Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

Last night's discussion of Frank Kaberle and his culinary skills got me hunting through the online stacks for similar hockey cookbooks -- I turned up '80s Flyers and Flames cookbooks, and a Bruins tome from the '90s, but that's about it.

It doesn't really matter. When you want hockey-themed cooking, there's really only one place to go:

"Done Like Dinner," by Dave "Tiger" Williams and Kasey Wilson.

For all I know, this is the Canadian equivalent of "The Joy of Cooking" (Amazon lists it as still being available by special order), but I'd never heard of it before stumbling across a copy some years back, and I've never heard of it since.

It sort of fuzzily indicates that this is the type of food Tiger liked to eat before games, but it's pretty obvious that he supplied the name and Wilson supplied the recipes. (And some dude in marketing supplied recipe names like "Buffalo Left and Right Chicken Wings")

The food's fine, I guess -- meat-and-potatoes or sports bar fare. I haven't cooked out of this in a few years, though I remember liking the "Richard Brodeurburgers."

But really, who was buying this because they thought it would enrich their palate? It came out in 1987, at the tail end of Tiger's career, and he camps it up -- whether in the photos or joking references to his dying career.

He supplies pithy one-liners to each recipe, some of which are kind of funny, some of which are eye-rolling, but most...

"In hockey most chickens are turkeys, and I have little respect for either except when they have met their maker -- a deep-fryer." (from the aforementioned chicken wings recipe)

...are incomprehensible. Reading these bits is hilarious -- I could spend all day transcribing them here.

"Even the Flames couldn't stand the heat in the south. Bite-sized for the once-bitten, twice shy. There are no chickens on my team -- they are all in my cookbook." (Fried Chicken Nuggets)

Was he trying to play up the "crazy" persona? Had he legitimately lost his mind? Was all of this totally lucid during the '80s, and growing up in Colorado, I missed it?

Having dug this out for the first time in years, I'll probably whip something up ("Opponent's Ribs"? "Eddie Shack's Beer-Baked Ham"? "Stickhandler's Shish Kebab"?) this weekend. Until then, I'll leave you with my personal favorite, from "Red Russian Nut Puffs" --

"Harold Ballard's fantasy of what he'd like to serve at Maple Leaf Gardens, but this would never be served there because Russian-bashing is popular when Harold's in attendance."

Ladies and gentlemen, Dave "Tiger" Williams -- the Samuel Beckett of hockey.


Ice Cream Jonsey said...

I checked to see if there were a rival blog site for us to invade. I thought they'd call it "The Post, Pessimist Association" and it would be really easy for us to troll them and win because they would be so fully of apathy. No such site SEEMS to exist, however. But: seems. SEEMS. The keyword is seems.

gsdgsd13 said...

Well, there's this. There's gonna be a rumble.