7th May 2010

Jim Has Serious Pancake Mojo

Jim is making fancy pancakes for his little girl, inspired by fancy pancakes his dad made for him when he was little.

Jim's Bee Pancake

Jim’s getting a little carried away, though.
Jim's Crane Pancake

Don’t miss the giraffe!

Jim’s Pancakes

[Via Laughing Squid]

posted in Crafts, Food | 1 Comment

3rd December 2009

If I Bake You a Cherpumple, Will You Be My Shipoopi?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the kitchen…

Charles Phoenix and his Cherpumple.

Charles Phoenix is adorable. And ridiculous.

Charles has developed this Dessert of the Future, the Cherpumple. Inspired by the terducken, this monstrosity… well, I’d better let Charles explain it.

Charles is taking his famous slide show on the road up and down the west coast this holiday season, and it is not to be missed. UNLESS YOU LIVE IN THE BAY AREA, APPARENTLY. Ahem.

posted in Food, Midcentury | 1 Comment

4th October 2008

The Most Magnificent Tattoo Ever

Yeah, yeah, yeah… this was everywhere a few months ago. But let’s look at it again!

Swayze tattoo

Why, yes, yes, that is exactly what you think it is. A tattoo on a man’s calf, of Patrick Swayze as a Chippendale’s dancer/centaur, on a field of purple haze-sky, with criss-crossed rainbows behind him.

There will never be another tattoo more majestic than this one (Move over Celtic Colonel Sanders tattoo, now there’s something surrealler). It’s really too good to be true. I think this picture should be displayed on your television set on Easter morning, a la the Yule Log. Enjoy.

[Don't miss the rest of this jaw-dropping celebrity tattoo gallery at Entertainment Weekly.]

posted in Art | 2 Comments

3rd October 2008

Seeder: Street Art in Lithuania

A graffiti artist named Morfai created this piece on a wall in Kaunas, Lithuania. During the day, it’s just a random spray of stars on a wall next to a statue of a farmer:

Seeder, by day

But at night, the farmer heads home for the day, spreading stars behind him:

Seeder, by night

I wasn’t able to track down the name of the artist who created the farmer, but I’d like to think he’d approve of Morfai’s embellishment.

[thanks to Trott]

posted in Art | Comments Off

27th June 2008

We All Can Learn from the Knockoff Puffy E.T. Stickers

Puffy E.T. stickers
Puffy E.T. stickers

Okay, these cracked up my proverbial shit. Over at I Love This World, RenĂ© got these knockoff puffy E.T The Extra Terrestrial stickers for just $2 on eBay. $2! That’s what I call value. I mean, let’s take a look at these for a moment:

It all starts off as you might expect, with E.T. bopping merrily along in his glowy spaceship, apparently rocking out to some groovy tuneage on his totally boss headphones (with two antennae!).

Then, we learn that E.T. is a lefty, as he veges out in front of his favorite video game, with his unused right hand to his lips in pensive thought. But he doesn’t have the look of your standard tensed-up, video game-obsessed teen… no, his look is almost wistful, as if this game reminds him of a summer spent on the far side of his home planet… and he’s inspired to softly whistle a merry tune. I like this softer side of E.T.

Why, here’s another side of E.T. I like! It’s Get-Down Disco E.T.! He has got all the moves, and he wants you to come shake it with him! Come on, there’s a party in E.T.’s bathroom, and you’re invited! It’s BYOBathrobe, baby!

Whew! That’s quite a sweat we worked up, so now it’s time to get tidy. E.T. knows that all the good little boys & girls & whatevers need to scrub down, especially under their armpits.

Awwww… E.T. wants to show you his favorite panda. Hello, E.T.’s favorite panda! What a lucky panda you are to have such a friend.

HOLY CRAP. I’m sorry, I did not see this coming. The knockoff puffy sticker people killed E.T.! Or, at least hooked him up to some serious Muppet Labs-caliber equipment, so you know the best case scenario is that his head is going to explode.

Poor E.T. Such a fun-loving guy. Why couldn’t we just let him be? Why must we humans always kill what we do not understand? Thank you, knockoff puffy stickers, for showing me that sometimes an alien can be the better human. I am changed.

And now, I’m really, really wishing that I still had my E.T. latchwork pillow kit from when I was 8. Why-oh-why didn’t I find the wherewithal to finish it? I could be an eBay HUNDREDAIRE!

posted in Art, Design, Science!, Video Games | 5 Comments

26th June 2008

Why Were Matchbooks So Naughty?

Not that I’m complaining. So many midcentury matchbooks just seem to have been designed to appeal to 12-year-old boys. Or, more accurately, the 12-year-old boy in each of us. This matchbook from the Carnival Room is fantastic, no?

From the collection of Bay Park Buzzy
From the collection of Bay Park Buzzy

It gets even better…. the back side is after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Design, Midcentury | 5 Comments

23rd June 2008

An American Hippie in Israel

You thought An American Werewolf in London was scary…

An American Hippie in Israel, uploaded by domtak

… but you haven’t experienced the sheer terror of An American Hippie in Israel. Okay, maybe sheer terror is a little strong. How about “bad scene?” (NSFW due to some slight hippie boobage.)

Fools. Fools! Fools! FOOLS!

[Thx to Christy]

posted in Art, Midcentury | 1 Comment

11th May 2008

Watergate Salad

Per a request from Trott (before he realized that he was facing the very real danger of actually having to eat the salads I make), the next salad I made manifest from the 1979 Marysville United Methodist Women’s Cookbook was the dreaded Watergate Salad.

The alien landscape of Watergate Salad
The alien landscape of Watergate Salad

There is something intriguing about the idea that anything in 1979 would willingly carry the appellation “Watergate.” I recently discovered a nearly-identical Watergate Salad in a 1981 Lutheran church cookbook from Wisconsin. This little beast got around. More astounding, there is a Wikipedia entry for this affront to the culinary arts. According to the dubious, citation-less, stubbalicious entry:

No one is really sure of where the name came from. Kraft Corporate Affairs said, “We developed the recipe for Pistachio Pineapple Delight. It was in 1975, the same year that pistachio pudding mix came out.” Kraft, however, didn’t refer to it as Watergate Salad until consumers started requesting the recipe for it under the name. “According to Kraft Kitchens, when the recipe for Pistachio Pineapple Delight was sent out, an unnamed Chicago food editor renamed it Watergate Salad to promote interest in the recipe when she printed it in her column.”

This? This is the best the Kraft Kitchens could come up with to promote their new pistachio pudding flavor? I know pistachio pudding, I have enjoyed pistachio pudding, and these ingredients are not friends to pistachio pudding:

Watergate Salad recipe: if you recite it in front of a mirror three times, Nixon appears and bites your face off.
Watergate Salad recipe: if you recite it in front of a mirror three times, Nixon appears and bites your face off.
Mmm... slime
Mmm… slime

The green, slimy first stage of Watergate Salad — the precursor, if you will — had a certain je ne sais quoi.

My initial reaction to a bite of Watergate Salad was “it wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t have the mini-marshmallows.” My second reaction was, “oh, wait, no… it would be exactly that bad.” This stuff is vile. The recipe sounded dreadful, and boy did it deliver. Luckily, I did not have to bear the burden of Watergate Salad on my own: I was invited to a potluck dinner. The “salad” went untouched for nearly the whole meal, but at the end of the night, a few brave souls dug in — and liked it! Go figure. So, I guess there’s an audience for Watergate Salad after all.

There are step-by-step pictures, if you want to see the whole gory production (including multi-color mini-marshmallows in their native environment — Cool Whip!). Coming up next thanks to a request from Liz: Corned Beef Salad!

posted in Food | 13 Comments

20th April 2008

No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas

It was a struggle identifying which of the plentiful bounty of misnomered “salads” from the 1979 Marysville United Methodist Women’s Cookbook I should make first, but the No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas (submitted by Betty Rayner) kept calling to me.

No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas close-up
No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas close-up

It made sense to make this one first, because it’s relatively simple, and yet still horrifying — never have two words been less interested in sitting next to each other at the dinner table as “Coke” and “Salad.” And yet, here we are.

No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas
No. 1 Coke Salad from Texas
This is the "froth"
This is the "froth"

Making the “salad” (pictures here) required a bit of interpretation: are the “2 Cokes” 12 oz. cans, or the 10 oz. bottles that were possibly still kicking around in 1979? Is the “1 pkg” of Jello the small or large package? Or were the package sizes totally different in 1979? The recipe says that the 2 Cokes won’t quite make a “full 2 cups of liquid,” which tells me that we’re working with the small pack of Jello, but a cup is only 8 oz., and I can’t imagine a Coke so small that 2 of them won’t make 2 cups. I finally settled on the small pack of Jello (after all, I don’t think the demand for my “salad” will be high), and used one and a half cans of Coke.

The next sticky spot was the instruction to add the Jello to “hot Cokes” — I like to think that in Texas, this is just what they do when they accidentally leave their Cokes out in the sun… “Betty, darlin’, Bobbie-Jo left these Cokes out and now they’re hotter’n a whore in Hades — guess we’re having salad with dinner tonight!” I just microwaved mine.

I got to use my ring mold!
I got to use my ring mold!

Now, your ordinary batch of Jello already has a crapload of sugar in it, but Betty thinks it needs more, so water won’t do, it’s gotta be Coke. And what else does this need? How about some syrupy, not-at-all-cherry-like Maraschino cherries? Plus, some pecans, which actually turn out to be a critical part of the recipe. I considered leaving them out, but trust me — they are a welcome respite from the sugar, sugar and sugar provided by the other ingredients.

The final result is actually rather lovely, I must say. And it tastes about like you’d expect: like one great big, sugary cherry Coke. By now you may have noticed that I skipped one suggestion in the recipe… I did not opt to serve this with a dish of mayonnaise in the center. Perhaps I’m betraying my rookie status at this “salad”-making business, but I just was not able to wrap my head around that one.

If you haven’t already, you simply must take a look at the other recipes in the 1979 Marysville United Methodist Women’s Cookbook. So far I have a request to make Watergate Salad, and a request to stay away from the Spinach Salad, but there’s still plenty of room for discussion.

posted in Crafts, Food | 8 Comments

19th April 2008

1979 Marysville United Methodist Women’s Cookbook

1979 Marysville United Methodist Women's Cookbook
1979 Marysville United Methodist
Women’s Cookbook

Since, well, 1979 or so, I have been in the possession of one of the most startling and dangerous pieces of culinary literature of the 20th century… the 1979 Marysville United Methodist Women’s Cookbook.

I’m fuzzy on the details of how I acquired this little ticking time bomb… my mother grew up in Marysville, and my grandmother is still there, so I suspect that my grandmother had something to do with it. Grandma isn’t Methodist, and she’s cheap, so I can’t picture her buying this to support the church. She must have been given it as a gift and she turned around and gave it to us. At any rate, it’s mine now, and has been since forever.

The whole thing is an abomination, but the salad section is downright audacious in its abuse of the word “salad.” There is very little green in this section, unless you count the many instances of lime Jello. There is a recipe for “Vegetable Salad,” which sounds promising until you learn that it calls for 2/3 of a cup of sugar, a can of Chung King Chinese vegetables, and a can of something called “Veg-All.” But then comes “Asparagus Salad,” which you would think would at least have asparagus in it, but you’d be wrong. It has “asparagus soup” in it (surely Campbell’s Cream of Asparagus), a pack of cream cheese, mayonnaise, and lime Jello. So, you know, at least it’s green.

Asparagus Salad (curiously missing any acutal asparagus)
Asparagus Salad (curiously missing any acutal asparagus)

But it gets worse — oh, does it get worse. It’s hard to select just one recipe as an example of the horrors contained within, so instead I’ve unleashed them all on the world by scanning in the whole danged section.

Pretzel Jello Salad
Pretzel Jello Salad

Don’t miss gems like “Corned Beef Salad” (with lemon Jello and Miracle Whip!), “Super Salad” (with lime Jello, cream cheese, pineapple and marshmallows!), “Pretzel Jello Salad” (with, you guessed it — pretzels — plus Cool Whip, sugar, more sugar, and raspberry Jello), TWO! different “Coke Salads from Texas” (with cherry Jello, Dr. Pepper may be substituted for Coke if you’re feeling exotic), “Tomato Shrimp Aspic” (with tomato juice, lemon extract, lemon Jello and shrimp), or “Vernell’s Mint Salad” (with lime Jello, a box of buttermints, miniature marshmallows, mint flavoring, and green food coloring).

Vernell's Mint Salad
Vernell’s Mint Salad

There’s more — so much more. It just keeps going and going. Say what you will about these salads (oh please, do!), but it sounds like a photographic paradise to me. These recipes are just begging to be made real so that their jiggly, cavity-inducing goodness can be captured in full Technicolor grandeur. It must happen.

I’m taking requests — take a look through the recipes, and let me know which salad you think I should make next.

posted in Food, Midcentury | 5 Comments