Category Archives: Humor

Artifact: The Joy of Cooking, 1964 edition

In the 50s and 60s, my grandfather worked for Bobbs-Merrill Publishing in Indianapolis, where he was editor of the United States Code, Annotated. (For you legal folks who are familiar with this title, he did it without computers. Oh. My. God.)

Grandpa brought a lot of books home from work that I assume he got for free because they were damaged or defective. We have a lot of Bobbs-Merrill books spread throughout my family that have the wrong cover, were printed upside down, or something. Bobbs-Merrill had some serious quality-control issues in their printing plant, apparently.

My copy of The Joy of Cooking is one of these defective books, stamped “corners bent.” It’s defective in a lot of other ways, too: there are recipes calling for cyclamate sweeteners and MSG, it advocates dangerous methods of home canning (botulism, anyone?), and is filled with plenty of tips on how to please your husband with food (no, that’s not what I meant…you guys sure have filthy minds).

This copy of The Joy of Cooking came to me from my mother when I graduated from college and moved into my first apartment. It predates saccharine, NutraSweet, non-gringo Mexican and Asian cuisines, and most obviously feminism.

“Millions of brides have been given JOY OF COOKING as a one-volume insurance against any and all kitchen crises.” Ugh.

The illustrations are little simple line drawings, so fortunately we’re spared those supersaturated-color recipe illustrations of yesteryear. (More pictures of food disasters here)

There’s a lot of good stuff in here too, however. For example, if you hunt or fish, this book contains everything you need to know about cleaning, dressing and preparing all sorts of wild game. This is good for me to know, because if my unemployment continues for much longer, I’ll be eating squirrels, pigeons and raccoons for dinner. (Of course in 1964, you’d be cooking whatever dead animals your husband brought home, right?)

I mostly use this book as a reference, to look up things like cooking times and temperatures for various foods. If you know little or nothing about cooking, you can find all the basic information you need here – the kind of information that never goes out of date.


Weird Gadget of the Week: Egg Tools

I don’t eat eggs much, but these little gadgets from MSC International of Montreal are too cute to pass up. The mini-whisk pictured above scrambles eggs much more efficiently and is easier to clean than my regular-sized whisk. See the entire product line here. Available locally at Cole Hardware and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Weird Gadget of the Week: Food Lover Temporary Tattoos

$7.95 from those geniuses at Archie McPhee.

Weird Gadget of the Week: Voodoo Doll Toothpick Holder

I spotted this item at Sur La Table over the weekend, but it’s not listed on their website. It’s made by Fred, available in black or white (one for the bride, one for the groom?) from many online retailers. Suggested retail is $9.

Poached Salmon in the Dishwasher


Dammit, WordPress is not letting me embed the video. Point your browser here:

(via and b3ta)

Weird Gadget of the Week: Hillary Nutcracker

Hillary Nutcracker

Crack a nut between her stainless steel thighs!  Obviously a male Republican came up with this one.

Get yours at

“A watched pot never boils”

Boiling water for iced tea today made me think of a favorite scene from ST:TNG; unfortunately I couldn’t find a video clip online. I found this on Memory Alpha, however:

I have been testing the aphorism, ‘A watched pot never boils.’ I have boiled the same amount of water in this kettle sixty-two times. In some cases, I have ignored the kettle. In others, I have watched it intently. In every instance, the water reaches its boiling point in precisely 51.7 seconds.

Data, exploring the Human perception of time

Yes, I’m a Star Trek fan.