Saturday, March 22, 2008

Review: Gastroanomalies

Gastroanomalies: questionable culinary creations from the Golden Age of American Cookery by James Lileks
4.5 stars

Reason for reading: James Lileks is one of the funniest people on the planet, hands down; part of my Nonfiction list for the Triple 8 Challenge

Book description: In an era where cooks wanted to put their best foot forward, there was no end to the creative, cost-efficient, and cream-based dishes that disgraced the family dinner table, the cocktail party, or the neighborhood BBQ. Recipes involving ingredients like ground meat, bananas, and cottage cheese sound innocent enough—unless you mix them all together in a strange attempt to cover every food group at once. In Gastroanomalies, James Lileks gathers another remarkable assortment of dishes that once inspired cooks to brave new heights but now inspire sour stomachs and thoughts of “how did I survive?”

My thoughts: Another winner from the founder/writer of the Gallery of Regrettable Food. It loses 1/2 a star only because he recycled a couple of the gags/photos from the original Gallery.

Husband and I have spent many happy, hilarious hours reading his website and his books together (we even hosted a regrettable food housewarming party) and this time was no different. I don't want to spoil the delights in store for you, but one of the ones that made us laugh the most was a photo of gingerbread people on sticks, stuck into candy cane-decorated apples, presumably meant to be a festive treat. The caption? "When Count Chocula took over Candyland, he had all his opponents impaled and displayed outside the castle. It had the effect of discouraging dissent, as he knew it would."

You need funny in your life. You need James Lileks.

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