There’s something that happens around here, in the summer months. The advertisement section of the newspaper suddenly becomes very interesting, our good old Sienna van has some close calls with the local ditches as drivers’ eyes wander to signs on telephone poles, and a certain network of other enthusiasts springs up overnight to telegraph the latest news. It’s all about that wonderful invention, called a yard sale! I’m no expert, but I live with those who are, and apparently the finding of the yard sale is all part of the experience. One must avoid the sketchy part of town, the spectator sport yard sale, and the one where there are no prices on anything and you must awkwardly haggle. But, the best part of yardsaling, as I have observed, is coming home with loads of stuff that you don’t need, and will never use, but you got at a tremendously good price! But, occasionally, I do admit, you find a winner of a purchase.
One day, this summer, my mother and sister planned such an expedition which they would undertake while I pursued a more intellectual (and nervewracking) few hours taking tests at a local college. On picking me up after several hours, they actually had to shift and redistribute their load to give me an empty square foot space to sit upon!
But, I’m not complaining. Sometimes their purchases are useful, nice, and amusing. Like the large stack of old, musty, and smoky cooking magazines and cookbooks that Olivia bought at a ridiculously low price. The lady selling them had a good sales pitch. She insisted that we should go home, sit outside, have a cooling drink, and clip recipes. We did exactly that.
(Please note the milk glass vase in this picture. Olivia's life mission is to give all milk glass articles existing in the world, today, a good and loving home in her closet.)
I don’t know whether you’ve ever taken a good look at the subject of eighties food. I have, and I’ve come to the decision that it’s a mixture of weird, wonderful, and very, very processed (I didn’t even know you could buy cheese in a tube). But, I was actually surprised at how gourmet some of the dishes were. I found recipes for polenta and souffle and also a huge amount of bacon recipes, including bacon burgers. So, a fascination with bacon isn’t so recent, after all. Maybe bacon is just timeless.
But, the most amazing thing about eighties food is their definition of a salad. Now, to me, a salad contains a certain amount of vegetables (usually a high percentage of green ones) covered in a vinegar and oil, or mayonaisse based dressing. Not the eighties cooking queens! To them, a salad isn’t a salad unless it contains whipped topping, marshmallows, canned pineapple, maraschino cherries, and/or gumdrops. And don’t forget the good old gelatin! It’s like dessert for your main course…Hey! Maybe they were on to something!
Sometimes eighties food is just unclassifiable. Like this pie that I made:
County Fair Pie
½ cup of butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup butterscotch chips
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Stir in nuts, and chips. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 325 for 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Okay so, I know about fruit pies, and cream pies. But, in what category is this pie? It’s kind of like a giant cookie in a pie crust. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a really good pie. I’m just at a loss to figure its genre. Please make the recipe and help me out!
But, before I go, I must share with you one of the most interesting, strange, and non-classifiable recipes that we found:
Salad by Candlelight
2 lettuce leaves
1 banana, cut in half crosswise
2 pineapple rings
1 cherry or red grape, cut in half
On two small plates, place lettuce leaves Place pineapple in center of leaf. Stand ½ banana in hole of each pineapple ring. Attach cherry half on top of each banana to represent a flame. Now doesn’t that look like a candle?
I’m sure it does, dear. But, who wants to eat a candle?