Monday, 22 October 2012

Homage to Cakers-Discovering the Inner Caker

For Sale:  disguise; used once to purchase Cheez Whiz, Campbell's soup and Dream Whip topping.

This past September holiday Monday, I was introduced to the Caker Blog by Brian Francis. Francis is a writer by trade (I recommend Fruit) and collector of cookbooks-Caker cookbooks.  I have had the pleasure of listening to Francis talk about his day job previously on CBC  but, never on food. He blogs on Caker cooking at the following link:

Thoroughly enjoyed the October 15th post.  Check it out. 

Francis shared his enthusiasm for Caker cookbooks with Ms. Rogers and The Next Chapter audience. We’ve heard the term Food Porn used many times with respect to the glossy publications available on the open market.  Francis’ collection comes from church socials, school fundraising ventures and community initiatives.  They are often plain and spiral bound with few photos or illustrations.
Self identifying as a Caker-some useful tips.  If you answer yes to the following questions, then you may be a Caker.

Do you have a jar of Cheez Whiz by the toaster? Do you stockpile commercially prepared tomato sauce? Is your whipped cream stored in the freezer or does it come from a pouch?  Do you often combine a vegetable, chicken, rice & Campbell’s Soup in a casserole dish?

(please click on the FAQ section of Francis' blog for more on Caker id)
Emphasis on convenience food.  Hailing from the British cooking tradition of the chip butty, I understand the appeal of Caker food. (However, I will say that the UK is no longer the culinary nightmare it once was.)

I was reminded of a Caker cookbook lurking on the family shelf.  Cooking Secrets from the West Flamboro Presbyterian Church. 

Went rummaging for it this past Thanksgiving weekend.  The usual suspects-casseroles and squares.  Tinned soup and Dream Whip figuring prominently.

Selected Broccoli & Rice Casserole and Green Cake and I offer them up to the Caker World. I must say I felt very self conscious at the checkout with my Dream Whip, Cheez Whiz and Ritz crackers in hand. 

Broccoli Casserole (Submitted by Dorothy Hanes)

Saute  2 pkg frozen broccoli or 1 fresh head.
Cook  1- 12 oz pkg long grain or wild rice mix.
Combine ½ lb jar Cheese Whiz and 2 cans mushroom soup.

Mix everything together and pour into buttered casserole dish.
Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs over mixture (breadcrumb notes a bit vague here; go with your instincts).
Bake 350 C  for 1 hour.  (Option to add diced chicken or tuna)

I give you my casserole...



Francis spoke of the challenges in maintaining his blog given the nature of the finished
product. It is very often colourless and formless (as above) and sometimes the taste is a bit suspect.
Would definitely flesh it out with the chicken.  It needs something to cut the strength of all that soup concentrate and Cheez Whiz!  Thank goodness for the broccoli and brown rice.  Almost have to add a starch side. 

(Editor's note:  it aged well; mellowed out after 24 hrs courtesy of the microwave and the chicken breast)

Green Cake (Submitted by Jean Betzner)

[I think cake is a misnomer here]

Layer 1

1 CUP Ritz cracker crumbs, ½ CUP shredded coconut and ¼ CUP melted butter.  Press into 8x8 pan.

Layer 2

Combine 4 oz cream cheese, ¼CUP icing sugar, 1 half of prepared envelope of Dream Whip

Layer 3

1 pkg pistachio pudding mix and 1 ¼ CUP milk. Spread over crumb base.

Cover with remaining Dream Whip.

The publication of these recipes is not meant to poke fun at anyone (except perhaps my efforts); it is simply the nature of the cookbooks and their reflection on the culture at the time. Enjoy!

Must re-christen Green Cake.  Any suggestions?