Friday, January 27, 2012

Give the People What They Want

Believe it or not, there are still people out there who are looking for old WW recipes from the 1970's. They walk amongst us. They could be your friends... Your co-workers... Your neighbors.

How do I know these people exist?

Because their creepy Google searches show up in my Blog stats every day.

Sometimes I sit and wonder -- who are these glorious people that scour the internet at all hours of the day and night looking for Retro WW recipes? They search for things like "Bev's Hot Livers" or "Cottage Cheese Danish" or the ever-popular "Frankfurter Spectacular". They want to know how to make their own "catsup" or turn a mushroom into a peanut. They desperately need to find out how to make a Toffee Candy out of instant coffee and dehydrated milk.

They come to my blog in search of answers. I must deliver for them.

So when I notice a recipe title that pops up in my blog keyword search stats more than once, I feel the need to give the people what they want.

And thus we arrive at today's Retro WW Experiment:

1 cup tomato juice
1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 ounces onion
4 ounces drained tuna, flaked

Combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated and flavors are blended. Makes one fast serving for the mid-day meal.

OK. Why anyone would ever want to exhume this recipe is beyond me. I literally took one bite and gasped in terror. Seriously. What the Hell? The serving is HUGE too. In order to eat this entire thing, I think I would need to be roofied.

I even tried to improve the presentation by serving it in my favorite pink Pyrex Bowl. Fail.

So there you have it. Another long-forgotten Retro WW Recipe revealed to the world. You asked for it. You got it, people.

Now go to your room and think about what you have done.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Creamed Wieners

As an adolescent, I spent about 50% of my time following my mom around asking her, "What's for dinner?"

To which my mom would usually reply, "Shit on a Shingle."

This made me laugh hysterically. So I would ask her over and over again.

"Come on, Mom! What's for dinnnneeeeer???" I would whine in a dramatic fashion.

And my mom would look at me with a perfectly straight face and say, "We're having Shit on a Shingle."

This is hilarious to a 14-year-old, by the way.

We never actually had Shit on a Shingle (SOS) for dinner. My mom was a great cook and always made us something delicious and fresh. In fact, I don't think I ever really knew what Shit on a Shingle (SOS) even was.

Until now.

I came across this recipe in my 1974 Hot Stuff Recipe Pamphlet, and it sounded so horrible - I had to try it.

Creamed Wieners

1 cup chopped celery
4 oz. onion, chopped
salt & pepper
2 cups water
2/3 cup non-fat dry milk
4 tsp margarine
8 tsp flour
12 ounces frankfurter, sliced
2 cups enriched rice, cooked

Cook celery, onion and salt & pepper in water until tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Mix dry milk and reserved liquid together. Make white sauce using margarine, flour and the fluid.

Add cooked celery, onions and frankfurters. Heat thoroughly.

Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.

The original SOS recipe calls for chipped beef instead of wieners, and it is usually served atop toast. But this Retro WW version will do just fine. In fact, when I tasted it, I said to myself, "Wow - this is some really good shit!"

I can't wait for my husband to ask me "What's for dinner tonight?"

Hee Hee.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Party On!

This is a direct passage from the 1966 Weight Watchers Cookbook by Jean Nidetch:
The Cocktail Hour: No, we do not permit alcoholic beverages in the WW Program, but you can enjoy an hour or two of relaxation with company, serving glasses of tomato juice, non-caloric carbonated drinks of your own choice, "Roast Peanuts" and the "Popcorn Bowl". Your daily fruit or Malted Milk can also be taken at this time.
Reading the above passage, I realized that I have done the tomato juice thing and the diet soda thing to get through many a special occasion. But what of this Malted Milk? I needed to know more...

The "Basic Malted" consists of:
  • 1 glass skim milk
  • Sugar Substitute to taste
  • 3 ice cubes
Process in blender for 30 seconds and enjoy. If you are in a pinch, and a blender is not handy -- simply shake up your Malted Milk in a jar and serve it straight up or on the rocks! What could be easier?

But wait! There are also many variations on the theme...

A Milk and Diet Pepsi Cocktail is always fancy, yo!

For example--one could add diet soda, coffee, or various flavoring extracts. I imagine one could also add bean sprouts or boiled celery since these are also permitted in unlimited quantities. But that would be a bit of a turn-off at a cocktail party, I suppose.

But take it from me - there is NOTHING classier than a milk mustache!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Scandinavian Surprise

Well spank my jell-o mold and call me Sally.

It takes a lot to shock me. But when I got my January 2012 issue of Weight Watchers magazine in the mail this week, I almost fell off my platform heels.

After perusing page after page of pertinent tips, recipes and pictures of the beautiful Jennifer Hudson -- I came upon something in the very back of the magazine that made my stomach flip.

It looked so familiar to me. I wonder why? Oh yes! I ran to my Retro WW collection and grabbed my very own copy of the May 1970 issue - featuring foods from Scandinavia. A fishy sampler platter lying atop a sapphire blue shag carpet adorns the cover. I might add that this particular issue contains one of my all-time favorite Retro WW recipes - The Fiske Ballar (more commonly known as Fish Balls). TeeHee.

Don't worry. I am plotting my Fiske Ballar Experiment as you read this.

How fun that the modern day Weight Watchers magazine has decided to include a "Flashback" feature in every issue! I guess this retro thing is really catching on, eh? In my wildest fantasy, I'd like to think I had a little something to do with that.

Now, what is it they say about imitation and flattery?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Retro WW Interview Project - Sherrie's Story

In November of 2011, I put out a call to the brave folks who actually followed the original Retro WW program back in the 1970's. My request was simple: share your Retro WW story with me so I can share it with the world. Thus began the "Retro WW Interview Project". Check out my first interview with my mom, in case you missed it, and please email me if you would like to be part of the interview project! After all--When you go through a traumatic experience, they say it helps to talk about it.

Up next, allow me to introduce Sherrie. Her Retro WW story will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even jump for joy. Make sure you read to the very end, because there is also a very important lesson about why you should always wear the correct size underwear.

1. Why did you join WW? What was your "A-Ha Moment"? What year was it?

I joined WW for the first time in 1971, I was 11 years old. I admittedly joined for all of the wrong reasons. My father wouldn’t allow me to get my ears pierced and constantly badgered me about my weight. I bargained with him, if I lost 25 pounds, could I get my ears pierced. The answer was yes. So, my mom drove me to the Carpenters Hall, and I joined WW.

Sherrie 1978

2. What is your most vivid Retro WW memory?

The Carpenters Hall where the meetings were held was large and cold and musty smelling. When you walked in off the street there was a pop machine, with pop in glass bottles for 25 cents. I would buy a bottle of Tab each week and then go in to weigh. There were two old doctor office type scales at one end of the room and two lines of people lined up to get weighed in. Everyone could see your weight as the scale was adjusted for your weigh in. It felt kind of like cattle being herded onto a scale. Pauline, my WW leader was a tiny thing that stood on top of a stage at the other end of the room behind a podium, that made her look even smaller. Pauline was always very sweet and very kind, she taught me that even a ¼ of a pound was a huge weight loss, after all that is the size of a cube of butter.

3. What was your favorite Retro WW treat?

There were these breakfast muffins that we used to make, you would use slices of bread ripped up (cause you couldn’t use flour) and eggs and dry powdered milk and frozen blueberries. You got six of the muffins at a sitting. I used to think they were the bomb. Also, if you had hot dogs you could have (as a youth) 6 broiled hot dogs for dinner, loved wiener night.

Sherrie 1985

4. What was the hardest rule to follow on Retro WW?

The liver rule, hands down. I had liver, broiled, there was no frying, just broiling. The first and last time I ate my liver meal I ate only a small portion of it and cried all the way through it. All those fish meals you had eat a week, would be a second. Your proteins were 2oz for breakfast, 4 for lunch and 6 for dinner (I was a youth, so I got more of some things) I would opt for fish meals for breakfast and lunch so I wouldn’t have to eat so much. I hated fish so usually it was dry tuna on a dry piece of bread. Bleh.

5. What was the best thing about being a WW member in the 70's?

It was almost like being a member of a cool secret society, like belonging to fight club or something. Jean Nidetch was often talked about, and we always dreamed of her coming to our meeting. She never did, but the district manager for the western states came once, (Jack Bode) you would have thought he was a movie star. I reached goal when I was 12, started high school 1 month before I turned 13. Although I didn’t stay on program, WW gave me my teenage years as just a normal kid, not the heavy set girl with the pretty face. The recipes were so crazy back then, but without them the food was not palatable. The best thing about the 70’s was it really taught me to try new things at least once, and to eat my vegetables! It was simpler times, simpler food. The results were the same then, as they are now, Weight Watchers works, it’s a network and you always have support.

6. Any other interesting tidbits about your Retro WW experience??

Pauline told us a story one time about a member that was shopping in sears with a dress on, she had two small school age children with her. She had lost so much weight that her undergarments were not fitting her anymore. She looked down at her feet from behind the racks and noticed that her panties had slipped down and were laying on top of her shoes. These were big ol panties that had seen better days. She was mortified. Being a sensible woman who did not show her panties to strangers she got a nervous look on her face and scanned the shopping floor.. good no one noticed. She pretended to be looking at a dress on the rack and stepped out of her under garment and swiftly bent down and scooped it into her purse in one ballet like move. She continued to shop. An hour or so later her and the kids were leaving Sears, and as she started to walk out the door she felt a large firm hand on her shoulder, and a deep male voice say, Madam, I saw you put something into your purse. Oh my God, she thought. She denied it. She couldn’t tell the security guard it was her under pants. He said Madam, show me your purse. She clutched it to her chest. The police came ..

Sherrie 2010

The moral: As you lose weight, always, always reward yourself with new underwear.