It should be obvious that there is little I love more than a weird cookbook. After all, I wrote one myself. I have one that I have been meaning to share with you. I bought it at a bookstore in Ithaca, New York, and it is from the mind of the one and only Phyllis Diller. No just kidding. That would be really awesome. This one is from Phyllis George. It's called the I <3 America Diet. The premise behind this patriotic cookbook is that if you really love America you won't be a lardass. America needs skinny citizens, not only to look good, but fatties cost too much
Here is what Phyllis recommends a woman eat in an average day, in effort to "reduce."
1 medium orange
1 medium egg, scrambled
1 small bagel, with
1 tsp. margarine, soft
1 cup skim milk, fortified
coffee, tea or water
(You can brown-paper-bag this one)
1 cup tomato juice, preferably with no salt added
1 salmon salad, consisting of:
2 ounces canned salmon, packed in water, served on a platter, with
1 1/2 cups combined Romaine lettuce, watercress and sliced radishes, and
2 teaspoons Italian dressing
2 slices whole-wheat bread
1/4 medium cantaloupe
coffee, tea or water
1 cup fresh fruit cup (suggested ingredients: slices of banana and apple, grapes and orange sections)
3 oz. roast chicken, preferably white meat
1/2 cup lima beans, fresh
1/2 cup spaghetti, enriched, with tomato sauce
1 1-inch cube natural Swiss cheese
coffee, tea or water
1/2 cup broccoli, cooked or raw
1/2 cup cauliflower, cooked or raw
First, that's one mighty big brown paper bag she brings her lunch in. Ms. George may have servants to rinse off her platters, but the rest of us have to make do on our own. Second, if I ate like that I would be as big as a house.
There was one nugget in this book that I found extremely enlightening. You know how people are always saying we should eat slowly? I've always taken that to mean chewing slowly, which is kind of disgusting. Phyllis advises, "Bring your food to your mouth slowly. Count 1-2-3 from plate to mouth. You'll soon forget you ever shoveled it in at high speed. Your dining partners will appreciate the change to a more graceful you." I'm absolutely sure my dining partners would appreciate a more graceful me. I'll try this one at home!
Here are some more of Phyllis' pearls of wisdom:
* When you dine with thin people, observe how much faster you finish your meal than they do.
This is especially true if your thin companion is going to the bathroom to vomit between courses.
* Bring a mirror to the table and watch yourself eat.
If you want to look like a total idiot, this is a great idea.
* If you have a motion-picture camera or a video recorder, take pictures of yourself eating. You may not smile when you see yourself on candid camera.
Andy Warhol did this. He ate very slowly.
* Eat with your knife, fork and spoon - never with your hands. That applies when you eat anything - a sandwich, a slice of bread, a roll or a piece of fruit.
Again, a good idea if what you're really after is to look like an idiot, carving up your strawberry with a knife and fork. Paging George Costanza.
* Put only one kind of food in your mouth at a time. Not steak, potatoes and onions in one mouthful. But one mouthful of steak. One mouthful of potatoes. One mouthful of onions. That's three mouthfuls instead of one, and that takes three times longer to consume.
Does she suggest you deconstruct your sandwich before eating? I'm highly opposed to that idea. Especially if you then have to eat it with a spoon.
I want to leave you with a recipe from Phyllis George, and as it is Monday I will advocate for Meatless Mondays and pass on her "Frank Kebabs" (yes, hot dog kebabs are good for America) and "Oriental Beef." Enjoy.
PHYLLIS GEORGE'S VEGETABLE NUT LOAF
You will need:
Wheat germ, unsweetened
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup natural cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup walnuts
3/4 cup wheat germ, unsweetened
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Coat with wheat germ.
3. Cook vegetables in fat until onion is tender.
4. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Stir in milk. Cook and stir over moderate heat until thick.
5. Stir in cheese, nuts and 3/4 cup wheat germ. Add eggs.
6. Pour into baking pan.
7. Bake about 40 minutes or until well browned and firm.
8. Let stand a few minutes; cut into serving-size pieces.