I have the privilege of visiting the Marion Public Library in Marion, Iowa almost every day. There is a book store located in the lobby run by the Friends of the Marion Public Library. Proceeds from the book store go to library purchases and programming. The Friends of the Marion Library book sale will be happening in two weeks, the same weekend as Swamp Fox Festival. If you’re in the area September 29-October 1, swing by and buy yourself a book, and say hi to me!
One of my other favorite features of the library is a cart of free discarded materials filled with strange treasures. You can find some absolute GEMS on that cart, let me tell you. One such gem is the cookbook, Creative Cooking Made Easy: The Golden Fluffo Cookbook from 1956. It is a promotional cookbook dedicated to *drumroll* SHORTENING. There is no other coagulated fatty product I love more than shortening. Pies, fried chicken, and life, can all be improved with a dollop of vegetable fat! So you can imagine my joy upon finding this book. The kebabs were tasty and so quick to prepare. As an added bonus, I used up several peppers and tomatoes from my parents’ garden. Try it out!
Shish Kebab or Shashlik (Tasty Totem Pole)
- 1 1/2 pounds of lamb cut into large cubes
- 3 tablespoons wine vinegar or cooking sherry
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 large onion cut into petals
- 1 green pepper cut into squares
- 2 tomatoes cut into segments
- 1/4 cup of Fluffo (I used Crisco)
- 8 mushrooms (I omitted these)
- Put lamb in a bowl with the vinegar or sherry. Add bay leaf and sprinkle with salt, garlic, thyme or oregano and parsley. Cover and let stand for 2 hours, turning meat several times.
2. Place meat on skewers alternately with onion petals, green pepper squares, tomato segments and mushrooms.
3. Spread generously with fluffo.
4. Broil 5 minutes, turn skewers and broil 5 more minutes. Served with cooked rice when done.