Best recipes I’ve never tried: Cobra Soup, Elephant Stew, and more

Here’s an assortment of odd and unusual recipes that I’ve discovered over the years. I thought it’s time to bring them out of forced isolation and share a few with you. Though they don’t fit my expectations, you might find them to your liking. Enjoy. Hope they make you smile.

Cobra Soup, Porterville, California, 1980s

I found this recipe card between a recipe for Apple Butter and Classic Chocolate Cake.

  • 6 servings
  • I cobra (medium sized)
  • 1 head of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon monosodium glutamate

Catch a cobra. Cut off the head and remove the skin and internal organs. Chop the body into 2-inch pieces. Put pieces in a large pot, with a half-gallon water and boil for 45 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, and boil for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Thanks to Donna, a great friend, for sending me three new recipe boxes from California. I found this recipe in the chicken coop recipe box.

Love those microwave recipes from the 1970s. The kitchen circuit quickly realized not everything tasted better cooked in a microwave.

weirdrecipeAppetizer: A bird on a Pick, Sullivan kitchen, 1977

  • 1 breast of wild duck or chicken.
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/3 cup marmalade or chutney

In a microwave over, cook bird breast which has been covered with part of marmalade or chutney, covered pan, until done. Time varies depending on size of the bird. Test for doneness by cutting with sharp knife. Juice should run, bat barely pink. Don’t overcook. After removing from microwave oven, let rest until cool. Cut into squares and thread one square onto toothpick and dip in chutney. Add cube of pineapple.

Guest will say, “What is It?” 1976

  • Mix equal part of chilled tomato juice and chilled pineapple juice
  • Use more or less of either depending upon your taste
  • Garnish with sprig of mint

Flaky Pie Crust, 1976, Jean’s Recipe

Half as much shortening as flour (Use self-rising flour).

Half as much water as shortening plus a little salt.

After rolling out pie crust put in a pie pan from rolling pin. Too crisp to handle with hands. Roll half over rolling pin and slip in pie pan.

Pastor’s Pudding, 1976

  • Cook amount of rice needed.
  • Add I tablespoon per serving:
  • Pink wintergreen lozenges (candy)
  • Mix and eat

Variations: May add marshmallows or crushed pineapple instead of candy.

Not sure I’d trust a yeast concoction stored in a cool, dark place for 4-5 weeks, covered only with a balloon.

Johnny Reb Wine, 1984, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ireland and who knows where else.

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 quarts homemade grape juice
  • 2 ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 quart cranberry juice

Dissolve yeast in a smidgen of grape juice in a small neck gallon jug. Dissolve sugar in hot water. Cool. Add sugar water and juices to gallon jug. Put a large, strong balloon over neck of jug. Let stand in a cool dark place for 4-5 weeks. Remove balloon and siphon into clean glass bottles. Yield: 1 gallon

Elephant Stew: Rosemary’s variation on the classic favorite.

  • 1 medium sized elephant
  • 2 rabbits, optional
  • Salt and pepper

Cut the elephant into small bite-sized pieces. Add enough gravy to cover. Cook over kerosene fire about 4 weeks at 465 degrees. This will serve 3,800 people. If more are expected, two rabbits may be added, but do this only in emergency; most people do not like hare in their stew.

Chicken Ala Can-Can, Beulah, 1976

Not sure how this recipe turns out but the title caught my attention.

  • 1 can (10 ½ oz.) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (10 ½ oz.) cream of celery soup
  • 1 soup can water
  • 1 can (12 oz.) bone chicken or 1 1/2 cup cooked boned chicken
  • 1 soup can minute rice (1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 can (3 ½ oz.) French fried onions

Combine soups, water, and chicken. Add minute rice right from the box; stir to mix. Bring quickly to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes. Pour into casserole; top with onions. Heat in 400 degree oven ‘till onions are well-heated. Serves 4 to 6. This is very tasty, as well as quick to prepare. (Note on recipe)

Recipe titles worth noting:

  • Lick Me Fingers
  • Burger and Dumplings
  • Sock-it-to-Me Cake
  • Popcorn and Apple Pie
  • Slippery Pot Pie
  • Roast Sticky Chicken
  • Rollover Beethoven’s: a combination of pretzels, Rollo candies and pecans.
  • Blueberry Boy Bait: a coffee cake with blueberries served in squares with whipped cream. Actually sounds like a tasty recipe.
  • Drunken Hot Dogs: hot dogs baked in a mixture of bourbon, brown sugar & ketchup.
  • Elephant Ears: pieces of defrosted bread dough, stretched into thin disks and fried in hot oil. Top with whatever.

Velveeta is not my favorite ingredient, but it doesn’t separate during heating. Economical, many families depend on the big cheese block to add taste to otherwise bland foods. Many vintage recipes in my boxes and cookbooks call for Velveeta cheese including cheese rolls. I’ve never tried either but I think it might be the chili powder that’s holding me back.

Cheese Roll, Flora’s recipe, Texas, 1982

  • 1 pound Velveeta cheese
  • 1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Chili powder

Mix… the first three ingredients.

Shape…into a log by rolling between waxed paper.

Roll…log in chili powder.

Wrap…in waxed paper.

Chill…for several hours or overnight.

End of instructions. I’m guessing that the roll should be sliced, maybe 1 to 2 inches and served as an appetizer.

Here’s a variation of the cheese roll.

Cheese Roll, Beverly, 1986 from Quick and Easy Recipes

  • 1 pound Velveeta cheese
  • 1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 7 ounces green chilies
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Salt to taste

Soften Velveeta cheese and cream cheese separately. Roll out the Velveeta cheese between wax paper until approximately 6 x 24 inches. Combine cream cheese, chilies and salt to taste. Spread this mixture evenly down the long side of the Velveeta cheese. Roll up and coat with chopped nuts. Can be frozen.

Hints from Feasting with Saint Francis: Instead of sugar, dissolve old-fashioned lemon drops or hard mint candy in your tea. They melt quickly and give the tea a brisk taste. Stuck together glasses will come apart if you put cold water in the top one and put the bottom one in hot water.