Mimsy Were the Borogoves

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. — Thomas Sowell (Wake up, parents!)

El Molino Best: Whole grains in 1953—Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

El Molino Mills was one of a breed of local specialty food manufacturers that has mostly vanished. Here in Texas, we had—and still have—Adams Extract. Imperial Sugar, on the other hand, has been bought up by the international Louis-Dreyfus Group. It still exists, but it’s no longer a local company.

El Molino Mills was based in Alhambra, very near Los Angeles. They appear to have been founded in 1926, “between Alhambra and Los Angeles… with a capacity of 10,000 barrels of flour and 2,500 tons of feed per year.”1 They advertised not just whole grains, but also whole grain mixes, at least in the Los Angeles area. “Have you tried… El Molino Muffin Mix?” asks a 1949 advertisement in the Los Angeles Tidings. “Equally delicious for Hot Cakes, Waffles, Cookies… Just add Milk and Egg.”

It looks like they started winding down around 1974. A reader of the Long Beach Press Telegram wrote, that year, about where to find “wheat germ and middlings” after El Molino Mills had “recently discontinued its sale.” The newspaper’s “Action Line” replied that El Molino “still has several cases left” for purchase at the mill’s storefront. Which, technically, isn’t an answer, if the reader wanted to know what to do when El Molino’s supply ran out.

By this point, El Molino Mills had moved from Alhambra to City of Industry. They appear to have remained in business, at least as a storefront, through 1977, when the Press Telegram’s Action Line correspondent again recommended them to a reader looking for “edible whole grains”.

According to Dave Bristow in The Los Angeles Mirror, El Molino served the western half of the United States. In a May 12, 1954 article extolling the new health-conscious food consumer, Bristow wrote:

Something fishy in the state of Wisconsin—Wednesday, May 17th, 2023
Mother’s Day fish: Mom prefers brownies to gelatinous fish salad.; fish; Mother’s Day; brownies

You and me both, mom.

The fish dishes continue into May in the Hope Lutheran 1950 calendar (PDF File, 11.7 MB). For April, I made the Oyster Stew and the Salmon Salad. For May, I made the Molded Fish Salad.

I was very pessimistic about the Molded Fish Salad, but the reality exceeded my wildest fears.

April’s fish recipes were very easy, tasty, and worth remembering. They were, like the Shrimp Spaghetti I wrote about in the parent post, meant to be made quickly and from canned ingredients. There are a lot of fish recipes in this calendar, mostly from cans. This is the first time I’ve used canned oysters, and the first time I’ve used canned salmon. I was pleasantly surprised by both.

The oyster stew and salmon salad were part of the “Easter season of celebration”. I had actually thought about making the Chocolate Marble Cake in April, but I have some other chocolate cakes I want to try more, and I also already had too many baked goods on my schedule.

Further, the Salmon Salad helped me use up two items in my refrigerator, half of a tiny jar of pimentos and the tiny bit remaining in a jar of my homemade India Relish from a 1981 Michigan cookbook.

You can see the butter in the oyster stew. It gives the milk and cream an almost cheese-like color. And of course you can taste it, too. This is a very rich stew for such a quick meal.

It also features a very old-school technique. When you’re done with the stew, you don’t just remove the bay leaf, you also remove the onion and parsley. Like the bay leaf, they’re used to flavor the soup, not to texture it. It’s a creamy soup whose only texture is its creaminess and the very buttery oysters.

I was pretty sure that, as long as the canned oysters were good the oyster stew would be good. I was less sure of the salmon salad. In fact, I really like salmon and was afraid of wasting some on a bad recipe. But as I said above, the recipe helped empty my fridge of two almost-empty jars. That was a very serendipitous coincidence.

The Bedrock Belief of DEI—Wednesday, May 10th, 2023
Frederick Douglass: contented slaves: Frederick Douglass: “To make a contented slave, you must make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate his power of reason.”; education; slavery; reason; Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass would recognize every argument of DEI.

I recently received an email from the Texas Public Policy Foundation decrying DEI as being anti-American. By all appearances TPPF is a good organization that does good work in Texas, but like many mainstream organizations they are afraid to speak the blunt truth about evil. While they are not alone in their refusal to face the reality of what DEI is, Monday morning’s email epitomized this blindness. Recognizing evil and calling it what it is has become embarrassing. No one wants to be mean; no one wants to lower the discourse.

And so we get statements like this, criticism in name only, that strive so hard to be reasonable that they forget what they are criticizing:

What to know: Chris Rufo, writing in City Journal, reports that the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Communication promotes the idea that “objectivity,” “individualism,” and “worship of the written word” were all “characteristics of white supremacy culture.”

The TPPF take: What is “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI), really?

“The bedrock belief of DEI is that racism is not an individual act of evil, it is a structural system, geared toward preserving white supremacy,” says TPPF’s Sherry Sylvester.

This is bullshit. The bedrock of DEI is that racism is right and that the racists of the past were right to segregate minorities and manage their affairs for them. They’re not even trying to hide it.

Our parental unit, who art, somewhere, maybe—Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023
Vatican II Spotless Bride: Jean Greif’s “Spotless Bride” lyrics over Vatican II.; Hymns; Vatican II

Omer Westendorf wrote many of his hymns in response to Vatican II. He deliberately chose his words to bring us closer to God. When hymnal bowdlerizers change his words, they’re changing that meaning. Westendorf’s God’s Blessing Sends Us Forth fares especially poorly under the bowdlerizer’s pen.

Like Where Charity and Love Prevail Westendorf wrote a modern song that speaks to modern issues. It has now been nearly completely depersonalized and has even had crucial teachings removed.

The spirit is no longer God’s spirit, but the Spirit: “May God with us remain, Through us his spirit reign” becomes “Through us the Spirit reign.” It’s both a serious change in meaning and an utterly silly one; it really does seem that the bowdlerizers are doing a global search on personal pronouns to remove them solely for the sake of removing them.

Where the bowdlerizers reduced the brotherhood of Christians in Where Charity and Love Prevail into a homogenous family, here they’ve gone and reduced the brotherhood of man to merely the people present at Mass. “So we are one in true brotherhood” becomes “So we are one as we share this food”.

The living bread we’ve been fed isn’t just the Eucharist. It is Jesus Christ himself, who died for all of us, not just the people singing the song and not just the people singing the song who also went up for the Eucharist. Westerndorf didn’t just realize this, he emphasized it. The bowdlerizers either don’t realize it, or don’t want us to believe it.

The change from “How gracious to behold all brethren of one fold” to “All people of one fold” would probably be innocuous on its own, but I just can’t trust people who would change…

    • Preserve and ever guide
    • As your fair spotless Bride,
    • Your ancient Church in ageless youth.


    • Bring us unto your side;
    • Preserve and ever guide
    • Your ancient church in ageless youth.

It is especially ironic that this comes after “Lord, you alone are unchanging Truth.” There are no unchanging Truths when the bowdlerizers get involved. The Church is no longer the Bride of Christ. It’s just some sort of ageless vampire, some roué with a Picture of Dorian Gray in their attic, living unchanged down through the centuries.

Hope Lutheran 1950 Lenten fish au gratin—Wednesday, April 19th, 2023
Icthus the Fish: The Roman fish symbol, also used by Christians in the early church.; Christianity; fish; Roman Empire

I’m not necessarily going to cover every month in the 1950 calendar I posted just before the New Year. While I will be making a recipe from every month, I expect that some months won’t justify a post. For example, I wasn’t going to do a post for March’s calendar recipe. The fish au gratin I made was fine but I didn’t have enough to say about it to justify a post.

But there is something about it to justify an unfocused ramble. One of the interesting things about a cookbook that is also a calendar over half a century old is that it follows seasons that no longer exist.

In the Catholic Church, in 1950, abstinence lasted nearly the entire period of Lent, not merely Fridays.1 Easter in 1950 was the same date as this year in 2023 and that means that like this year, the entire month of March 1950 was Lent.2

Year-old lemon mead: A bottle of year-old lemon mead from the Foods of the World volume, The Cooking of Scandinavia.; lemons; Time-Life; Foods of the World; mead

A bottle of fine vintage mead… one year old, anyway, that has been in my fridge since I made it in early 2022.

From what I can tell, in the Catholic Church it wasn’t until 1962 that abstinence was relegated to Fridays3 I suspect there was something similar at Hope Lutheran as well, because every recipe in March was seafood. It was only when I started thinking about that that I decided to do this post.

Now, this calendar is not a Catholic calendar: Hope Lutheran is, obviously, Lutheran. Specifically, Missouri Synod Lutheran.

A disappointing COVID Summer of Death—Wednesday, April 12th, 2023
Methicillin-resistant Staph bacteria: “Scanning electron micrograph of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (yellow) and a dead human white blood cell (colored red.)” From the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)/NIH, June 30, 2006.; antibiotics; bacteria

An antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria, from the already-existing (and probably valid) scare campaign against the overuse of antibiotics.

I saw a very strange and telling rant by a friend on the left about a year ago, comparing COVID vaccines to antibiotics. There are a lot of very clueless things on the internet not worth commenting on because they’re little more than gibberish, and I kept putting this post off because separating the gibberish from the interesting parts was painful.1

But his rant about antibiotics highlights three very important facets of how the left works, how they treat science, politics, and the new hate.

My friend’s post suggests that we need to start a campaign to make those hesitant to take the COVID vaccine also hesitate to take antibiotics.

I’m all about aiming an anti-antibiotic campaign tailored straight for the anti-vaxers. Use their words, make them imagine themselves heroes set upon in an egregious age, and let them die of a routine infection. Not so much murder as assisted suicide, and for the greater good.

He wants the unvaccinated to die. The arguments that he suggests would make the COVID vaccine hesitant also stop taking antibiotics include:

Antibiotics are Anti-Life

It’s right there in the name! And that’s only ONE of the reasons people should avoid antibiotics:

2. You need to be careful what you put in your body.

7. People give cows antibiotics, and just look at them. Fuckin’ herd animals.

The most obviously fascinating aspect of his plan is that I’ve seen all of these arguments before. These points are already used by the medical community. He doesn’t seem cognizant of the already-existing campaign against the use of antibiotics by doctors and health professionals. Do a search on “antibiotic overuse” and you’ll find just what he’s suggesting—but against everyone, not just those hesitant to take the COVID vaccine. That is, many in the medical community already think we are abusing antibiotics.

Candy cane oatmeal crispies—Wednesday, April 5th, 2023
Candy Cane Crisps: Candy Cane Crisps, from Eva Lawson’s 1985 Homemade Cookie Book.; cookies; peppermint

Lacy peppermint taste explosions.

I have a tradition that I thought I’d shared on this blog before, but I can’t find any reference to it. I save some of my Christmas candy canes to make something bright and celebratory for Easter Sunday. Literally, celebrating Christ’s resurrection with something saved from the celebration of his birth.

These cookies come from Eva Layson’s eclectic The Homemade Cookie Book, a 1985 volume of recipes she’d collected over years entertaining in the Foreign Service. She advertises it as having “only those I think unusual and exceptionally good”.

I myself am unusual and… never mind. Wrong quote. Apparently there were several volumes in the series, for One-Dish Meals, for Chocolate, and possibly others. None seem to be as available as the Homemade Cookie volume, which itself is pretty rare. This is the first (and at the moment only) cookbook I bought in 2023. I’m trying to focus more on using the cookbooks I have than on accumulating more. But I couldn’t resist when I saw this book at a local Goodwill. Randomly opening it several times, it really does deliver on providing unusual and exceptional ideas.

These cookies are a very good example. They are, in my experience, unique candy cane snacks. All of the other snacks I’ve made that call for candy canes, use them as decorations on top. Avanelle Day and Lillie Stuckey’s spiced peppermint crisps in their Spice Cook Book are great cookies, but they’re cookies, and then decorated with crushed candy canes before baking. Similarly, the moron brownies in The Deplorable Gourmet are great brownies, but they’re brownies, and then decorated with crushed candy canes before baking.

Holiday food—Wednesday, April 5th, 2023

From Christmas to Easter to Independence Day and more, holidays are times for sharing great food.

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