Another odd cookbook: Cat-food maker Fancy Feast has released a book of recipes for humans. As explained in the book's introduction:
each of the recipes in this cookbook gives a nod to the dishes you'll be serving your cat, yet made for humans. Using palate-pleasing ingredients like chicken, salmon, and whitefish, these dishes complement Fancy Feast's entrée options so you can have what they're having—an elegant and delicious meal.
We recently posted about the American Airlines Wine Club, which allows people to enjoy wines served inflight at home. Turns out that in 1994 the company did something similar with its airline food, publishing a recipe book so that people could "prepare their inflight favorites at home". It was titled A Taste of Something Special.
During World War II, as the country faced meat rationing, the U.S. Government decided to promote rabbit meat as an alternative to beef and chicken. As part of this effort, the Department of the Interior released a pamphlet, "Recipes for Cooking Domestic Rabbit Meat". It included recipes such as "Rabbit Chop Suey," "Vagabond Stew," and "Wartime Rabbit Casserole". The pamphlet noted:
The growing scarcity of meat due to war conditions and the necessity of feeding our armed forces and our Allies makes it imperative that new sources of supply be developed. The domestic rabbit—easy to raise—is rapidly solving the meat problem in many American homes, and thus is playing an important part in the Food for Freedom program. Rabbit meat is not rationed.
Entrepreneur Martin French of Los Angeles must have had visions of the rabbit-meat market taking off. In 1940, he received trademark protection for "Bunnyburger" — his ground rabbit meat business.
I'd like to think that, in some alternative reality, the government's plan worked and it's possible to go into a McDonald's and order a McBunny with Cheese.
That sounds like an interesting challenge. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the book doesn't tell you how to eat the entire tree. Instead, it's mostly about using the needles and bark in recipes.
But some searching on YouTube produced a video that delves into how to eat the entire tree. The catch is that to do so you'll need to pulp the wood and transform it into cellulose powder. Which is probably beyond the means of most people. But the video notes that cellulose powder derived from spruce trees is in many products, including parmesan cheese, pasta sauce, and ice cream. So almost everyone has eaten (highly processed) Christmas trees already.
Poe's Law, loosely paraphrased, states that it can be very difficult to tell the difference between parodies of extreme beliefs and sincere expressions of those beliefs.
Confusion of this kind occurred with the 1976 cookbook Cooking With God. The authors, Lori David and Robert Robb, intended it to be, in all seriousness, a religious-themed cookbook. But due to the title, many people apparently assumed it was some kind of joke.
Recipes included Manna Honey Bread, Oasis Stuffed Eggs, Caravan Sweet Potatoes, and Eggs Bathsheba.
The gimmick of this cookbook, published in 1971, was that it was striking a blow for Women's Lib by offering instructions for what both HIM and HER could do to prepare a meal.
From a review by James Boyett (pictured below):
The book details what the man is required to accomplish and what the better half is to do.
While most of the tasks the man is required to accomplish require only the knowledge of how to use a rolling pin or knife, I will warn you now that a couple of the recipes require the man to cook the meat — steak, pork chops.
One recipe, heaven forbid, asks the better half to only lay the table and then relax—while the man is required to open a couple of cans and then slave over a hot stove while "she" sips the fruit of the vine and relaxes.
A cookbook for the blind, written by Ralph Read, and published in 1981.
A sample of some of his tips and techniques, from a review in the Austin American-Statesman (Sep 22, 1980):
Many of his suggestions are common sense. For instance, for liquid measurements, he uses the dipstick method — having an index finger in the right place at the right time. He uses a teaspoon to spread instead of a knife, allowing himself “one finger to check corners.” And he initials canned foods with raised letters from a plastic tape marker and arranges them alphabetically.
You don’t need to alphabetize bags of things, he says, because you can just pinch them. Split peas do not feel like elbow macaroni.
Tactile memory is very important, for things like knowing which end of a milk carton has the spout. Spices don’t need labeling because you can smell them. Smell and hearing are important factors in cooking without sight. They tell you when things are almost done.
He generally cooks slowly to help “prevent things from getting away from me.” Read has no special gadgets for cooking, though he says friends have shown him catalogs with specialty items for the blind. “Ninety-nine percent of that gadgetry is useless — though I’m interested in the fact that Amana has a blind consultant working with them in Dallas to help develop a microwave oven for the blind.”
There are some definite “don’ts,” Read says, such as not using dangerous items such as an electric beater or broiler. You can get the same desired results without unnecessary risk by using a hand beater or pan-broiling a steak.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.