News & Politics

Yes, Studies in Crap Would Like A Side of Hobo Pie: The Branson Country Music Cookbook


Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.

Branson’s Country Music Cookbook

Author: The gleamin’est stars in Branson’s cubic zirconia firmament
Publisher: Anderson Publishing, Branson MO
Date: 1992
Discovered at: Thrift store
The Cover Promises: Your six-string is a place setting.

Representative Quote:
page 153, “Heat Doritos in oven.”

As you might expect, professional obligation has sent your Archivist to Branson, Missouri, the first U.S. city with an economy based entirely
on crap. It’s been years, though.

At the time, I was amazed to discover that the gift shops were packed with figurines featuring the kind of old-timey watermelon-eating caricatures of black people that some of my older, Midwestern relatives collect.

Stranger still, these pick-a-ninny knick-knacks were invariably stickered “Made in China,” which might be globalization’s greatest triumph. We have managed to outsource racism.

In the years since, I have been assured by Missourians that there’s nothing racist about Branson or its collectible mammies. Reading Branson’s Country Music Cookbook, though, has done nothing to calm my suspicions. As editor Edward Anderson’s introduction demonstrates, in the Ozarks even the typos drip with old-world prejudice.

While proofreading this cookbook, one of the recipes
called for it to: “Coon in Oven.” Well, of course it was meant to read
“Cool in Oven,” and I changed it. But I thought it was a rather
regional typographical error, rather Ozarkian, I thought. There may be
other “Coons” in the oven as you read through here. I hope not.

Only in Branson would anyone think it necessary to add that “I hope not.”

Anderson continues:

Whether it’s a coon in the oven, a bat in the belfry,
or a fox in the henhouse, though, I am extremely proud to be bringing
this cookbook to you, and extremely proud to have compiled all of these
entertainers together in this “country music jambalya,” if you will, a
mixture of tastes that I hope will be pleasing to your palate. In spite
of any “coons in the oven.”

A dream for anyone who mistakes Frito Lay snacks for actual ingredients, Branson’s Country Music Cookbook offers Show-Me State
delicacies like “American Lasagna” and “Louise Mandrell’s Bacon-Cheese-Tomato-Pie.” Headshots of the biggest stars accompany
their down-home recipes, but many of the second-tier performers allow us a peek into their kitchens.

Here, a grown man who doesn’t realize that the nickname “Droopy Drawers” disqualifies him from recommending recipes.

Alleged funnyman Ray Stevens, whose recent work sticks it to Mexico and the victims of Hurricane Katrina, offers up a decades-old photo and this corn chip-topped patriotic delight.

And then there’s the Norris Twins, fresh from Glamour Shots.

Their failure to work Fritos into a recipe means they probably hate America.

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