How could anyone resist a book called The Total Woman Cookbook? Actually, at first I just wasn’t sure what to make of it until I read all about Ms. Marabel Morgan, who, it turns out, became a women’s motivational speaker in 1970 after sorting out troubles in her marriage, and wrote a best seller called “The Total Woman”. Well, she can cook, too, so next came a cookbook, (in 1980) which is subtitled the “Handbook for Kitchen Survival”. Instead of being organized by ingredient, the recipes are set out as to what purpose they serve: The Boss is Coming for Dinner, Ho-Hum Tuesdays, Unexpected Dinner Guests, and one for kids called Rainy Day Projects (sounds messy to me, get out the wipes!).
Marbel Morgan is a crack up, quoting from the Bible as well as discussing sex between recipes. (I guess that makes her the Total Woman!) I actually have added her first book, The Total Woman, to my “to read” list (especially if I come by it for a quarter at a garage sale, the way I source most of my books.) but in the mean time, I am happy to work through her quite excellent recipes, whether or not I use them as she has intended. For instance, I made this wild rice casserole from “International Flair” (which I guess means side dishes that don’t convey any particular message) along with her marinated flank steak from the chapter entitled “Time for Romance”, but I served them to my daughter, simply because I was in the mood for steak and there had been a sale on flank steak! I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t always need to “say it with steak” – sometimes it’s just dinner.
The wild rice casserole was a surprise hit with my daughter, who even pointed out that she liked the difference in texture between the rice, mushrooms and the almonds, and I’ve made it several times since, along-side chicken, fish, and yes, steak. I left out the canned water chestnuts, though, and used fresh mushrooms rather than canned. I also used a bizarre but delicious black/purple specialty rice I found called “Forbidden Rice”, and spent the entire time cooking cracking myself up comparing it to that other forbidden: The Lambada, the 80s phenomenon, called The Forbidden Dance.
Wild Rice Casserole
4 Tbsp butter 1 cup wild rice ½ cup slivered almonds 2 Tbsp green onions or chives 1 tsp soy sauce 1 5-ounce can water chestnuts, sliced 3 4-ounce cans mushrooms, drained 3 cups hot chicken broth
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients except broth in heavy frying pan. Cook over medium-high heat 20 minutes, or until almonds are slightly brown. Stir often. 2. Add hot chicken broth; stir. Pour into 2-quart baking dish. Cover tightly with foil. Bake 2 hours.