I Can’t Boil Water

I Can’t Boil Water
This 1963 out of print book aptly titled I Can’t Boil Water by Corinne Griffith, is a ‘treasury of exquisite specialties from some of the finest restaurants in the United States…’ I call it a retro-food trainwreck. Some of the recipes are so absurd that I literally could not put the book down. The author is witty, but in a Breakfast at Tiffany’s sort of way. I picture her writing with one of those black extended cigarette holders, dusting ash off her page as she exclaimed, “Oh, let me put the Oyster Beef recipe in! So divine, darling!”

These recipes are indeed from famous old restaurants, so they are also historically accurate. I haven’t researched how many of these establishments are still open, but that tidbit in itself would be fun to delve into.

As far as I can tell, everyone in the 60’s living the fancy life must have had a martini in their hand, as almost every recipe has less than five ingredients. They were simply too busy to fuss with complicated things like food or taste. Oh, and they preferred prepared ingredients. Fresh? Well, heck. I just bought this can of soup at the market. That’s fresh enough, right?

Most recipes include a highly salted canned item, butter, butter and hey, a kick of champagne.

Who will love this book? 60’s & 70’s children who have pangs of nostalgia for their parents cooking will find eternal comfort in these simple concoctions.  80’s kids will think it’s weird and cool, and sort of naughty because we were the first to be tortured with ‘health food’. We also had to suffer through carob.

90’s and Millennials will flip out for this and think it’s hipster fun. The twenty-somethings will want to prepare some of these oddball foods at their next Mid Century party. The people who originally made these foods are most likely dead by now from all the butter, salt, processed weirdness and champagne.

Some examples of fine cuisine from the book:

  • Bongo-Bongo Soup – it has oysters and a can of cream of spinach in it. Yeah, baby.
  • Essence of Tomato Soup with Avocado Pearls – Wow! Sounds fab and complicated, but it only has three ingredients in it. You get a prize if you can guess all three.
  • Camembert Cheese Mold – Cheese and mold are not words I like to see together, but yet..here it is.
  • Marsala Wine Soup – Now you’re talking.
  • Lillie’s Creme Pouf – Sounds like a personal problem, but I can reassure you that there is lots of sugar and butter, and is therefore delish!

As stated, this is an out of print book. It’s also very hard to come by. Do a search on Amazon, e-Bay, etc. and you’ll see this book really does not exist. However, I offer you this ONE copy. Get it before it’s gone.

$30 – Used condition. Smells old & has a random loose blank page in the front with a hand-written recipe for banana bread. I dare not take it out.

{{SOLD }}

If it’s sold, you will see a ‘sold’ notice.



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