Thursday, February 16, 2012

In the Kitchen Garden With Dinah

Well, not literally in the Kitchen Garden with Dinah - what a thought. That was just a slightly desperate attempt at a title. You're just lucky I didn't go with All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kitchen Garden.

Singer, actress and mid-century personality Dinah Shore may call that stuff on the platter Kitchen Garden. But I am thinking maybe we should call it Kitchen Compost. Just take a platter and onto this unload a job lot of boiled frozen peas, green beans, diced carrots and lima beans, which let's face it, are probably fairly soggy. Even though they are supposedly "picked at the peak of perky youth." Add some boiled cauliflower, also soggy. Finally, saturate it all with cheese sauce and "onion-tinged butter."

I'm sorry, but I just can't. I love fresh vegetables now that I'm grown up and can stir fry broccoli and so on (cut off here so as not to show off, etc.) but I spent the peak of my retro/vintage, not-so-perky youth staring down at depressed-looking frozen green beans and beady yet mushy little canned peas. So this just looks like a hundred kinds of terrible to me.

Maybe what she means is that it is supposed to taste as if we all had real kitchen gardens out in the back forty. I can understand that line of thinking. But to call the actual dish a "Kitchen Garden" just doesn't make any sense. Not unless she's going to serve it in a wheelbarrow and let us eat it with pitchforks.

Would you love to see a large version of this 1946 ad? Well, here you go!


Tori Lennox said...

I think Dinah was having a Really Bad Day when she created that mess. Yuck!

vanilla said...

Doesn't appeal to me, either. But to cut them some slack, Birdseye was in the early stages of trying to market prepared product to the homemaker. (Did I get the terminology right?)

Mike said...

This dish just sounds depressing, not springtimey at all. No matter how smiley and chirpy Dinah's disembodied head becomes, I'd decline. I'm thinking for a real springtimey summer treat, one could just throw a package of frozen mixed vegetables at the family while they watch TV. Dinah's serving suggestion sounds just about as bad.

I wonder if this is the kind of thing that Chris Kimball and the gang at America's Test Kitchen could get hold of and make appetizing?

DearHelenHartman said...

Suffering Succotash! Poor Dinah's Garden is littered with chopped to tiny bits veggies and dead chickens (that nondescript meat item IS chicken, right?). No wonder she was always pining for the Last Time She Saw Paris.

Marcheline said...

Thank you for not pointing out that the gravy looks like baby vomit.