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, 1U 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. Agent, Jane Dystel. (On sale July 13) Forecast: With heated presidential campaigns going full tilt throughout the summer and fall, this little book will generate its own publicity, and with its modest cover price, it will undoubtedly be snapped up as an impulse or gift item by members of both major political parties. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Former advertising executive Townsend, who identifies herself as one of the "seven or eight [Republicans] who live in Manhattan," has written a funny, irreverent cookbook (despite her over-the-top puns). Her "Republican" food is basically upscale-community fare with a strong Southern influence, from Mimi Ragsdale's DAR Deviled Eggs to Mother's Company Ham Loaf to Choca-Cola Cake-in short, recipes for anyone in a conservative or nostalgic mood. The author doesn't hesitate to poke fun at herself and her fellow Republicans, and this cookbook could just as easily fit into the humor section. On a more serious note, Bauer's third Sampler cookbook is intended to help eradicate illiteracy, with all royalties going to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the Laura Bush Foundation for American Libraries. The second version of the book was published when George H. W. Bush was president; this one starts with President's Guacamole from George W. and includes Chicken Florentine from Dick Cheney, along with more than 200 other recipes in all from U.S. senators and representatives. For larger collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.