Food Reporting Syllabus
Fat, Fried, Fricaseed, Frittered and Fun
Assignments 61 through 66

In this titled bunch, consider the latter descriptive, fun. At some point in the good-part life of Elvis Presley his affinity for food that was not a part of my consumption touched my humor button. Early-on there were stories about his weight. Elvis lived through many periods of dieting. His moods tended to reflect his dieting. When he was found dead in that Graceland bathroom, his weight was reported to be 250 pounds. I never attended an Elvis concert, but I was a fan of his food tastes and history.

Elvis liked Army food, understandable because so much of it tends toward Southern cookery, fat and fried. Army cooks favored fried. An Army cook's first choice seasoning is salt. Elvis loved salt. That may have been a factor in the David Adler book that (Page 133) said "Elvis' weight was as volatile as a souffle."

The most reported item in the Elvis eating menu was his love for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. So...??? On white bread. With margarine. Confession: I grew up on peanut butter and banana sandwiches, on sliced white bread because whole wheat had yet to be invented in my south. Elvis used margarine, possibly the store-bought pound that came with a small packet of coloring to make it look like cow's churned butter. My PB&Bs? We had real butter in those Depression years.

As a food-writer-to-be one should be aware of the fact that all reviews or critiques should not be confined to fine French dining. There are more readers out there who favor fried chicken than forestiere, a la. I can attest. I've reported, not reviewed per se, liver and onions. I avoid liver and onions, but liver and onions deserve a place on our public trough menu. How to ...??? I invited as guests, two members of the International Liver Lovers to dine with me. Their opinions, very favorable, were passed on to my readers. Liver lovers elsewhere were pleased with the report. My guests voiced concern over my use of the acronym ILL. Advice: Avoid being flip when dealing with something that has such a serious following.

Ramona Moon, Curator, Acorn Books
Ramona Moon - Curator, Acorn Books

Credit Elvis for highlighting so much fun in food reporting. The Adler book, thus, deserves top billing on this collection of Ms. Moon, finder of lost, tattered and out-of-print fun books.

– A.E.P.

The Life and Cuisine of Elvis Presley
by David Adler
Smith Cryphon Publishers
© 1993 and 1995

Advisory: Search Amazon for copies of this book. Beyond being a highly literate work incorporating the fun food topic, the writer provides an in-depth study of the child-to-adult man Elvis Presley. There are students of Presley, past and to be in the future. This is the primer for all who will be interested in the short life with a tragic ending.

This is not a book of Elvis recipe creations. It is a compilation of 70 favored Elvis recipes. Elvis did not cook (Page 93), but once invented a new dish for himself. One late night, rather than call his cook, he went to the kitchen, slathered two scoops of smooth peanut butter on one slice of white bread, topped it with a slice of American cheese, and ate it open-faced.

Elvis's tastes were big. Huge at times. Being a southern lad where Krispy Kremes were for standard diets, Elvis splurged. Adler says he could consume a box at one sitting. A personal note: Of the 96 titles in this syllabus, only the Elvis favorites whetted my appetite at times.

– A.E.P.



Bonus 77:
Caramel Knowledge: Bostess Bupcakes Peanut-Butter Coffee, Herring in a Cloud, Wienie Zucchini, and More Food and Culinary Musings for the Twisted Mind
by Al Sicherman
Harper Collins
© 1988

Content Pending

Bonus 78:
Wookiee Cookies:
A Star Wars Cookbook
by Robin Davis
Chronicle Books
© 1988

Review Pending

… regardless, whether dining in a roadside joint or the finest restaurant in the city, always check facilities to see if the place has running water …
Critter Cuisine
© 1992

Review Pending


Bonus 79:
Down Home Trailer Park Cookbook
by Ruby Ann Boxcar
Citadel Press
Kensington Publishing Corp.
© 2002

The legal flap for credits, pre-dedication and pre-foreword in this book sums up what you will find as content, or as we understand, the meat of the title.

"The following are trademarks of their respective owners. who do not endorse this book:

"Velveeta, Spam, Cocoa Puffs, Dr. Pepper, Bisquick, Cheez Whiz, Miracle Whip, Jell-O, Mad Dog 20/20, 7 Up, Hot Damn, Crisco, RC Cola, Red Hots, and Lipton."

Julia Child never read this book, but she would have experienced belly laughs. If writing about food, this is home plate.

Bonus 80:
Gourmet Style Road Kill Cooking and Other Fine Recipes
by Jeff Eberbaugh
Illustrations by Chris Didario
United Cutlery Corp.
© 1991

This tongue-in-cheek collection of poetic approaches to getting road kill from blacktop-to-table was composed by a real hillbilly from the smallest town in the smallest county in West Virginia... Palestine. Jeff Eberbaugh was born to do this book. He is a hunter, fisherman and cooks the game he takes from his hilly countryside and the nearby Little Kanawha river. He qualifies the title by explaining that he doesn't expect anyone to prepare "steamed skunk on a skewer-away from the house." But it is a fun read in Eberbaugh verse. In the back of a well-illustrated book he goes legit with recipes for fish soup, chicken soup, oxtail soup, all with base product outside his front porch windows. The other recipes best fit the descriptive of comfort foods. Who doesn't like corn bread and drop biscuits?


Bonus 81:
The Justin Wilson #2 Cookbook:
Cookin' Cajun
by Justin Wilson
Pelican Publishing
© 1979

Content Pending

Don't Eat This Book
by Morgan Spurlock
Penguin Books
© 2005

Review Pending


Bonus 82:
The Great American Detox Diet:
Feel Better, Look Better, and Lose Weight by Cleaning Up Your Diet
Alexandra Jamieson
Rodale Books
© 2006

Review Pending

But Never Eat Out on a Saturday Night
by Jim Quinn
Rodale Books
© 2006

Review Pending


Bonus 83:
A Glutton for Punishment:
Confessions of a Mercenary Eater
Jay Jacobs
Atlantic Monthly Press
© 1991

Review Pending

Bonus 84:
Eating, A Memoir
by Jason Epstein
© 2009

Review Pending

The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook
(and Financial Planner)
by Jill Conner Browne
Three Rivers Press.
© 2003

Well, put it this way: This is a food book to be read. Recipes are included. Even those are to be read and may never reach a kitchen sideboard where a family member may toil over a hot stove. Read it for the writing style, not instructions for her crawfish etouffee.


Bonus 85:
two fat ladies OBSESSIONS
by Clarissa; Paterson and Jennifer Dickson Wright
ABC Books
© 1999

Review Pending

Real Men Don't Eat Quiche
A Guidebook To All That Is Truly Masculine
by Bruce Feirstein
Illustrated by Lee Lorenz
Pocket Books, Simon Schuster
© 1982

Portions of this winner originally appeared in Playboy. Beginners in the write-for-pay group have a roadmap to success. It is time this old quarter-century-plus book to be re-issued. Consider this a classic textbook.


Bonus 86:
William RiceDuncan Hines Dining Wining Roll of Honor: Steak Lover's Cookbook
by William Rice
Workman Publishing Company
© 1996

Writers: Play to the masses...television, loud cooking shows, smoke signals,,,here's a start....

In this day and time it is appropriate that someone has a good word about meat. Sad a bit that it has to come in a puffed or anointed by a TV show, The Chew, but text and tone get a favorable message across... more more more

Bonus 87:
The Book of Quiches and Savory Pies
by Mandy Phipps
HP Trade
© 2005

Review Pending

Star Bonus 8:
by Michael Roux
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
© 2006

This cookbook is the one that goes beyond scrambled and sunny-side up. Study the French influence: Crepes, souffles and all the twists refined by a Michelin three-star chef operating in a London restaurant. But, the fun part to read is a content intended for egg-head egg fanciers:
The eggs beyond those dozens packed in some commercial farm destined for super stores and households occupied by in-hurry shoppers. References herein are "hen's eggs," those described as "the most common and widely eaten." So, here's more than you may want to know...other than when in need of food trivia. Different eggs defined: Bantam eggs, duck eggs, goose eggs, pigeon eggs, quail eggs, ostrich eggs..and for good measure, though not for your favorite diner: pheasant, guinea fowl and emu. Missed: gator eggs.
For fast research, there are five detailed index pages, always a service for deadline writing, another plus for readers, 150 photographs.
Curtain line: Eggs as a title is just an excuse (sorry for the lack of the pun), a tease, to go the full 304 pages. Away from the kitchen counter, Eggs is a good night stand read.