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    Thursday, January 16, 2003
    Kick It Up a Notch, Julia Child!

    What is Alice reading this evening? Why, a cookbook, of course. Today a visit to my cookbook collection has produced "Prize Recipes of Ventura," no publication date but looks to have been published in the mid-to-late seventies, a fundraising effort of the Catholic Daughters of America (Court All Saints No. 1765 if you care about these things). I bought it in the summer of 2001 on a road trip up the coast with a friend, in an antique/junk shop in Ventura. If you like thrift stores, Ventura is your town; Main Street probably has a dozen of them.

    (Off-topic insertion: one thing I love about Ventura is that the building in which Erle Stanley Gardner, author of the Perry Mason mysteries, once practiced law is still there. Untouched, or nearly so. It's the old-fashioned kind of building with frosted glass panels in the doors and creaky warped wood floors. I've been in there twice; the only marker is a small plaque on the outside wall.)

    To get back to the cookbook: there is a recipe on page 8 that repels and fascinates me:
    Salad With Dry Jell-O

    20 oz. can pineapple chunks
    1/2 pt. cottage cheese, small curd
    1 pkg. dry Jell-O, orange or other flavor
    8 oz. Cool Whip (yum! Petrochemicals in your salad!)

    Drain pineapple chunks well. Add all other ingredients. Mix and refrigerate. Will keep 1 week.

    ...uh, yeah, I'll bet it will. I'll bet it keeps for six or eight weeks - or, at least, that it stays in the refrigerator for that long. Because no one in their senses would eat it.



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