At first I thought to myself, “yeah, right,” when I saw the title The Detroit Yacht Club Recipe Book. It was published in 1978. If you, like me, have never even been to Detroit, the idea of a Detroit Yacht Club might seem a bit incongruous at first but when you think about it, Detroit is basically surrounded by water, just relatively short hops to both Lake Erie and Lake Huron. As I quickly scanned it, I also realized that 1978 was still the heyday of big Detroit, the automotive capital of the world so I bought it.
It is a nice little cookbook, published via a commercial cookbook publisher, but it gives no indication that it was created as a fundraiser. Not that it wasn’t, but it doesn’t say so. Still that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a community project. Some organizations put these sorts of cookbooks together for pure local enjoyment.
I looked it up. The yacht club still exists and still has the same imposing building. According to Wikipedia, it was built in 1924. The club is located on an island that skirts the border with Canada, providing easy access to either of the two big lakes (plus other bodies of water). Apparently it is a popular wedding venue.
All the section dividers have original art and interesting sailing terms applied, like Dry Rot-appetizers, and Main Sheet-Meat Casseroles. These are all trumped by my favorite … Gunkholing – Soups & Stews. Ha! Even funnier … gunkholing is in my spell checker. Wow.
The recipes are pretty standard fare for 1978, but there are some fun items. One of the most fun? There was a freebie tucked inside for a “Strawberry Jelly Salad.” Why is it fun? This is an exact copy of one of our regular Thanksgiving family recipes. Exact. I’ve seen some close before, but not this one in just this form. In fact, it is a Strawberry Jello Salad with bananas and strawberries mixed in, divided, and molded in two stages with a thick layer of sour cream between the layers. Good stuff. If you want to see this one, ask and I’ll post it in a comment.
Anyway, I picked four different other recipes to share … just showing some of the depth of the inclusions.
Not sure I like the thought of Applesauce Meat Loaf, but it is unusual. Might be good. The applesauce mixture is placed in a ‘crater’ you make in the middle of the loaf. Never seen anything quite like that before. This was the first recipe in the “main sheet” section.
Same with Swiss Eggs. Not sure what they mean by “coffee cream” — light cream? Glad they gave a substitute. I guess like “Hawaiian” meaning it’s sure to have pineapple, in this case, “Swiss” means it has to have Swiss Cheese. I am fond of baked eggs, so I’ll probably make this sometime soon.
It is an interesting cookbook from an interesting place, certainly not your usual fundraiser but any community is a community I guess, even the Yacht Club community.