Cookbook Dinner Club: The Victory Garden

The subject of this month’s Cookbook Dinner Club was a favorite of mine, The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash. Once again, we all chose interesting recipes to try and ended up with way too much food. On the whole, the recipes were tasty, but we found the instructions to be slightly out of date, and sometimes calling for ingredients that are no longer very common (Gold Medal Wondra Flour), but we persevered. Because of the season, we ended up with overlapping ingredients, mostly spinach and chard which was found in the salad and at least 3 entrees.

Here is a photo essay of the dinner. Keep in mind – I still suck at photography in artificial light.

Carrot Orange Bars (page 59)

Recipe asks for flaked coconut; is that sweetened or unsweetened? We went with sweetened and the bars were delicious!

Celeriac and Apple Salad (page 72)

Easy recipe, should be made 2 hours ahead.

Oriental Eggplant Salad (page 111)

Very tasty!

Swiss Chard and Pork Gayettes (page 308)

The mystery ingredient is chicken liver, and believe me, it remained a mystery. You could not tell it was in there. These were a nice change of pace, and daring for the Cookbook Dinner club members.

Corn Crepes with a Tacoese Filling (page 89)

This recipe left a lot to interpretation, calling for instant flour, scraped corn, and a unique taco-like filling. Tasty, especially with the Mornay Sauce!

Whole Stuffed Cabbage (page 48)

Basically a meatloaf made with sausage and ground turkey, cooked in a cabbage-lined glass bowl. It will be much easier the second time around, and as many folks pointed out, would be a great Halloween dish, since it looks like a brain! Called for Savoy Cabbage, Napa was used with moderate success. Will seek out Savoy or Green next time.

Wilted Spinach Salad (page 264)

This recipe called for 3 POUNDS of fresh spinach. Way too much, would have fed a small army, if you could find a bowl big enough to toss the salad! Reduced to 1 pound of spinach with dressing as written. Very good!

Stir-Fried Beef and Cauliflower (page 68)

The recipe was a little more tedious than expected, and the chef would make twice the amount of sauce next time, but the final result was good and well received, and came together very quickly right before dinner.

Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant Shells (page 107)

Our chef created two versions, one as written and one vegan. With the cheese and mushrooms in both, this was a satisfying and comforting dish!

Other Cookbook Dinner Club posts:

Cookbook Dinner Club: Holiday Magazines

Cookbook Book Club: Cooking with Paula Wolfert

Cookbook Book Club: Around My French Table with Dorie Greenspan

What would you like to see next?