02 July 2009

Caviar and Corned Beef for the Live- Aloner

In 1936 Marjorie Hillis wrote the ever amusing Live Alone and Like It (re-issued in 2008). She wrote, “There may still be those in Alabama who look upon an unmarried state as an affliction, but in New York it is at most a very minor ailment.” Wow, it could be 2006.

The next year, having identified all those "extra girls" it was only natural that she offer some practical cooking advice. Alas, living alone means having to cook for just yourself and you know how a girl hates that. Of course, for many "Live-Aloners" in 1937, there was a maid to help with that pesky cooking. Caviar and Corned Beef for the Live- Aloner shows you what to do (or what your maid should do). If you are without a maid, here’s a menu you CAN do -- from soup to dessert it comes from cans!

Chicken gumbo soup
Triscuit Wafers
Baked Beans in Casserole
Vegetable Salad

Your baked beans will stay warm in the oven while you eat your soup and Triscuits. Then your lovely baked beans with a bit of bacon on top. Followed by your vegetables salad. Make your salad of cut-up tomato with asparagus, lettuce and leftover vegetables mixed with mayo. And of course, finally, your canned grapefruit.

While you may be a "Live-Aloner", there is still hope, even Hillis traded her "Live-Aloner" status for a "Mrs." at the ripe old age of 49! Clearly she followed her own advice -- “there is something very flattering to any man about an initiation to dine à deux with a lady.”

If you are planning dinner à deux, follow these simple rules and you too, may just grab a hubby. (My notes)

Don’t invite him unless you can give him a meal he will enjoy. (Don’t serve the CAN menu.)

Never ask a man to balance his plate on his knees. (They are so clumsy!)

Do not judge a man’s appetite by his size. (Fat men are often on a diet.)

Don’t serve your guest his native dish. (No gumbo if he’s from New Orleans.)

Here is a recipe for grabbing that man.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

The scalloped sweet potatoes (which are not for reducers) are made by first putting a cupful of boiled sweet potatoes cut into quarter-inch slices in a buttered baking dish with three-quarters of a cupful of thinly-sliced apples. A quarter of a cupful of brown sugar is sprinkled over them, then two tablespoonfuls of butter are dotted here and there and a half teaspoonful of slat tossed into the mélange. The process is then repeated, with the same amount of potatoes, apples and what-have-you forming a second layer, and the whole thing should be baked for an hour in a moderate oven.

All right, you "Live-Aloners", run into that kitchen and start cooking.

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