Then eventually you and your cousins became teenagers and you discovered the bottom drawer of the breakfront where Grandpa hid the airline bottles of Crown Royal and you'd sneak off to the garage to spike your Tab and feel like you're entitled to it after all those years spent babysitting Aunt Claire. But then, right around your junior year in high school you get dragged to her funeral and discover that she's not actually your aunt, she's your great-uncle's mother-in-law, so the joke's on you.
Or even worse: it's a hot, humid summer night, and you've just finished picking at your mother's spécialité de la maison, "Salmon Patties" (canned salmon formed into vague hamburger shapes, scorched to a blacktop-like crust on the outside, cold and pink on the inside), and she decides -- perhaps because she can't stand that look of numb resignation on your face anymore -- to treat you and your sister to some ice cream. The both of you get excited and think, "Yay, we're going to Wil Wright's! I'm gonna get the deluxe hot fudge sundae! Or maybe she'll take us to Swenson's, for the home-made bubble gum-flavored ice cream in a sugar cone. Or even Thrifty's Drug Store for the mint chocolate chip...!"
Then she opens up the freezer and pulls out a carton of Big Dip Ice Milk.
But you know what? Any of that -- the fossilized ribbon candy, the artificial ice milk -- would be preferable to this home remedy for joy:
Strawberry Salad Pops. Say what you like about my mother's bargain-basement taste in frozen confections, at least she never forced this abomination on us. Probably because it would have required more time and effort than it took to upend a can of salmon into a skillet and bring it to a dental record-ready char.
HOW TO MAKE POPS TOPSOr, How to Get Your Own Offspring to Report You to Child Protective Services.
Frozen Salad Pops have a terrific taste when you make them with one-of-a-kind MIRACLE WHIP Salad Dressing.As truth in advertising goes, I can't actually dispute this claim.
It has the flavor and smooth, light texture that no one's been able to copy.Or justify.
10-oz. pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 cup MIRACLE WHIP Salad Dressing
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 cups KRAFT Miniature Marshmallows
Gradually add strawberries to salad dressing, mixing until well blended. Fold in whipped cream and miniature marshmallows. Spoon approximately 1/2 cup of mixture into 5-oz. paper drinking cups. Insert wooden sticks; freeze until firm. 8 servings.After eating, kids can save the wooden stick for a fun game: Tickle Your Own Gag Reflex and see who can puke it back up first!
Okay, I retract the crack about Child Protective Services. Here's a quarter, kid; call The Hague.
Anyway, I've been suffering from mal de vivre (the usual back problems that make me feel like I spend all day resting my lower spine against a high speed emery wheel) so I'm a day late with my felicitations, as yesterday was Weird Dave's legal birthdate. But I hope you'll all join me in making it up to him by wishing our resident desert-dwelling nudist the very happiest of retroactive natal anniversaries.
First up, here's a bit of classic Hollywood birthday cheesecake -- Jean Harlow, frolicking in a desert-like environment, just as Weird Dave has been known to do, and also nude, except for a diaphanous light wrap:
And of course, no World O' Crap birthday party would be complete without the traditional Sexy Birthday Lizard!