THE GALLERY OF REGRETTABLE FOOD by James Lileks (Crown), 192 pages, $32.95 cloth. Rating: NNNN
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth -- the 1950s -- women's magazines such as Good Housekeeping and Family Circle published cookbooks geared to hapless housewives. This laugh-out-loud text collects some of the most ridiculous recipes from that supposedly modern era. With chapters titled Poultry For The Glum, Submit To The Power Of Ketchup and Big Boys Don't Fry: The Sexual Politics Of Grilling, this ghastly Gallery not only recreates these gruesome gourmet experiments but comes illustrated with its original lurid photography. 7-UP cheese-filled pancakes? Creamed brains on toast? Potted veal with dumplings? Regrettable, yes, but hilarious nonetheless.