Tuesday, May 1, 2007

It's a 'Wonder'-ful World

I collect novelty cookbooks. As I scan over my shelves, I find such delights as The Nancy Drew Cookbook, Gilligan's Island Cookbook, Are You Hungry Tonight--Elvis' Favorite Recipes, and one of my favorites, the Mike Douglas Cookbook: Recipes Made Famous on the Mike Douglas Television Show.

OK, I'm showing my age here. I actually REMEMBER the Mike Douglas Show.

Anyway, it was with delight from a collector's viewpoint -- and horror from a dietary viewpoint -- that I heard the news that white, squishy Wonder Bread has released, in honor of its 85th birthday, the Wonder Bread Cookbook. You can buy it at Amazon for a discount if you also purchase The Twinkies Cookbook.

The Wonder Bread books touts itself as "an inventive and unexpected recipe collection," which just begs one to ask: so, what's in it? Well, there are:

• Good Morning Wonder Bread, with breakfast recipes such as Pigs in Wonder Blankets.

• Wonder Bites, with appetizers such as Wonder Beef Cups

• Wonder Sandwiches, such as Grilled Baloney (sic) and Wonder

• Baked Wonder, including Sweetened Tomato and Wonder Casserole

• Sweet and Fruity Wonder, including the Wonder Easter Egg Sandwich

• Wonder Bread Pudding and Crepes, including Wonder Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

• It's a Wonder, an unidentifiable category with such delights as Creamed Fish in Wonder Patty Shells and Pilgrim Pies.

It is a wonder.

I'll leave you instead with a selection from the Mike Douglas Cookbook:

Lady Bird Johnson's Spinach Souffle
2 packages frozen, chopped spinach
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
Milk or cream as needed (approx 1-1/2 cup)
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Dash nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp sugar (Splenda hadn't been invented yet)
1 tsp grated onion
5 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 375. Thaw spinach. Drain. Reserve liquid. Add enough milk to liquid to make 2 cups.

Melt butter over low heat. Add flour and blend well. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly. Cook until thick. Add spinach and remaining ingredients except eggs. Cook for or five minutes over low heat, stirring to prevent scorching. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks until thick. Add equal amount of spinach mixture and blend well. Add to first spinach mixture.

Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold spinach mixture into egg whites. Pour into greased 2-quart casserole. Set in pan containing 1 inch of hot water and bake 40-50 minutes or until table knife inserted 2 inches from the edge comes out clean.
Serves 6.

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