CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Vintage wine cookbook seems sketchy now

Published 12:10 am Monday, September 11, 2023

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If you’re looking to be a board member, the Wine Institute Wine Advisory Board seems ripe.

I found an undated, but obviously old, little paper giveaway book titled “Wine Cookery… The Easy Way*.” The asterisk goes to *Using California Wines and The Convenience Foods.

The cover includes a drawing of  a wine bottle, instant mix, cans of tomatoes and pears and yes, a TV dinner. It’s an artwork of a TV dinner with chicken and what I’m guessing is potatoes and a pat of butter.

I did think these kind of cool in the ‘70s. Times have changed, and I got a little ticked with some of the recipes. They seem so different from what is considered “gourmet” today.

Here’s some ideas from the book:

The very first recipe is Sherried Geen Pea Soup that includes a can of can of soup and a can of clams. A party cheese spread starts with containers of already made cheddar spread, grated orange rind, California dry Vermouth and small curd cottage cheese.

Yum? Maybe. But the Anchovy Wine Cheese Spread with cream cheese, Sherry and green olives. I’d try it but I anticipate I wouldn’t like it.

How about Chicken Livers Saute with sherry or Beet and Apple Salad? I’m not keeping the booklet.

Oatsome – I know people who get excited about oatmeal. I’m one of them now. The thrill of overnight oats challenges me. What liquid can I use? How can I top it? When’s breakfast? Oatsome has done this for me. Gluten-Free & Organic Overnight Oats with Chia, Flax & Hemp are some kind of fun.

You can make something with the kids that has berries on top and looks like some kind of art sold for big bucks from gourmet markets. You’re a rolled oats type? Oatsome has your fiber here with a more traditional take. will get you thinking about nut butters, cinnamon and — dare I say it — pumpkin spice.

Dip + Spread = YES – It was bad math that lead to great snacking. I’m heavy on the spices so I didn’t even notice when I emptied a packet of Spicy Mexican Chorizo inspired seasoning from Sauce Goddess. Typically dip mix goes into sour cream or even cream cheese but I scanned and chose the avocado option for “health reasons.”

I then noticed the dip/spread mix was designed to make 2-3 batches. No worries, I’d read that mixing it into hummus was also an option so I creamed up a can of garbanzo beans and let that twirl right into the toasted cumin and bright oregano flavors. It was both bean dip and guacamole, in a way.  The family loved this with veggies and pita triangles as dip. lets that creative flavor flow into garlic and Moroccan packets, too. You’re gonna have fun with this goddess.

TRUE PRIMAL – Backstory: When hear the name of this company, maybe your mind goes to tearing freshly-hunted meat with your teeth by the fire. Or free-range gluten-free chicken soup. “Primal” means first, fundamental and deliciously intentional to this brand. The line includes Southwest-Style Chicken Soup with a nutritional label that is a joy to read.

It’s an on-the-go pouch of pleasure that took me back to a desert retreat. Going to can convince you to “embrace exercise, fresh air, sufficient sleep and stress reduction with nutrition to achieve optimal health.

Darragh Doiron is a Southeast Texas foodie willing to dive into culinary history. Email her at