From Publishers Weekly
The Northeast Cultural Elite, a frequent butt of Townsend's bemused disdain, isn't likely to take eagerly to such fare as Vel-Veto Power Ro*Tel Dip, which consists of a pound of Velveeta cheese and a can of Ro*Tel tomatoes and green chilies; or Miss Scarlett's Saltine Salad, made of a sleeve of saltines, 1½ cups of Miracle Whip, a tomato, scallions and hard-boiled eggs. But then, this collection of often outrageously inelegant recipes is intended far more to dish up a few laughs than to impress demanding palates. Townsend says her anti-Democrat focus is "food over frou-frou, life before balsamic vinegar," and she rarely deviates from this occasionally amusing perspective from which she genially pokes fun at such obvious targets as those who voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Whitewater affair. Coca-Cola and ketchup are two of her most prized ingredients, and their savory goodness reaches startling heights in Chicken Gizzard Candy with Ketchup and Coke, and Straub's Sticky Chickies in Coke, the latter calling only for ketchup, Coke and split chicken breasts. Townsend, a former ad executive, also gathers recipes associated with political icons: Senator Goldwater's Chili, Buffalo Right Wings (An Homage to Pat Buchanan) and Rush's Mom's Fluffy Potato Casserole. After describing Favorite Wild Duck of the NRA as "rich as a Republican after a tax cut," however, Townsend does waver from the party line by slipping balsamic vinegar into Sizzling Pine Nut Salad and Fast and Fancy Veal Chops. Illus.
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Empirical evidence might demonstrate that Republicans eat little differently from members of other political parties, or even other humans, but Townsend politely demurs. She sees Republicans as a breed of eaters apart. In this inventory of approved recipes, Republicans stand for traditional values, but they have a moderate taste for new cooking, especially if it offers an opportunity to flaunt conservative mores and new wealth. How rich is a dish? "It's as rich as a Republican after a tax cut," she opines. Borrowing from her three-year-old, Townsend renames quiche Lorraine "Keith and Lorraine." Although the cookbook's recipes contain an allotment of canned condensed cream soup, most recipes call for fresh, if common, ingredients. Reflecting the country's population trends, Townsend includes a few dishes that call for chiles, tortillas, and other southwestern fare, as well as the Coca-Cola-based cuisine of the New South. This amusing volume may swell with tongue-in-cheek narratives, but the food it celebrates is very decidedly middle-class white American. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved