I love cookbooks. I don't tend to make enough use of them, but I sure love a shiny new cookbook, especially with pictures, and I could flip for hours. Imagine my delight when Birgit's old roommate left behind a whole stack of them, and B was kind enough to pass many of them along. This was months ago and I'm still flipping and savoring. My current favorite is The Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Cooking. It's from the mid-'90s but it seriously seems like it's from the 1950s -- it has the most random crap in it and just has that old-school feel to it. As an "encyclopedia," it's in alpha order by main ingredient, which is totally helpful. More often than not I have an item and don't know what to do with it then I've bought all the ingredients for a full recipe.
My inner 12-year-old boyalso comes out while I'm scanning recipe titles, and I tend to mark those for future reference and laughter. So imagine my delight when I flipped to the "Luncheon Meats" section. Liver sausage-nut ball? Pennsylvania knockbockle? Hurry up casserole? O. M. G. Anyway, I LOVE me some lunch meat... and boy oh boy do I love bologna (although it's been ages since I've had it). That being said, do I ever want to try bologna casserole? Glazed luncheon bake? Crispy luncheon slices? EW! No! And wtf is a yule-morn yummy? Well friends, it's 2 12-oz cans of luncheon meat (spam?!), 6 bread rolls, 12 eggs, 1 can cling peaches, brown sugar, and crab apples. EWWWW! What is wrong with people? Strangely enough, luncheon meat barbecue also includes peaches. Weird weird weird. There is even an easy chow mein with luncheon meat. Hot economy lunch anyone? 1 lb bologna, 4 medium potatoes, chopped onion, allspice... browned in a skillet. Sweet and sour lunch meat? Throw in some oats and pineapple! Mmmm.