Kook's Korner: Sprat Me, Baby.

by Robrt L. Pela

There’s plenty to love about this one: Its diminutive size; the fact that it’s a hardcover (rare in small, old cookbooks); its great cover graphic, which carries over to the back cover; and, of course, its concept. I love, too, how it opens with a rather dramatic note “To The Reader,” in which author Edna Beilenson informs us that “Every experienced hostess knows that anything can be a canapé!”

(Really, Edna? Anything? A staplegun? A coffee-stained drinks coaster? A tampon?)

Every recipe is arranged in alphabetical order (thus the book’s clever title), which may explain the one for “Quacamole” here. But it’s the recipe for Kielerspraten Spread that took my fancy, largely because I have no idea what it is. What’s a sprat? Is it short for Kielerspraten? Whatever sprats are, they apparently have bones. Anyway, here’s the mysterious recipe, in its entirety:


Skin and bone sprats, mash and add a few grains cayenne. Mix in enough mayonnaise to spread.

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela

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