Monday, September 20, 2010

"Good Things"

Martha Stewart always talks about "Good Things." Somehow I don't think the "good things" in this vintage Kent cigarette ad would make her short list. Lots of change in 30 years.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Subtle Butt, Meet Flatuscents

Back in the 80s I used to watch "In Living Color" and I never forgot the comedy skit they did on an invented product called Flatuscents, which was a suppository that enhanced the scent of, well, errr...."personal scent emissions." They had scents like fresh herb, lavender and my personal favorite - new car smell. I thought it was just a comedy skit, but a similar product has hit the market (for real this time), called "Subtle Butt."

It's a charcoal insert you put in your underwear to mask the odor of embarrassing gas. Although it sounds funny, I can think of very real situations where this product would be useful. I almost died due to poor air quality on a recent flight to Orlando, and would have loved standing up and yelling "If you have to fart, fine - but could you stop assaulting your fellow passengers? Depressurizing doesn't have to impact those around you. Try wearing an underwear filter!" Maybe the flight attendants could have some for sale onboard.

For your viewing pleasure, see the original Flatuscents skit below, and a new one I found for subtle butt. The beauty of social media first hand.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chemicals Make Everything Taste Better

Flipping through the retro cookbooks, I came across this tasty looking swiss cheese bread. Yummy, I thought.....until I read the ingredient list. It calls for "processed american or swiss cheese" and it specifically says not to use "natural cheese." Maybe I've been living in San Francisco too long. With all the emphasis on organic and natural foods out here, they're really bursting my bubble of childhood goodness. I used to love processed cheese!

Next up was "skinny dip." I'm all for healthy low cal foods, but somehow blending cottage cheese with bouillion cubes just won't cut it anymore. It's probably surprisingly good (like the Velveeta fudge I made). Sometimes I guess you just need to look the other way.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Potato Candy

I guess it's true that sugar and fat make anything taste good. Like the Velveeta Fudge, I may have to actually try this one....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sausage Fruitcake: An improvement over the original? Or just as gross?

I've never been a big fan of fruitcake - though my mom used to give them as gifts every year. I've always wondered how many of her gifts were actually eaten. The one my mom kept for us somehow always lasted a really long time, unlike other desserts in the house.

I saw this recipe in a cookbook at the rental house. Maybe my mom had it all wrong. Maybe if she just added sausage to her fruitcake it would have flown out of that fridge.....OR....then again, maybe not.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

BBQ Raccoon, Dove Hash and Baked Possum

The rental house also had a cookbook with recipes for how to cook various forms of game. I'll let the recipes speak for themselves in the pictures below, but somehow Squirrel Stew and Possum Bake won't be the first to hit my dinner table. I know that it's just another animal that people can hunt, but where I grew up, this type of game was more commonly road kill.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Man Pleasing Recipes - from the Rice Council of America, 1971

I laughed when I saw this "Man Pleasing Recipes" cookbook sitting on the counter at the rental.

Like any good housewife of the 1970s I was reminded that "no man likes the same thing every night" and was shown a number of ways to spice up my rice.

The recipes inside didn't seem all that memorable, but the title alone will stick in my mind. When googling "man pleasing recipes rice council" I found this ad from the 1960s. I guess 2 things never change. Sex appeal sells, and va-rice-ity is the spice of life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Retro recipes have returned! Velveeta fudge anyone?

When I was cleaning out my dad's house, many of you liked my retro recipes series. I'm happy to announce that there were some fun cookbooks at the Kiawah rental house, so for the next few days, retro recipes is back.

Let's start with Velveeta fudge. When I read the the recipe I thought "Ewww. Gross." Then I realized Brett's grandmother had all of the ingredients on hand except the cheese, and I knew I had to make it.

It's really really simple to make. You melt Velveeta and butter together in the microwave, add some cocoa powder and vanilla, and then some powdered sugar. Stir together and refrigerate. Other than the little smear of orange in this photo you'd never know there was cheese in the recipe.

After mixing well, you simply put it in a pan, refrigerate and cut just like normal. The verdict: It's actually pretty good - and you don't taste the cheese. In fact, I recommend not telling people what's in it until after they've tasted it. It can be your little secret.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Encounters with nature

One of the things I love about Kiawah is the uncrowded natural beauty. You can go to the beach in the height of summer, look to your left and right and find that you're the only one out there.

You can also go crabbing. Brett's family put chicken necks in a wire cage, and caught some blue crabs to steam. Other crabbing techniques are to put chicken necks on a string and toss the line into the water. This approach often attracts gators as well as crabs. Personally, I'm much more comfortable with the cage approach.

Brett and I went biking one day and while riding along a little too quickly I skidded off the path and through a spider web. Normally not a big deal, but with spiders like this one (body the size of a nickel) it can be a little disconcerting. Luckily I hit the web below the spider and didn't end up with any unexpected passengers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Over Labor Day Weekend, Brett and I flew to Charleston, SC to visit his grandmother. She lives on Kiawah Island, which is a beautiful barrier island on the coast. It's known for its plentiful golf courses and ritzy resort & spa - but I love it for the laid back atmosphere, uncrowded beaches, and natural beauty. Unlike towns like Ocean City, MD which have gone condo and strip mall crazy, Kiawah remains fairly undeveloped, with strict building codes and plenty of nature spotting.
It's not uncommon to see deer, dolphins playing in the river, and lots of shore and marsh birds. You might even see a gator or two. We rented a house near the marsh, and enjoyed wide water views and gorgeous sunsets. It was a great place to unwind after a hectic summer.