Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.
Barbecuing Dick Van Dyke Style and Cooking for Love
Author: Copywriters purporting to be Dick Van Dyke
Publisher: Hunt-Wesson Foods
Discovered at: Maj-R Thrift, Fairway
The Cover Promises: Andy Griffith wasn't available.
Dick Van Dyke is best known for playing a Manhattan comedy writer, Mary Poppins' chum in blackface, and The Doctor Who Defeated Murder and Mustachelessness. That means he was the perfect person to pretend to pen this pamphlet on barbecue, the regional meat-ingestion ritual that made America great.
Van Dyke's not just excited about any old barbecue. For him, it's a formal affair.
A formal affair with Hunt's Barbecue Sauce. Recipes for "skillet meatballs," "chicken luau," and "shrimp in scarlet overcoats" all demand use of Hunts. (The shrimp dish calls for nothing but prawns and sauce.) My favorite: "liver fiesta." Seriously, "Liver Fiesta with Dick Van Dyke" would be appointment television.
Or a telethon.
Van Dyke is so enamored with Hunts Processed Meat Flavorers that there's no conversational topic that doesn't lead him to them. Here, introducing a chapter, his mind wanders:
He does it so often it must be some kind of six-degrees-of-separation game! Let's imagine that, as Van Dyke and I chat one afternoon, I mention to him that millions of Americans would never commit suicide, but they do admit to thinking about it at times. He might respond:
And, wait a second. Isn't cowboy Van Dyke the same sketch of Van Dyke in formal wear?
And the same as this?
Someone should tell Hunts that when you buy a star's likeness, you don't just get one likeness --- one you have to paper-doll with funny hats. Or maybe this is just a case of Diagnosis: Cheap-Ass.
Author: Allen Schwartz
Publisher: Pisani Press, San Francisco
The Cover Promises: Cooking will get you laid.
Representative Quote: "If you should happen to drive her in from town directly after office hours, the ultimate is to offer her the following items in this exact order: A. A very cold and very dry martini or a patch of sherry. B. A dip in the pool. C. Something comfortable to wear, such as a Chinese bankers coat, a kimono, or even a muumuu."
So goofy I at first mistook it for a parody, Allen Schwartz's Cooking for Love is exactly what it looks like: a horny hilarity left over from the heyday of the bachelor aesthete, aka the The Man Who Reads Playboy, that 60s predecessor to today's metrosexual. (Only the 60s kind would rather lavish attention on his hi-fi than his eyebrows.)
The idea? "Most women seem to receive some sort of diabolic charge out of watching the male slave in the kitchen." So, armed with this slender cookbook and ingredients for Potage Sang-Froid and other Schwartz delicacies, the bachelor can take full advantage.
"It might be well to keep a copy of this book in the bottom drawer of your desk -- just in the event you have to cook for love on sort notice."
"Many of the recipes contain garlic. Do not be afraid because the salads contain chopped parsley -- which neutralizes the garlic's after effects."
The recipes are mostly simple, tasteful meat entrees with lightly seasoned vegetable sides. They're not especially noteworthy --- certainly not as much as the chapter where Schwartz announces that his audience is public relations workers living in the Village, Telegraph Hill, or Sausalito.
Or this, from inside the front cover:
"By God, son, even if we have to enroll you in culinary school we will get you some tail!"
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