I’m pretty sure the best thing about the re-issue of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook isn’t the actual recipes but the insane circa-1950 entertaining tidbits sprinkled throughout. Just the names of the appetizers on page 50 are enough to kill my inner 12-year-old (“Wedgies,” “Green Balls,” “Burning Bush” — on one page, seriously), but the best has to be “Flaming Cabbage.” It sounds like an unfortunate gastrointestinal condition, but is actually, well, that thing you see above. I made it for a friend’s birthday party because his wife had brought a similarly atomic platter to our house last year (theirs was fruit-based). Read on to see what the heck this is, straight from the 1950 Betty:
“An exciting, spectacular feature at a cokctail party in Mr. and Mrs. Phil Hindley’s charming home, Oakland, California. Clean a large cabbage. Curl outer leaves back from top. Cut out center; hollow it out about 6″ deep. Place a sterno lamp in the cavity (lamp hidden, but flame should come almost to top of cabbage). Place cabbage on serving plate. Surround with a frill of parsley. Thrust wooden picks through cocktail sausages, and stick into the cabbage. Stick an olive onto end of each (to protect fingers from flame). Guests broil their own sausages.”
Yes, you read that right: guests broil their own sausages! I made do with what we had on hand, so no frill of parsley for me. We put Lit’l Smokies on skewers and skipped the olives. I can say that this thing made for a spectacular entrance (if a harrowing car ride), and guests did indeed broil their own sausages. — Mary T.
P.S. That rad platter you see above is actually a vintage Lazy Susan that two very fabulous friends purchased for me on eBay!