Friday, January 8, 2010

So Much Depends On A Toast Wheelbarrow

So - the toasted wheelbarrow.

This work of genius is from Sadie LeSueur, the lady responsible for the Lifesize Rice Hen (and many other dreadful yet comical things, but we can't do them all at once, it would be too much in every sense of the word). You may have been wondering how to serve up that creamed chicken stuff you will be giving the ladies after bridge. Or creamed tuna after canasta. Either one.

Don't, don't just shovel creamed something-or-other into a pastry shell or a vol au vent, please! It will be so much more cunning to serve it in little toasted-bread wheelbarrows. And Sadie will tell us just how to make them. This is exactly what she wants us to do: 


Body - 3 1/4 x 2 1/4 x 2 inches - cut 1
Handles - 1 3/4 x 1/2 x 12 inches - cut 2
Legs - 1 3/4 x 1/2 x 1/2 inches - cut 2
Wheel bars - 1 3/4 x 1/2 x 1/2 inches - cut 2
Wheel - 3/8 inch thick; 1 1/2 inches in diameter - cut 1

Use one day old, unsliced bread. Cut pieces according to measurements. Snip out the inside of the box shaped body to form a container, using scissors to remove the bread. Leave a half inch wall. Dry out all parts of wheelbarrow in oven, but do not toast at this time. Fasten legs to back end of body with toothpicks, letting one end of toothpick go through the leg and the other end go through the body using the entire toothpick for this. Fasten handles on in horizontal position at the upper edge of the body in the same manner. Stick toothpicks at the top edge of the body in a slanting position; fasten wheel bars to these toothpick extensions; put wheel between bars; press bars against wheel and fasten in place with a short piece of toothpick. 

The wheelbarrow is now ready to be brushed with melted butter and toasted in the oven to a light brown. Fine textured bread is best to work with when making wheelbarrows. These can be filled with creamed chicken and mushrooms and are very attractive.

Everybody still awake? Anyone completely exhausted just reading this? Yes? I think that's everybody.By the time you're ready to brush the Wheelbarrows with melted butter, you'll be ready to lie down on the couch for a few days with a magazine tented over your head.  I know I would be.

But let's say you did manage to make six or eight of these. You might want to use wheelbarrows as your theme for dinner, too - why not, after all the time you have spent cutting out little wheel bars from bits of bread? Popular Mechanics (February 1945) to the rescue with their Ranch Style Salad Service, complete with salad-in-a-wheelbarrow and a chicken-coop sort of thing for the crackers.

Spry ad from Life, July 26, 1954. I added the wheelbarrow thing at the bottom, it didn't really say that, of course. And thank you, William Carlos Williams, for the title idea.

The large version of the salad wheelbarrow and friends article is here and here. I'm warning you, though, it looks like a lot of work. The guy in the second page has big circles under his eyes.


Unfinished Rambler said...

Best title of the week I've seen so far and it's the end of the week, so that's saying a lot.

As for the wheelbarrows, I've got that magazine ready.

wngl said...

I never thought of a wheelbarrow as sounding so delicious! Thanks, Lidian, you've inspired me to concoct a hot, buttered tractor.

Lidian said...

Unfinished Rambler - Thank you, I'm honored! I like titles, and when I don't care for one of mine it bothers me (not so you'd know it, but it does). This one did not bother me.

wngl - That I've got to see!

Barbara said...

How about butter a piece of bread, shove it in a muffin tin and bake it until it's crunchy?

I can't even IMAGINE cutting bread to specific measurements and (I stopped reading after that!) following along in that workbook. ESPECIALLY for creamed tuna!!

And that headline would make a great Facebook status line - may I steal it?

Amanda said...

How fun! I could use a toast wheelbarrow

heidi said...

even i wouldn't attempt that. what gimlet-swilling housewife should spend that much time with a knife?!

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Himself (Unfinished R) shared this with me,knowing I'd love it, being a fellow poetry dork (and his wife)....

Something about putting an edible wheelbarrow together with 'whole toothpicks' and then filling it with creamed chicken bespeaks a certain casual attitude toward driving your dinner guests to the ER.

"So much depends upon a toast wheelbarrow...glazed with butter...beside the wood-spiked chicken".

Lidian said...

Barbara - Toast cups are easier and achieve the same ends, I agree. And yes, please do use that line!

Amanda - It would have been so much fun to see a picture, wouldn't it?

heidi - It was exhausting just typing out those instructions, never mind trying something like this.

Sheieldmaiden96 - I LOVE the poem, that is perfect :)

Bill said...

Heavens to Betsy! Sadie certainly had a lot of spare time on her hands. I'm beginning to suspect that this was an Occupational Therapy project while she was vacationing at a private mental hospital.

Lidian said...

Bill - This is extremely likely. But at least she was enjoying herself!

Needless To Say said...

Wow, you were right! Frankly, I don't think I could have pulled it off, even on a good day.

Marcheline said...

And people wonder why they used to put real cocaine in the soda back then?