Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Second Prize Is the First Loser

When you win Grand Prize in the 1971 Weight Watchers magazine Gourmet Recipe Contest, you get a free trip to Las Vegas.

When you come in second, you get a watch... A stunning Wittnauer "Minuet B" 17-jewel wrist-watch, that is! Awwww yeeahh. Snazzy.

Staying true to my word, after the Grand Prize Chinese "Egg Roll" debacle of last month, I am working my way through a few of the other entries to find out who really should have won the 1971 top prize.

You can thank Miss Claire Maier of Silver Spring, MD for this Second Prize snafu:

"Macaroni" and Cheese Casserole
1 16 oz. can bean sprouts, drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp imitation butter flavoring
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 slices dry bread
4 oz American or Cheddar cheese, cubed

In saucepan, combine sprouts, salt, butter flavoring, and onion powder. Cook over low heat until heated through. Crumble bread into blender; run at high speed to form crumbs. Add half bread crumbs and cheese to sprouts. Spoon into baking dish. Top with remaining crumbs. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Serves 2.

There was a moment during the assembly of this dish, somewhere between the draining of the bean sprouts and the blending of the bread, where I had a Retro WW existential dilemma. I was listening to the 70's station on my satellite radio and adding the annoyingly miniscule amount of cheese to my bean sprouts and bread crumbs. (I fought the urge to add more cheese. I really did.) When right there in my kitchen, with the sound of Englebert Humperdink crooning away to "After the Loving" in the background - I said to myself, "Why in the Hell are you still doing this? Are you nuts?"

I guess you had to be there. It was surreal. Also--that's a really, really horrible song. And then I thought, if I have to eat one more disgusting Retro WW meal, I may just have to throw in the towel. That's it. Finis.

And then I put the casserole in the oven, hoping for the best.

A new song came on the radio. The smell of cheese and bread filled the house. And suddenly we Got Right Back to Where We Started From. (that's Maxine Nightengale, by the way- a much better song.)

Twenty minutes later, the "Macaroni" and Cheese Casserole came out all warm and gooey and cheesy. It miraculously restored my faith in Retro WW. All hail Jean Nidetch! Hallelujah.

Thank you Claire Maier! Thank you Claire Maier! You are a Grand Prize winner in my book. Bless your sweet little 13-year-old heart. But wait...who is that peeking over your shoulder? Could it be Mrs. Gerald King, runner-up and submitter of yet another second prize winning recipe? Uh oh. I better make sure I have plenty of Knox Gelatin in the pantry.

Up next: "Cucumber Gel". Give me strength.

So I guess all's well that ends well. As for my beloved Retro WW program? After the lovin'... I'm still in love with you.


Sara said...

Never give up! Never Surrender! Plus RetroRuth made that horrific liver thing and actualy put it in her mouth - you can't let some little egg roll stop you!

Μάρσι said...

Mimi this "macaroni" how it tastes really?

Mimi said...

I thought it was yummy. Really. But coming from me, that's not saying much.

Angie {Successful2gether} said...

I love your blog :) it amazes me the things that you are trying and all of he humor in your posts! keep it up!

RetroRuth said...

I also am kind of in disbelief over this. Really? It's good?? Because I think I might make this for myself. I LOVE bean sprouts. No lie.

And yes, Sara, I DID put the liver thing in my mouth. And it was horrid! So Mimi can NEVER give up!