Category: Recipe Fail

This Paté is a Turkey!

Welcome to the end of the world.  Or at the very least the end of The A-Z of Cooking (1977). 

Prepare to feel robbed.  

Turkey Pate2

Dear A-Z of Cooking, 

Look…listen…over the past few years we’ve had joy, we’ve had fun, we’ve had seasons in the sun. 

There’ve been many good times.

Remember the Mushroom Cakes?

And the Brioche?

The Profiteroles?  They were awesome!

Okay, so it wasn’t always smooth sailing.  There were downs with those ups.

There was this:

Still one of the scariest pictures I have ever seen in the pages of a cookbook.

And lets not forget this delightful looking salad:



Or this suggestion for punishing people who drop in without notice:


But on the whole, it’s been good times.  

And this is how you end it?  With a Turkey Paté that looked like cat food until I slapped a few sage leaves and pomegranate seeds on top?  And, I might add, tasted of nothing?

And whilst we’re at it…right from the start you promised me an A-Z

So…ummm…why are we done after Yesterday’s Leftovers? 

Where’s my Z, you dick?


And a really bad turkey paté. 

And no Z.

Hopefully some better tips for using your Christmas leftovers can be found in the links below!


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Potato Almond Balls

When a chapter called Nuts about Nourishment contains a recipe for Deep Fried Mashed Potato Balls, you know it has to be 1977.  And that we are about to delve into The A-Z of Cooking.  Potato Almond Balls.  I was so excited about these, I ate salad for a week to pre-compensate for the delicious calorific overload. 

And then they didn’t work.

The problem was that the egg and almond crust split in many places…and when it did, the mashed potato kind of disintegrated. So in a lot of instances I ended up with the almond crust and not much else.  Where they remained whole, they were totally delicious sprinkled with a bit of smoked paprika and dipped in some of my favorite green sauce.

I’m putting the failure of the balls down to the wrong temperatures.  Either the balls were too cold or too warm or the oil was.  Is it significant that The A-Z of Cooking has no pictures of this dish?  It is possible that their Potato Almond Balls also broke into bits? 

Here’s the recipe for anyone who wants it, I hope you have better luck than me!


To counteract the effect of deep fried potato balls (and because I had no other photos) I thought I would give you all an update on my attempts at the C25K running program.  Today I started week 7 of the program and ran for 25 minutes which was not only the longest time but also the furthest distance I have done so yay me!

Mind you, this is probably a very apt description of both my pace and my style:

Personally, given my new obsession with the ‘My Favorite Murder Podcast,, this might well become my mantra:

And this is probably closer to the truth:;

Next time in The A-Z we are moving onto O for some “Old Fashioned Favourites”.  I was hoping to be done with it by the end of the year but given it is nearly December (how the hell did that happen?) it seems unlikely.  I’m now aiming for end of summer.

Have a fabulous week everyone!

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Three Decades of Tuna Provencale

What image does the words Tuna Provencale evoke for you? 

For me, it is the freshest of fish, caught that day, eaten al fresco, with some lovely fresh, vegetables, tomatoes, black olives, basil, in a salad doused liberally with olive oil and garlic. Preferably with a glass of ice cold, rosé to wash it down. 

Maybe something a little like this!

Tuna Provencale2This is a little dish of my own invention and is delicious.  I cooked the tuna for a minute on each side but to me, this was overcooked.  The following day I made a Japanese style tuna takaki salad and they suggested to cook each side for only 20 seconds and it was perfect!  So this is my modern-day version of Tuna Provencale – lightly cooked tuna, salad, and a little big dob of aioli on the side!  Sadly though, this is not the Tuna Provencale The A-Z of Cooking thinks you should be eating.

How about this then?  Fresh Tuna Steaks baked in the oven with those same veg?  Not a hint of rawness because this is baked for a good 20 min.  For mind, it was pleasant – not to my mind as nice as the previous recipe but good in it’s own way, certainly a good one for anyone how does not like raw fish and the roasted veg were lovely. 

Tuna Provencale4 However, also not the Tuna Provencale that The A-Z of Cooking wants you to eat.  This comes from the Australian Gourmet Traveller Annual from 2006.

Let’s jump back nearly thirty years back to 1977 and see The A-Z of Cooking’s Tuna Provencale.

Tuna Provencale1Oh. 

I know. 

We’ll go there but first let’s look at another way in which The A-Z of Cooking is being a jerk this week.  Let’s take the introduction to Just For Two which is the chapter containing the Tuna Provencale. 

JUST FOR TWO: if there are only two of you, or if there is a special man you want to impress, here are some suggestions

Because only straight women and gay men read cookbooks right?

Regardless, lets take another look at that Tuna Provencale shall we?  Where’s the tuna you ask?  Ask  no more…hidden under that tomato sauce is this:

Tuna Provencale5Which is a drained can of tuna wrapped in two anchovies.  You may also note that there is only one can of tuna wrapped in anchovies. That is because one of the Fussiest Eater In The World’s many, many food foibles is that he won’t eat cooked canned tuna. So my just for two was just for one.  A state I can only assume most makers of the Tuna Provencale found themselves in after their dish failed to impress that “special man” back in the day.

So you might be wondering how this tasted?  Well…it was better than it looked. It was canned tuna with tomato sauce.  Which is something I used to make over pasta back in my student days.  OMG…that is exactly how this tasted – student food.  Student food or the worst tuna melt in the world – purely because it was missing the best bit of the tuna melt which is the melt. 

To prove this I heated up the leftovers the next day with a hefty coating of cheese  and voila:

Tuna Provencale6It still looked pretty awful but was much better than the original. 

On the whole though, I’m calling  fail on the Tuna Provencale.

For those that want it, here is the recipe from The A-Z of Cooking:Tuna Provencale7Have a great week! 

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The Bobby Dazzler – History Happy Hour – 1788

G’day mates,  Happy Australia Day!

Today we are celebrating with a dubious mocktail with a fabulous name – The Bobby Dazzler. 

Australia Day celebrates the 1788 landing of the First Fleet into Port Jackson, New South Wales and the raising of the British flag on Australian soil. 

The day is marked by celebrations both formal and informal across Australia, with many people enjoying the day off work with barbecues, at the beach and otherwise enjoying the lovely summer weather.

Over at chez Retro Food, we are celebrating with this:

Bobby Dazzler1If you had asked me as a six-year-old to design my perfect drink it would have been something very like the Bobby Dazzler.  “I want coca cola with something pink in it and whipped cream and a strawberry and sprinkles….”  Seriously, if the Bobby Dazzler came with some glitter and a unicorn, it would have been my six-year-old idea of heaven. 

Bobby Dazzler2However, according to International Mixed Drinks by Ken Fin (1995) the Bobby Dazzler was created by Maxine Nash at the Bubbles – Wodonga Hotel where it was the runner-up in the Best Border Beverage Competition of 1991.  International Mixed Drinks is silent on whether or not Maxine Nash was a six-year-old. 

F.Scott who normally taste tests all the cocktails I  make wasn’t having a bar of this.  But like  his namesake F.Scott is partial to a sip o’ the hard stuff. 

Bobby Dazzler3So another tester had to be found.  And how more appropriate than our friend the Tasmanian Devil?

He loved it.  But then again, we found him later on gnawing on one of the popper bottles. 

Bobby Dazzler4The Bobby Dazzler  is not so much bad tasting as unremittingly, unrelentingly sweet.  And just when you think you can have no more sweet, you get a mouthful of cream.

Unless you are a six-year-old girl or a Tasmanian Devil you probably will not want to celebrate Australia Day with a Bobby Dazzler!  I still feel a bit ill after drinking it.  I feel like I need to have a little lie down.  Simultaneously, I am so wired on caffeine and sugar I feel like I may never sleep again.

For those who want it, here is the recipe:

Bobby Dazzler
A very sweet and creamy mocktail.
Write a review
  1. 60ml Grenadine
  2. 200ml cola
  3. whipped cream
  4. 100's and 1000's or other sprinkles
  5. Strawberry and 2 blueberries to garnish
  1. Blend the Grenadine and cola and pour into a glass.
  2. Top with the whipped cream.
  3. Sprinkle with 100's and 1000's and garnish with a strawberry and the blueberries.
Retro Food For Modern Times
I am calling this a recipe fail not because there was anything wrong with the recipe, I think it worked out exactly as it should have.  To me the recipe fails because there is no counterbalance to that cloying sweetness. I also did not like that big chunk of whipped cream which pretty much just made your mouth feel greasy.  I think ice-cream may have been a better choice.  What do I know though?  It’s not like I ever came runner-up in the Best Border Beverage competition.

I hope your Australia Day is dazzling, even if this drink is not.

Have a wonderful week.

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