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Whatever Can You Do With Smoked Tongue?

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A tasty scene from "Retro Food Fiascos"

If the Cottage Cheese and Kidney Bean Salad didn’t scare you, then get ready for today’s slice of culinary evil. Yes, it’s another recipe from Kathy Casey’s “Retro Food Fiascos,” a book of real recipes that somehow made it to an unsuspecting public. These are the kinds of dishes that make people distrust food, the kind that you learn all too late never to make a recipe with the word “surprise” in the name.

There’s no surprise in today’s recipe, but scary it is.

Gingersnap Tongue

1 (4-pound) smoked tongue
3 slices bacon
2 small onions, chopped
1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs (6 gingersnaps)
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups strained tongue stock
Rind of 1/2 lemon
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Simmer tongue until the little end bones pop out and be sure to save tongue stock. Fry bacon until crisp, drain on paper, and crumble into small pieces. Cook onions in bacon drippings several minutes until straw-colored. Then stir in crumbled gingersnaps, wine vinegar, brown sugar, strained tongue stock, lemon rind, bay leaf and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Boil briskly for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently until sauce is transparent. Take off range, add bacon crumbs and a big handful of raisins. Reheat sliced tongue in the gingery sauce and you’ll have 2 days good eating for 4.

Makes 8 servings.

From “Retro Food Fiascos” by Kathy Casey

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