So yes, this is a very Julie & Julia-type endeavor. I am aware of that. But instead of doing something challenging and classy, like mastering French cooking or attempting Gourmet‘s greatest hits, I will be cooking what I am sure will be some weird-ass food. The 70’s were a very interesting time in America. There is a lot of Jell-O in these things. And relish trays. Lots of relish trays.
These are the parameters of the Dinner is Served! Project:
My goal is to make each and every recipe on all 118 cards (I am not giving myself some insane deadline–I do have a job and I do have friends). I hope to do at least 2 meals a week: one weekend and one weeknight. I will finish whenever I damn well finish.
Even though I am making each and every recipe on said cards, I am going to be flexible in the following ways:
1. I have limited resources (money, ingredients, and cookware) so some substitutions will have to be made. Still, the full meal will be completed with a reasonable facsimile for each dish. Lord knows what I’ll do with #74. Tongue (Italian Style) ***actually, I did finish Tongue (Italian Style). The results were surprising.
2. I have limited time because I work full time (I hope not to be unemployed at any point. If so, then I will go all Amy Adams on this thing and bang it out like I’m on amphetamines). Short cuts will be made due to time constraints.
3. I have lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers ™ and I don’t want to gain that back (although looking at these meals…). Therefore, I will make ingredient substitutions such as low-cal, low-fat, or non-fat ingredients whenever it is appropriate and/or possible.
4. The majority of the meals have 2 or more elements for which there is no recipe. So that means I am going to pull something out of my ass or find a recipe online, in another cookbook, etc. If this happens, I will make a note of it.
Finally, like that Julie girl had her grand finale–de-boning a duck or whatnot–I have my own Mount Everest, my own piece de resistance: #99. Chicken-Aspic Vegetable Salad. Seriously, this one looks very involved and extremely nasty with its bouillon and its gelatin molds.
I hope that I have the persistence and the sticktoitness to get there, and I hope that you will tag along with me.