A Betty Crocker Thanksgiving

As readers to GourMay are aware, our Texas relatives will be joining us for Thanksgiving and for that we are most grateful.  I had hoped to welcome them with this ice-breaker joke:  “A family reunion is an effective form of birth control,” but my timing was off by about 10 years.   I suppose I could chime in and say “You don’t choose your relatives,” but I actually like mine and so does Pitbull Nora.   

Betty Crocker

While I am OK with nostalgia, I do draw the line at Betty Crocker when it comes to food.   Some critics trace the decline in American morality, drug addiction, childhood obesity and propensity for consuming vast quantities of colorful but largely unappetizing processed foods to Betty Crocker.  I find this criticism of Betty a bit harsh, but memories of her gelatin tomato aspic still turns my stomach.

In this delightful video, the New York Times commissioned artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari to interpret the 1971 Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library. They were faithful to the period, but not particularly kind to the “good” Betty.

I bring this up, because – sadly – Betty Crocker recipes are now beginning to appear as family favorites for Thanksgiving.  I thought I had seen everything until “Love My Family” Leslie insisted on Betty’s “Mystery Pink Salad.”  Mind you, I could easily see this hideous dish served at a Breast Cancer Awareness lunch, but hardly see its place at the Thanksgiving table.

Fellow Gourmand, Lord Cheseline of Maiden Lot Farm has just returned from a month of eating his way through Europe.  Fortunately, the folks in Spain and France had never heard of Betty Crocker.  He sent me this delightful collage of the tasting menu at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain.    According to the Financial Times, this is the number 1 ranked restaurant in the world.  I can see why.

Celler Can Roca

Needless to say, this is what I had in mind for Thanksgiving, but as the pious Pilgrims would say, “you must avoid giving the natives anything out of their culinary comfort zone.”