Y.O.K.A. – February’s Cookbook Selection

This month’s Ye Olde Kitchen Apparitions (Y.O.K.A.) selection is “Oven Meal Magic” by the Home Service Department of Illinois Power Company.

Following the success of the classic and beloved Milwaukee Gas Light Company series of cookie and festive food cookbooks, the Illinois Power Company (as did many east-of-the-Mississippi utility companies) followed suit with this, an undated cookbook inherited from my boyfriend’s paternal grandmother who was born in Peoria and lived in Galesburg.  Although my own mom was born, raised and resides in Aurora, Illinois and has amassed quite the impressive cookbook collection, I have never seen this cookbook (did Mom grow-up without power?).  In contrast to the Milwaukee series, the Illinois Power Company immediately attempts to lure us in with the following opportunities:

(Click to enlarge)

Does not the cover warn about the perils of learning such high-falutin’ things such as “Adequate Wiring”, “Better Wiring”, “Lighting”, “Cooking” and independent thought?

George wants to know why dinner wasn’t on the table at 5:30 p.m. sharp.  “Sharp, you know, Lucille, darling, like this knife.  Sharp.  I’m disappointed in you, Lucille.  Wait…is that roast lamb loaf with mint jelly?”

George would NOT be happy if he knew the truth:  Lucille was late because she was learning how to re-wire the outdoor pool lighting and how to cook “Ethnic Foods” with those heathen Illinois Power Company Home Service Department whores.  “Ethnic Foods” such as French Fries:

Also of interest in this book are George’s apparent tastes in the “Oven Meal Magic” days, as illustrated in the chapter titled “Temperature for Specific Foods”:

“Specific” indeed!  Take away the shrimp, eggplant and veal and add peanuts, my sister’s homemade fudge and Colby cheese and that pretty much was my dad’s lifelong diet.  Equally specific is the chapter about “Raosting”:

Although I am somewhat relieved to not have intimate knowledge of “Raosting” — despite my neighborhood’s immediate proximity to Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Staten Island — I think I might finally know the secret to Rao’s simply delicious jarred pasta sauce collection.  I never really thought of a Cosa Nostra human hand as necessarily being a “tender cut”, but paper cuts do hurt like the devil so you’ve taught me something, Illinois Power Company!

Perhaps we now also have some insight as to Myron Mixon’s success.

Did y'all go ahead and steal my mafia forearm muffin tin smoking technique?

Did y'all go steal my patented muffin tin mob forearm smoking method?

Low and slow pulled mafia human thymus…it’s all in the presentation!
OH!  The Home Service Department of Illinois Power Company meant “roasting.”

Why not milk, cream, tomato juice AND soup!

Goodness.  I don’t think we want our appliances to “take over”:


But, if the crappy stove and kitchen wiring in our rented Brooklyn apartment constitute a “palace”, then, well, I suppose I live in a palace:

I bet even THEY can operate a toaster and a light bulb at the same time.

The February Y.O.K.A. recipe nominations will be posted this evening, Monday, January 25th, at 5:00 p.m. E.T. and voting will begin on Tuesday, January 26th at 8:00 a.m. E.T.



[…] for one of the splendid loaves from February’s Ye Olde Kitchen Apparitions selection, “Oven Meal Magic“?  If not, vote now and decide what may very well cause our upstairs neighbors to call the […]

[…] to argue with the Democratic system, by popular vote, at a margin of 67% to 33% over Tuna Loaf, the February “Ye Olde Kitchen Apparitions” recipe is, indeed, Upside-Down Ham […]

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