Embracing winter.

I’ve decided that “embracing” winter is silly when all it does is backhand you a good one every time you try to get near it.  Today’s blizzard (which started the very second I opened the door this morning to head out to work) is certain proof that I should just stay away.  Far, far away.  Somewhere with plenty of sun and sand.


Is time-travel less expensive than a tropical vacation?  Maybe we can fast-forward to spring….

Some comfort food has definitely been in order lately, so I cooked up this insanely delicious Vegetable Navratan last night.  It took me nearly two hours and I even cheated by using frozen vegetables and reducing the amount of garlic  (no-no’s, I’m sure), but it was worth every second in the kitchen.  The leftovers were even better reheated tonight.  Warm belly food, for sure.  And if you want to make your own garam masala to use in the recipe, check out this DIY mix.     Yum!

To continue the theme of food and winter, this tidbit of weird news caught my eye – apparently the town of Williams Lake, British Columbia, is using beet juice to de-ice the roads.  I suspect the practice has my hubby’s vote of confidence, given that he doesn’t think beets are fit for human consumption:  “The only good beet is the one pureed under my truck tires,” or something to that effect.  Next thing I know, he’ll be boxing up the beets we receive in our CSA basket and mailing them out to Williams Lake.

And what about these absolutely horrific vintage recipes?  I just HAVE to share this link with everyone…after all, I was brought up to be polite and I simply wouldn’t feel right if I was the only one suffering from a queasy stomach.  I have to know, though:  if you grew up in the era of these culinary masterpieces, did you or someone you knew ever cook or eat these?  Or something just as…creative?  😉

I hope you have a fun week – no matter what the weather!


  1. oh my goodness, no! those are awful:-) I could barly look at the food!
    I agree with you tis the time of year for “comfort food” I just have to make sure I don’t eat too much comfort food that I have to ride my bike in the spring even longer, on the river to work it off-lol…. My husband LOVES beets, I find them a bit of work in our small yard since we don’t have a lot of space, but I do grow them for him since he likes to eat them…I prefer Swiss Chard much easier in our smaller growing space…but “beets” to de-ice roads…never heard of that:-) crazy

  2. Wasn’t the snow something? I might be moodier about it but I woke up to our neighbour snow blowing our walks. This is fantastic and no small feat as we are on a big corner lot. So the snow dump just became a thing of beauty rather than a thing of work. But winter is dragging on.

    I had heard about the Williams Lake beet juice thing. Very different.

    By the way, not trying any of those comfort food links. Isn’t is crazy how many used jello or gelatin? Growing up I swear every dish my mom made involved putting a can of Campbell’s soup in the recipe, right down to grilled cream of mushroom sandwiches (can you believe it!).

    • That is so kind of your neighbour!

      That is so funny that you mention the Campbell’s soup recipes…I was shopping in a used bookstore today and one of the cookbooks I found was one devoted solely to recipes of the ilk you’ve described. I didn’t buy it, but it was fun to leaf through!

  3. Snap, you had a blizzard today? It was sunny and melting here today. This is the weirdest winter ever.

    I just died laughing at the captions someones written for each of the recipes. Looks like the food was as hideous our hair back then. Especially laughed at the Gelatine salads, something about shreds of vegetables suspended in see thru food. The crab thing was just plain frightening.

    Funny, when I first saw the Igloo, I also thought, “hey, that actually looks fun”. Then you read the recipe and it’s instant mashed potatoes and cheese slices. Seems like people were soooooo busy back then. The new thing was ‘convenience’. Oh and the wiener art, LOL That’s make for a fun party challenge.

  4. That vegetable Navratan looks and sounds very tasty. I’ve been spending a lot of time in my kitchen too recently – the best place to be in winter! I can safely say I have never had to eat any of those weird dishes – I hate to think what is in the last one… tomato and sardine ice cream with spinach frosting? 😉 LOL! Oh, and the beet juice story is simply bizarre! Stay warm Sheryl. 😀

    • I’m glad you were spared the weird food, too! Way too much gelatin and strangeness there for me! 😉 I think you’d enjoy the navratan, it’s really something to rave about. It does take a bit of time to make, though – but that’s part of the fun!

    • I actually just saw a modern equivalent of that sandwich loaf recipe in a brand new cookbook we received at work, so it lives on! Of all the recipes on the list, it actually sounds like it could be tasty. I’m glad to hear it is!

      Yes, I believe they’re using sugar beet juice, not that of Beta vulgaris, on the roads – I just couldn’t resist mentioning my hubby’s aversion to most veggies! I love to tease him about it. 🙂

  5. Wow, how did you find all of those nightmarish recipes. Each one made me cringe and wonder how could they actually find this appealing. Great post! Had to laugh about your husbands reaction to beets, they certainly can generate strong reactions.

  6. Those recipes are truly grim. My grandmother went to college for Home Ec in the 1920s and as known to come up with some pretty odd combinations–they seemed heavily reliant on Jello. But NOTHING like this! I wonder if, in 50 years, people will be looking at our recipes and saying the same thing!

    • I didn’t think of that – you’re right, maybe some of our current culinary trends will end up archived on “Worst Of” lists like this! I don’t understand the gelatin thing with these old recipes – it seems like they had a need to make everything in molds. Weird.

  7. We wish we could fast forward to spring. Hope you have some nice sunshine and warmer temps soon. I had heard they were using beet juice on some of the icy roads, I wonder does it work? Hugs

        • No, no worries – my wording was poor! I should have written, that I was surprised as well – it’s not something I was aware of before. We don’t use it here in Calgary – the city applies some sort of liquid brine made from calcium chloride.

          • Hello again, here in the UK, councils put crushed rock salt on roads to melt the ice and add grip to the roads, invariably they run out of supplies and we grind to a standstill in just a fraction of the cold weather you have there, maybe the UK should try beets, we grow lots in the east of England!

  8. Great post! Hope you stayed nice and warm. The vegetable navratan looks delicious and will be tried out soon, I love veggies and always need to come up with cunning disguises to tempt the menfolk here! And I am still wondering whether I should make that banana candle for dessert or create something horrid with spam to accompany the veggies;0)

  9. We wandered over to your blog thinking we would root around in the archives for pictures of Spring for a Winter Denial Break (WDB). Voila! Not so necessary. Perfect Post Timing (PPT) and thanks for the great recipe,, too. – The Healing Garden gardener

  10. I heard about the beet juice on the roads – can’t imagine what that might look like. I would be thinking there was roadkill all the time. Don’t they know the stain will never come out? So I’m not the only one who saw those recipes and had to share. My niece promptly announced she intends to bring the banana candle to her next potluck…

    • I never thought about the roadkill…that would definitely be a reason not to use it! As for the stains, you do have to wonder….

      LOL the banana candle would be a conversation-starter, that’s for sure… 😉

  11. Wow. I can’t remember having any of these growing up. My mom was actually a pretty good cook, and so is Judy (and I’m not completely useless in the kitchen, either). Though I do remember my mom making something called La Choy chicken chow mein, which came mostly out of a can, that was pretty revolting. And once Judy insisted on making red pepper sorbet, which sat in the freezer for 18 months before we threw it out.

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