there be a more perfect breakfast than scrambled eggs, chorizo sausage and salsa on a tortilla? I think not.

    ETA2: Okay, maybe if I had some sour cream.

  58. 58
    Shortstop says:

    @dmsilev: Since we’re all in the same area, I’ve packed snacks, am swinging by to pick up scav, and we’ll be over to personally watch this proceeding. Please have bleachers and protective eyewear ready. Need anything from the store on our way?

  59. 59
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’ve been wearing glasses for nearly 40 years and not once has an ophthalmologist ever blown air into my eyes. No optician has ever needed to, either.

  60. 60
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Gulag and Redshirt
    And Dr. Seuss, too,
    Are all having birthdays
    On this-here March Two
    (And let’s not forget
    Gulag’s Mom, also, too.)
    To all of you kids,
    Happy Birthday to You!!

  61. 61
    MattF says:

    @Gex: Well, you answered your own question– you get a peek inside their heads and it often isn’t pretty in there. What people think of when they hear the word ‘love’… is not for the faint-hearted.

  62. 62
    Schlemizel says:

    I worked at a restaurant when I was a kid that used a very similar technique. We would open a #10 can of generic tomato soup, add some browned onions, some chopped up tomatoes (the good parts of ones with bad spots on them) and chopped basil.

    People always loved our soups. I’ll admit I have used the same sort of thing at home to dress up plain soups. If you buy regular soup and use whole milk instead of water it makes a huge difference & some fresh herbs are very nice.

  63. 63
    WereBear says:

    @dance around in your bones: I’ll probably be popping in all weekend. WAS going to the Met to see Parsifal. (Okay, it’s the HD presentation at our local center for the arts, but I was looking forward to five hours of dramatic mythical singing and such.)

    But Mr WereBear is having a tough time getting over his flu-thing, too late to recruit another lunatic, and I got evacuated from the office on Thursday with a carbon monoxide thing and I’m still getting some flash headaches while my hemoglobin grows back.

    Sigh. I do have a book to finish. Writing, not reading! As long as my brain holds out…

  64. 64
    Schlemizel says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Its a relatively new way to test for glaucoma. In the ‘old days’ they had to numb your eye and put a small gauge on your eye to do this same test. Through the miracle of science somebody has found a way to do that with air. Its quick & painless and a whole lot nicer than the old method

  65. 65
    Elizabelle says:


    That’s wonderful.

    @Redshirt: Happy Birthday dude.

    And Dr. Seuss. And my late childhood friend, Katie.

    cund and Mom have lots of good company today.

  66. 66
    Steeplejack says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Happy birthday to you and your mom!

  67. 67
    Redshirt says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Bravo! Very cool!

    Thank you! :)

  68. 68
    Schlemizel says:


    Hope Mr. WB is better soon.

    This also gives me a chance to repeat something I heard from a friend
    Mitt Rmoney is popping up all around the country lately, just like the flu. It cause the same reaction, people feel like they want to throw up, again and again

  69. 69
    c u n d gulag says:

    Very nice!!!

  70. 70
    Elizabelle says:


    Wonderful site on soup-making. Found a few I’ll try this coming week.

    Thank you.

  71. 71
    Shortstop says:

    My first job out of college was editing “cookbooks” used as fundraisers for small-town women’s organizations, usually church groups. It was a heinous way to spend a day and I hated every second of it. Asked to submit their best recipes, many people responded by — I am not making this up — explaining how to mix a packet of onion or ranch dip mix with a pint of sour cream. Other popular pieces of kitchen wizardry involved melting Velveeta with a can of chopped tomatoes, throwing various slimy canned fruits into jello molds, and assembling the dreaded canned green bean casserole with Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup and French-fried onion topping. And this is what these ladies were willing to publicly cop to.

  72. 72
    Steeplejack says:


    Happy birthday to you, too.

    Does this mean that Redshift’s birthday is tomorrow?

  73. 73
    Redshirt says:

    @Steeplejack: Probably. He’s always lagging a bit behind me. :)


  74. 74

    Woke up at 6 hung over but 200 bucks richer from p0ker last night. Going to have a breakfast burrito and go to the dog beach. Gonna hit up a restaurant that’s built into a public restroom structure right across the street from the beach.
    When the surf is good, the place is closed.

  75. 75
    debit says:

    @Shortstop: Do not disrespect the green bean casserole.

  76. 76
    Schlemizel says:


    I had cataracts removed from both eyes about 10-15 years ago (congenital) and in addition to no longer living in a sepia tone world it gave me the ability to drive without glasses. That is such a great thing to be able just wear a normal pair of sunglasses instead of dealing with clip-ons.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gex: Not all of us, right? I hope….

    I started to take a stab at a longish answer, but realized that it is rather simple, people can be idiots. Given that, I am now trying to cast my thoughts back over years of conversations with gay friends, acquaintances, and/or colleagues and hoping that I don’t come across a situation where I did that.

  78. 78
    dance around in your bones says:

    @WereBear: Well, good to hear about the popping in, not so good to hear about Mr WereBear’s problems and your headaches.

    Jeez, I hear thumping and shouting from the grandkids – no doubt they will be in my room shortly, madly playing Minecraft on their iPads.

    I saw a book the other day (whilst browsing on State St. with my best friend) called “Goodnight iPad” hahahahahhaaha!

  79. 79
    Keith says:

    Why do you have to use more stuff in the chowder if it’s prepared vs. canned?

  80. 80
    Shortstop says:

    @debit: I will! I will! And if you’d been through what I’ve been through, you would, too.

  81. 81
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Amir Khalid: The air is a test for glaucoma. I have only one problem with it — I blink and they have to retry the test.

  82. 82
    bemused says:

    The Mpls Star Tribune has a regular segment in their Taste section called Tidbits which features all the latest and greatest news on canned, packaged, sugar/salt/preservative laden convenience “foodstuffs” on our supermarket shelves. I glance at it occasionally always wondering who eats all this junk. I suppose if you are an Eggo waffles fan, the new Eggo Drizzlers is exciting news. Tidbits seems like a waste of newspaper space to me unless you are a junk foodie but I feel the same way about James Lileks columns too.

    I wish there was such a kitchen tool as an electric garlic press. I have three garlic presses and even the one easiest to press has been torture on my osteo-arthritc hands lately. I have been searching but haven’t found other options that would be gentler on my hands.

  83. 83
    debit says:

    @Shortstop: Here’s the thing: I very haughtily decided one year that I would make a “good” green bean casserole; no cream of anything soups, no American cheese like cheese, etc. I made a white sauce, melted in some very nice actual cheese, used blanched, fresh green beans and… my mom’s was better. Those old ladies know what they’re doing, man.

  84. 84
    Schlemizel says:

    @Shortstop: (and others who have mentioned cooking from non-scratch)

    Those cookbooks always remind me of the old Kraft Playhouse on TV. Anyone else remember those? They were specials on TV 4 times a year. The dramas were done without regular commercial breaks but did have a couple of extended cooking segments using Kraft products & often ended up like those sorts of recipes.

    They do a great send up of it in “The Groove Tube” a 1974 movie about the future of TV.

  85. 85
    Steeplejack says:

    I already feel awesomely productive today. I got to the grocery before 8:00 and had a leisurely shop with stocked shelves and not many other customers.

    I bought a load of Fancy Feast cans for the housecat, buoyed by the fact that I finally cracked the naming code. She likes the flavors that are “chunky” and not the smooth, mousse-y ones. But the names are very confusing. I would get what I thought was the same turkey flavor from last time and it would turn out to be the smooth stuff.

    Then it finally dawned on me yesterday that anything with “Grilled” in the title is chunky. So I bought a ton of different flavors, all “grilled,” secure in the knowledge that she and I won’t be disappointed when I open the can.

    I also bought a six-pack of Stella Artois and one of Fat Tire Amber Ale in my ongoing quest for reasonably good, readily available beer.

  86. 86
    debit says:


    They do a great send up of it in “The Groove Tube” a 1974 movie about the future of TV.

    Brown 25!!! From Uranus.

    (Yes, I am 12.)

  87. 87
    La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    @WereBear: Tell us about the book in progress. We love Way of Cats!

  88. 88
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Shortstop: I helped edit one of those cookbooks for my then church’s pipe organ restoration project. Maybe it’s because we were Lutheran but I don’t think we had any of those types of recipes. We had some very good cooks and inventive cooks. I still look for things in my copy.

  89. 89
    Schlemizel says:


    Some people are total morons – SATSQ

    seriously though some people can only think of homosexuality in terms of copulation. I think a large number of those are fascinated by how ‘you gays’ do that. It just does not occur to them that sex occupies the same portion of a gay persons life as it does for non-gays. This, along with social conditioning, can lead the duller ones to be repulsed by what they imagine and equate it to screwing a dog or associate it with pedophilia.

    We are not that far removed (in fact I think some are not removed at all)from similar reactions to people of color and the stereotypes projected onto them.

    We all have to have to deal with a lot of shit in our lives but that particular shit needs to end. I think it is but it is going to take some time. Till then know that lots of people – and more every day – do not think these things and even feel bad that others do.

  90. 90
    dance around in your bones says:

    @bemused: Leggo my Eggo!

    I attended many a church buffet (as a kid) filled with wondrous green bean casseroles with those canned onion rings on top, jello w/mysterious objects floating in it, possible? meat loaves and spaghetti made from a box and can – perhaps some meatballs made from scratch.

    I kinda loved it.

    Also, everybody put their name on the bottom of the dish so they could get it back later, so you always knew who made what monstrosity.

  91. 91
    Schlemizel says:

    That tidbit thing used to be written by Al Sicherman. He was funny and very biting when writing about this crap. He retired a few years back & the replacement Mr. Tibbit is pretty pathetic

  92. 92
    Schlemizel says:


    Everyone talks about Kentucky Fried Movie, which came out a few years later & obviously was inspired by Groove Tube, but is is not as good as Groove Tube. That is a very funny – if very childish – movie

  93. 93
    Shortstop says:

    @debit: Okay, but would you submit it to your peers as your best recipe? Knowing that anyone who hasn’t heard of this has probably been living in a cave waiting for WWII to end?

    @PurpleGirl: There were some good ones! I remember some chamber musicians from somewhere in the Carolinas who were particularly awesome cooks. I still have a few of the great ones in a box in the storage room…now I’m inspired to get them out.

  94. 94
    bemused says:


    Did these soup/dip mix ladies fall into a particular age group? I have a hilarious cook book, The Gallery of Regrettable Food, highlights from classic american recipe books” with photos of the most gawdawful food creations of the 1960’s.

  95. 95
    Schlemizel says:


    I have mentioned it before, my mom ran a catering business; she was doing better quality stuff in the 50’s 60’s. But the ‘arrival’ of Julia Child was like a lightning bolt for her. Mom watched her TV show religiously and bought the cookbook.

    I didn’t appreciate how significant that show was until much later – she is really the stake driven through the heart of that sort of ‘jello mode/fruit cocktail’ cooking. Its pretty funny now to see some of those sad old things

  96. 96
    Shortstop says:

    @bemused: I imagine they were mostly older, but am not sure. I do recall that the worst of the worst tended to come from really small towns and really evangelical churches. Those godful capitalists, trying to shove their processed-food lifestyles down our throats! Look, I don’t care what anyone does in the privacy of their own kitchens, okay, but they were exposing impressionable little kids to this stuff

  97. 97
    bemused says:


    Al Sicherman’s name is still on the byline. I haven’t noticed much humor or biting comments in Tidbits for a long time. In the latest column, the only remark even faintly close to humor was, “Mr. Tidbit’s first thought was that Drizzlers seemed like a way to charge too much for waffles”. I wonder what happened to the sarcasm.

  98. 98
    scav says:

    Well, if we’re to the book-swapping stage of the food discussion Perfection Salad (Laura Shapiro) will provide a dour attack of the phenomena and Square Meals (Jane Stern) a more entertaining approach.

  99. 99
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I’m just having a coffee and bagel before heading to my own local arts theatre to see Parsifal. Too bad we don’t live closer to each other!

    Really looking forward to Jonas Kaufman, especially since he had to bow out as Siegfried a couple of years ago or whenever it was. It’s a bonus that I love Wagner and the length of the opera bothers me not at all.

    I’m sorry you and Mr. WB are under the weather. Snuggle up with your little heldenkitteh.

  100. 100
    bemused says:


    In the 50’s/60’s, all the time-saving appliances appeared also freeing homemakers from slaving long hours cooking. I think they went hog wild with the condensed soup, etc and got obsessed with using those new convenience foods in everything they cooked, the meat, poultry, fish being almost incidental in main dishes. Hardly anyone then knew much about excess salt, sugar effects or even had a thought these convenience foods might be unhealthy. Today, cooks really have no excuse.

  101. 101
    Suffern ACE says:

    Man I am hankering for some tater tot casserole. I grew up in the advanced experiments in canned soup household. I don’t cook that way now, but I miss is sometimes. My mom put her effort into baking instead. Fabulous deserts but often those were served after breakfast-for-dinner type meals.

  102. 102
    Shortstop says:

    @bemused: Right, I understand. The period I’m talking about is the late 1980s. We weren’t yet into the fresh-food revival and people weren’t as knowledgeable about basic nutrition as they are now, but this wasn’t still the heyday of cocktail weenies marinating in chili sauce and grape jelly, either. Even for this period, these were some pretty awful/lazy cooks.

  103. 103
    Shortstop says:

    @Suffern ACE: Make it for dinner this weekend! What is life without some guilty pleasures?

  104. 104
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Shortstop: I do a hell of a lot of editing (not for blog posts, obvs!), and cookbooks are THE worst! I am always amazed by how often an item in the ingredients section isn’t addressed in the directions or vice-versa. Then you have to call the author and check, and half the time they have no fucking clue. Ha!

    @PurpleGirl: That’s what happens to me too! They get all exasperated, but I honestly cannot help it.

    @Red–Happy birfday!

  105. 105
    dmsilev says:

    @Shortstop: Hah. When they go, there’s actually nothing to see since the whole thing is encased in several concentric layers of stuff, mainly metal. The instruments go berserk, and if it’s a really dramatic event you might hear a little popping noise, but that’s about it. It’s only once you open the thing up and realize that one of the two diamonds is just …gone (reduced to dust) that you know exactly what happened.

  106. 106
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Shortstop: can you replicate chili sauce with grape jelly. I don’t think that remarkable sauce should be discounted. The classy folk enhanced it with a 1/2 cup of red wine. I know it has universal appeal based on a holiday pot luck at the IMF I once attended.

  107. 107
    Shortstop says:

    @Suffern ACE: I am starting to fear that I’m coming off as a food snob, when I’m a solid cook at best. My main gripe is with processed foods, which I have come to regard as pure poison. So let me say right now that my extended family must have a 1970s blue cheese ball rolled in chopped pecans at every single holiday gathering or we all revolt, I like to eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with garlic powder mixed in about once a month, and I fucking love my elderly mom’s “chow mein casserole” made with LaChoy crunchy noodles in it.

  108. 108
    WereBear says:

    @Steeplejack: We’ve been going through a bit of that lately… turned out our 5 year old Maine Coon mix was jonesing for his childhood “comfort food,” which was Friskies Sea Captain’s Choice.

    Here is Reverend Jim, six months old.

  109. 109
    dance around in your bones says:


    La Choy crunchy noodles! Haven’t thought about them for years!

    All these foods were thought of as very modern and trendy back in the day (like bemused said up above). It went hand in hand with the modern appliances/happy housewives/after WW2/this washing machine/vacuum cleaner will change your life). Kinda like Tang and the astronauts (yes, I know, urban myth) and freeze-dried ice cream.

    Somehow we all survived.

  110. 110
    WereBear says:

    @La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes): It’s all about Training with my Way of Cats methods.

    Title is a work in progress; that’s probably the subtitle, though.

    I’m enjoying it very much, but have found that I must lay considerable groundwork in the beginning of the book. I’m anticipating the common reaction of “You can’t train a cat” and then explaining that you certainly can’t train them like a dog :)

  111. 111
    WereBear says:

    @La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes): @WereBear: Tell us about the book in progress. We love Way of Cats!

    Thanks! Always glad to hear from My Fans!

  112. 112
    WereBear says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Thank you, I do regret we are not closer geographically.

    Do let us know how it goes!

  113. 113
    WereBear says:

    @bemused: To be fair, the processed food of yesteryear does not really resemble the likes of the stuff today; chock full of MSG and hydrolized food starch and guar gum and pink slime.

    Back then, a can of corn was basically, corn. We just read the can of condensed French Onion soup I’ve been buying for years, and the ingredients list is three times as long as the last time I read it, and I swear there is less FOOD.

    Never again.

  114. 114
    bemused says:


    Yes, I do think the ingredients were better then but we didn’t really notice all the changes over the years until it was pointed out.

  115. 115
    Yutsano says:

    Apparently we are all Sandra Lee now.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:


    You might enjoy a fun book I picked up a few years ago — The United States of Arugula: The Sun Dried, Cold Pressed, Dark Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution. It’s mostly about the celebrity chefs like Julia Child and James Beard who weaned Americans away from their processed foods, but it also has some good stuff about how immigration from new countries helped Americans expand their palates.

    It’s not very deep, but it’s a fun, gossipy read. Apparently no one really likes Alice Waters very much.

  117. 117
    debit says:

    @WereBear: It’s funny; our eldest cat has constipation problems. After years of dosing him Lactalose and then giving him enemas when the Lactalose didn’t work, we saw another vet who said, “Will he drink milk?” Bingo, constipation problem solved. Since I only buy organic milk, that’s what he got. One day we ran out, so I went to the corner store for some regular milk. He wouldn’t drink it. Just sat there and angrily cried next to his dish until I got the organic and replaced it. Makes me wonder what he smelled in the regular stuff that turned him off.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    And on the processed food front, I do use canned goods when it comes to things like beans, but is it really that much better to buy them dry and soak them overnight than it is to just crack the can open and drain them?

  119. 119
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not to my palate, although falafel connoisseurs say they can tell if the beans are dry vs canned. I say if they’re good enough for Giada that works for me. They do need to be rinsed well before usage though.

  120. 120
    shortstop says:

    @Mnemosyne: There’s processed food and then there’s PROCESSED FOOD. Beans packed in water without salt, and rinsed well afterward, are not akin to processed cheese “food” or canned soups or frozen dinners. We can eat pretty fresh, even using some canned and frozen goods, by reading labels thoroughly and picking our battles.

  121. 121
    Grover Gardner says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    I used to like those colorful Jello salads too, until a friend of mine referred to them as “clown barf.” I haven’t been able to touch them since.

    Speaking of awful food, I was driving down the east coast a few years ago, late in the evening in a Southern state, and the only thing I could find open was one of those “family buffet” places that feature huge bins of unidentifiable fried food. None of it was very appetizing but I made do at the salad bar. As I was leaving, the kitchen doors flew open and two bus boys appeared carrying this enormous tray of fluorescent yellow goop. The waitress announced that their “famous banana pudding” was being served, whereupon legions of ginormous people at the group tables applauded and heaved themselves to their feet to hobble to the dessert bar and fill their plates with heaps of this stuff. It looked like petroleum jelly with food coloring and a few slices of banana floating in there somewhere. Yeesh. We’re gonna be ripe pickin’s for the aliens.

  122. 122
    shortstop says:

    @dance around in your bones: My mom’s actually a kitchen goddess and hasn’t cooked like that since the 1970s, but we beg her to make that casserole every once in a while. Jesus, it’s bood (bad/good).

  123. 123
    Opie_jeanne says:

    Driving south on I-5 with our kitty. She’s currently draped over my husband’s shoulders while he drives. 120 miles so far with about a thousand to go. Chehalis in the rearview mirror.

  124. 124
    Yutsano says:


    Chehalis in the rearview mirror.

    This is the best place to view Chehalis from.

  125. 125
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Man I am hankering for some tater tot casserole

    Tater tots! tater tots!

    @shortstop: Ok, bood goes into my personal lexicon inmediamente.

    @Grover Gardner:

    I used to like those colorful Jello salads too, until a friend of mine referred to them as “clown barf.”

    ok, clown barf is being added to personal lexicon as well. And I hate clowns. Coulrophobia, dudes and dudettes.

  126. 126

    Everything is better with bacon.

  127. 127

    @WereBear: There will be an encore rebroadcast of PARSIFAL on Mrch 20 at 6:30 local time at your favorite movie theater. I’m skipping the broadcast today, too. Out on the left coast, 9:00 is much too early to be contemplating guilt, compassion and redemption.

  128. 128
    scav says:

    @dance around in your bones: TTDS (tater tot deficiency syndrome) is a recogized diagnosis locally. The non plus ultra remedy for certain days.

  129. 129
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Everything is better with bacon.

    Van Gogh’s Starry Night w/bacon

    Obligatory Pulp Fiction ref

  130. 130
    WaterGirl says:

    @Opie_jeanne: I have mostly been away from BJ for a couple of weeks, so I don’t know whether you and husband are on vacation or if you are moving.

    OT, but I got a “fitbit” pedometer a couple of weeks ago, and I quickly discovered that there’s no way in hell that a person can get in their 10,000 steps a day and still keep up with Balloon Juice. I may be moving more and getting healthier, but the not-enough-time-for-balloon-juice part completely sucks.

  131. 131
    dance around in your bones says:


    You know, I have felt a TTDS syndrome coming on lately. Where can I get this treated? Do they even MAKE fucking Tater Tots anymore?

  132. 132
    WaterGirl says:

    @dance around in your bones: There’s a (kind of) new food truck in my town that makes the best tater tots. So yummy. You can get them with truffle oil & rolled in parmesan cheese, just parmesan cheese, or plain. I have to skp the truffle oil because I am allergic to anything in the mushroom family, but boy are they good!

  133. 133
    dance around in your bones says:

    @WaterGirl: Dang, there goes the tummy growling again!

  134. 134
    WereBear says:

    @Ninedragonspot: Oh, thanks! We are also kicking around the idea of sinking the ticket money into the music, instead. Then we could play it here at home, where our sorry carcasses are currently parked.

  135. 135
    Opie_jeanne says:

    @Yutsano: I agree.

    268 miles to California.

  136. 136
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    In first intermission now! And, my dumb, I said earlier than Jonas Kaufman had to drop out of the Siegfried role a few years ago, but I was wrong (I plead lack of caffeine) — it wasn’t Kaufman, it was Gary Lehman. Don’t know why I conflated those two, but conflate them I did.

    This is a stark, modern, spare production. The music, of course, is gorgeous (although one could argue that the entirety of Act One is a two-hour Good Friday Spell, with singing.) I always forget how very few lines Parsifal has in the first act — he’s on stage a lot but has maybe half a dozen quite short lines, total. Kind of a Heldenmute :-)

    Anyhow, I’m thoroughly enjoying it and looking forward to the lush depravity and sensuality of the Klingsor’s castle scene in Act Two.

  137. 137
    Opie_jeanne says:

    @WaterGirl: just on vacation.

    We are taking the cat along because she’s still a baby, 5 months old, and we didn’t want to leaver with someone else.

  138. 138
    WereBear says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Oooh, I like stark productions!

  139. 139

    @WereBear: I hope you like blood, too – Kundry and Flowermaidens swim in a sea of it. Oozing from a very peculiarly-shaped “wound” backstage.

  140. 140
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @ninedragonspot: Yeah, that blood was amazing. Did you hear the interview with the tech director? They had 1200 gallons of that stuff on the stage floor!!

  141. 141

    @SiubhanDuinne: Gonna require a lot of vampires to clean that up.

  142. 142
    WereBear says:

    @ninedragonspot: Lawzy. How… Wagnerian.

  143. 143
    Opie_jeanne says:

    @Shortstop: I had three incarnations of that exact cookbook, but the one my mom helped compile had some Real Food in it. I got rid of the others because they were of the type you mentioned.

    I about died laughing whe I saw a college boy buying canned iced tea in the late 80s. He probably needed instructions with it.

  144. 144
    Opie_jeanne says:

    @debit: I did the same thing with Mac and Cheese. It was a disappointment to all of us. I hate the stuff in the blue box, but I do like the stuff from Annie’s.

  145. 145
    Opie_jeanne says:

    @PurpleGirl: we were Methodists and the the one Mom worked on was late 70s-early 80s. We got one from another Methodist group in ’93 and it was as Shortstop described. There was a sea change in potluck dinners and cooking in general in the late 80s at our churches, probably because the Mrs Zuggs who baked 7-layer cakes and the Mrs Jackleys who made the best fried chicken had all died by then. Our potluck suppers from the 50s and 60s had incredible food, store-bought was the mark of a cook who took no pride in her work.

  146. 146
    Opie_jeanne says:

    @PurpleGirl: we were Methodists and the the one Mom worked on was late 70s-early 80s. We got one from another Methodist group in ’93 and it was as Shortstop described. There was a sea change in potluck dinners and cooking in general in the late 80s at our churches, probably because the Mrs Zuggs who baked 7-layer cakes and the Mrs Jackleys who made the best fried chicken had all died by then. Our potluck suppers from the 50s and 60s had incredible food, store-bought was the mark of a cook who took no pride in her work.

  147. 147
    Opie_jeanne says:

    @Shortstop: I remember that chili sauce/grape jelly thing in the early 70s but was so repulsed by the idea that I didn’t try it until the mid 80s, and it was on some delicious little meatballs. I was surprised by how good it tasted but I still think it’s weird.

  148. 148
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Vampires, divas … what’s the diff?

  149. 149
    The Sailor says:

    I don’t think the cooks actually submit their best recipes, where I grew up in the Midwest nobody shared their actual recipes. There was always something they left out because the competition was fierce. Even if it was for marshmallow jello in odd shapes.;-)

    The puff test & the ring test, (numbing drops and a glowing blue ring that briefly touches the cornea), are both modern, commonly used tonometry tests for glaucoma.
    I prefer the ring test when done by a pro. I find the puff test very disconcerting.

    Pro tip: select your frames before your exam. It’s no fun afterwards and your dilated eyes can fool you.

  150. 150
    priscianus jr says:

    In the 1950s, practically every brand of food had entire recipe books filled with such recipes. They gladly sent them free on request. Can you guess why?

  151. 151
    JGabriel says:

    Betty Cracker@ Top: Belated I know, but I just laughed so hard, for the second time, at that picture/recipe that I accidentally snorted like a wild hog. It’s just so transcendentally dumb.

    And really, is there any higher compliment one can give to someone writing humor?


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