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Darla's Delicious Recipes for Entertaining!

September 1, 2005

Hello there, Happy Homemakers. So lovely of you to have tuned in to Delicious Recipes for Entertaining! As always, my name is Darla and I'll be your hostess -- with the mostest! -- for today's show. We've got a fabulous hour planned -- ham, salmon, herring and cottage cheese surprises are just around the corner. If that's not enough to raise cheers around the table, we also have an amazing and gravity-defying Jell-O treat in store! By the end of the hour you should have some tempting new ideas that are guaranteed to put a big smile on a certain someone's face when he comes home from the used tire store at 6 pm sharp and expects a hot dinner to be waiting for him. Uh oh -- I think I hear some hungry tummies rumbling! Let's get started, shall we.

Who Doesn't Love Ham?

How perfect that such a scrumptious pink meat comes from such a cute little pink animal. I always tell my little one, Martha -- an aspiring homemaker in her own right -- that it must be God's way of color-coding. I also tell her she's going to end up looking like one if she doesn't take it easy on the Devil Dogs and pop after school. It's so hard to be a mother these days. I'm sure some of you ladies in the audience can relate.

Like most meats, there are a myriad of ways ham can be prepared. It can be baked, loaved, ground, fried, cubed for casseroles, glazed and most importantly -- enjoyed! Today we're going to take a look at Party Baked Ham. What party could be complete without it? Not one that I'd want to attend, I can tell you that much. The Carters probably served ham at their last holiday party...however I can only speculate because my Reggie told me that no wife of his would leave the house looking like that. It was a Vivienne Westwood gown -- perfectly respectable. He just didn't like how Mr. Petrie had been eying me at the 4th of July BBQ we threw last summer. I can't help that I've been blessed with killer gams.

Now, doesn't this just look divine!

You can bet your boots that if there's one thing that will get my Reggie out of those shit-stained boxer shorts and to the table in a jiffy after I get back from Pastor Whitcomb's wonderful Sunday sermons, it's the promise of Pineapple Patch Ham. Thank God I keep the furniture covered in plastic -- it truly is the material of the future.

Pineapple certainly livens things up. I'm almost as excited as that time Reggie said he would take me to visit the girlhood home of Emily Dickinson on my birthday...before he forgot and just got drunk with his friends in front of the Seahawks game like usual. I was so upset that I only made one batch of ham roll-ups instead of my usual three. That will teach him to stick to his word. I am not a doormat!

Now, where were we? Oh, yes -- Party (cha cha cha!) Ham. To prepare this gorgeous Pineapple Patch Ham, be sure to follow the baking instructions on the packaging. For an 8 - 10 pound uncooked ham, bake for 3½ hours at 350 degrees. I always find that a few nips of bourbon help pass the time. I do tend to poke myself more frequently while doing my needlepoint for the new Hummel-inspired sham covers, but the hours go by so much quicker with the booze. Be sure the thermometer reads 170 before you continue -- you don't want to get any of those beastie little parasites like Muriel's boy had last summer. It was dreadful -- the doctors had to remove a ball of worms from his stomach. I prayed for their family, I really did. However, I can't help think it wouldn't have happened if they were good Protestants like the majority of us in the neighborhood. Those Catholics will bring ruin upon us all, just you watch and wait.

When you are sure that you've hit 170 degrees, you can begin spreading the ham with prepared mustard and pat on a good thick layer of brown sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. Arrange drained, canned pineapple chunks with a pimento strip at the bottom of each on top of the ham. Brush the pineapple with pan drippings. So tasty! You'll be the talk of the party if you're allowed to go.

Something for the Goddamned Catholics

I'll just never understand the "no meat on Fridays" rule. But who am I to try and change the world? I best just go with the flow and try to provide options for all my viewers, drunks or no.

I do have to admit that this salmon steak with cucumber cream sauce does look enticing. It almost reminds me of something that I just can't put my finger on. Maybe Reggie will know. I'll have to remember to ask him after the show.

Cucumber Sauce ½ small cucumber, unpeeled, seeded
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon instant minced onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Shred cucumber and transfer to a small mixing bowl.

Add remaining ingredients to shredded cucumber and mix together. Refrigerate until serving.

The Catholics may also find a nice Lutheran staple can fulfill their cravings for a more meaty texture on Fridays. Herring has been served up for centuries. Try a herring cocktail when you kick back on Friday night. You'll be surprised at how intoxicating it can be!

Herring Cocktail "Bulgaria"

Raw vegetables: red and green pimentos, carrots, pickled gherkins, cabbage, parsley, curled endive, tiny pickled onions, garlic (a whiff)
1 - 2 Holland herrings (per glass)
½ jar caviar (for four glasses)
2 lemons
Cocktail sauce

Chop vegetables finely. Dice herrings, mix. Add salad oil, pepper salt and lemon juice according to your husband's taste. Arrange small ice cubes in glasses, cover with lemon slices. Allow to cool. Arrange vegetable mixture on lemon slices. Cool again. Decorate with caviar and patches of cocktail sauce. Keep cool until serving.

Cottage Cheese Please

Reggie always calls me his "cottage-cheese" woman. I have to assume that he's talking about the remarkable recipe I found in the Ladies Home Journal for this delectable Glamour Dip. It is a perfect preamble to your Party Ham. I almost feel like I need to take a trip down to see Shirley at the Beauty Salon before I'm worthy of this lovely appetizer. However, my pocket money is kept to a minimum -- sometimes I don't even have enough to buy milk and diapers for the baby! A short leash he says. I'm starting to understand how those whores down on Broadway feel. Jeepers! Look at the time -- it's time to move on to dessert!

Glamour Dip 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
½ cup shredded beets
2 tablespoons (2 oz can) minced anchovies
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon dry mustard

In a mixer or blender combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Chill.

Somewhere Over the Jell-O Rainbow Ribbon

Of course I've saved the best for last: Delicious and breath-taking Rainbow Ribbon Gelatin Dessert!

The three steps to perfect Jell-O are:

1. Moisten
2. Dip
3. Moisten

It's that simple! My Reggie says that things would be a lot better around the house if I could keep these three things in mind when it comes to rooms beyond the kitchen. Just between you and me, ladies, I'm not really sure what he means. But then he's always been a kidder -- always trying to pull my leg. That's Reggie for you.

This simple recipe only requires a mold, 5 packages of any flavored Jell-O Gelatin, 6½ cups of boiling water and 1 cup of plain yogurt. Dissolve one of the five packages of Jell-O in 1¼ cup of water. Poor ¾ into an 8-cup ring mold. Chill until set, but not firm -- about 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining flavors and chill until firm, about 4 hours or overnight. If you choose to enjoy a creamier treat, you may mix in 3 TBSP of plain yogurt into the Jell-O after you remove it from the heat. Chill as directed.

One thing you should try to avoid, if possible, while making your delicious Jell-O Gelatin Dessert, is getting too close to the pot of boiling water when you have the baby on your hip and you're trying to tell Sue from down the street about those horrible new draperies in Patty Steiner's picture window. The little scamp might lean over and -- before you know it -- stick his little paw right into your water. Not only do you have light burns to contend with -- nothing a little dab from the aloe plant can't take care of...blistering to that degree is normal -- you have to change out the water because you know that he's been playing in the litter box again and probably contaminated the whole operation. My Reggie can always tell when the baby's been into Sylvester's cat cookies.

All I want is a nice home for my husband and my children. That nosy bitch who keeps coming around from protective services just doesn't understand: those window treatments really will bring down the property values for the rest of us. I know I'm not a racist when I say this, but Jews like Patty Steiner will never have any taste -- it always has to be about showing off how much money they have. How else can you excuse that gold-tasseled chenille nightmare that stares me down every time I go out to greet Mr. Bixby, the milkman? He always tells me my hair-do looks pretty. Who cares if he's got a record? Even A Heart of Gold can make mistakes in his youth...I'm a big enough woman to forgive him -- I know he's a good Christian now. Finding Jesus Our Lord and Savior in the Pen is still finding Salvation. Who am I to judge? Everyone knew that Marcy Potter was trouble. Poor Mr. Bixby could never have known she was only twelve -- what with her running around the way she did. She ought to be the one sent away to reform school!

To unmold your lasted Gelatin creation, dip the mold in warm water for about 10 seconds. Gently pull gelatin from around edges with Moist fingers. Place moistened serving plate on top of mold. Invert mold and plate; holding mold and plate together, shake slightly to loosen. Gently remove mold and center gelatin on plate. Another beautiful ending!

With these tasty dishes -- and a little dash of luck -- you'll have them giving you an ovation.

I dearly hope you'll join me next Tuesday at Two for another hour of Delicious Recipes for Entertaining! when we explore the world of Disco Beef. We'll see you then.

Happy Homemaking!

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