Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Sharing the Retro Recipe Love: Frankfurters in Crust
Everyone should have a website that makes them as giddy as Archie McPhee makes me. Looking around my living room, I can identify at least six items ordered from their website with just a cursory glance. In years past, Archie McPhee would often include a free gift with every order. Mostly, these were packets of vintage recipe cards. Thanks to our McPhee obsession, we have amassed what I can only surmise is a close to complete collection of vintage recipe cards from Curtin Publications, dated 1973. I have looked through all of these cards and never really considered making any of them. Perhaps it was the fault of a low budget or poor lighting, but most of the dishes barely looked edible. A lot of the photos resembled special effects from a Hammer Horror film. As I look at these images I can just imagine the photographer complaining, "Well, I don't know. The food just doesn't look as low contrast as I'd like. Could we possible make it more brown? Oh, and ketchup. We need more ketchup. It just makes the food look so shiny…I love that." So, since we had accumulated a large number of these cards, we began giving them away to our unsuspecting friends and family. We attached them to birthday presents and tucked them into Christmas gifts. Never in a million years did we think that anyone would ever make any of the dishes. So, imagine our surprise when one of our dear friends showed up to our annual Halloween bash with "Frankfurters in Crust". Her explanation was that since we had been thoughtful enough to give her the cards, the least she could do was make one of the recipes for our party. I think it was revenge. A karmic lightning bolt for giving our friends crappy novelty gifts. But, we added the huge plate of encrusted weenies to the buffet table. And…people ate it. It may have been the free flowing alcohol, but I tried a piece of it too and it wasn't bad. It tasted like a giant pig in a blanket with hot dog relish and mustard. That's it. Not earth shattering, but not stomach churning either. Suddenly, I began to see my friend in a new light. She was bit of a rebel. A culinary outlaw, if you will. I mean, it takes a certain amount of moxie to bring a dish called "Frankfurters in Crust" to a party where fifty people could comment on your strange epicurean choice. But, her gamble paid off and she went home with an empty plate. Bravo, my friend. Well played.