Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reminiscing: So Easy Recipes

Ladies and gentlemen...from the fine folks at the National Canners Association in Washington, D.C. circa 1953, I present So Easy Recipes. I don't get the title at all. Yes, the recipes are easy because they only require a can opener and an open mind, but what's with the "so easy" part?

I think I must be missing something, because the idea of pieces of canned seafood floating in canned chilled consomme on a piece of lettuce shoved into a cocktail glass and then garnished with lemon and cocktail sauce does not sound appealing in the least. I guess I can be grateful that this recipe calls for chilled consomme rather than jellied consomme. I didn't even know you could get canned lobster--that has to be awful. And the picture of the "Five O'clock Fete" looks disgusting.

Here, I would like to point out an idea for a refreshing summer treat--vanilla ice cream mixed with grape juice and carbonated water. Even better, try it with prune juice!

Because I know that Leah is always looking for "ball" recipes, I give you "Party Tuna Balls:"

The names of these recipes--oh, the humanity!

These two pages are a treasure trove of tasty entrees, including "Dad's Hearty Rarebit," pictured at the top. I know I want to take a big scoop of that and put it on a toast point right now. Again with the "rings"? "Corned Beef Hash Ring" and "Beef Stew in Almond Rice Ring." Much like dishes with the words "delight" or "surprise" in the title, recipes with the word "ring" in the title are sure to contain one or all of the following pantry staples of the 1950s: rice (preferably quick cooking), canned hash, any kind of canned vegetable or canned soup, or any kind of canned protein. The basic idea is to dump the rice and anything else that you can scare up into a mold and bake it until each grain of rice is roughly the size of an almond. Then, dump some other warmed up crap from a can in the middle and plop it on the table for dinner.

I just can't tell you how much my mouth is watering. Here we have "Chili con Carne over Hush Puppies," "Corn Au Gratin in Hash Nest," "Macaroni and Cheese Special," and "Asparagus Normandy with Pork Chops." So many questions. First of all, where does one find canned tamales? Second, where does one find canned macaroni with cheese sauce? Third, why did people in the 1950s have to top everything with sliced hard cooked eggs?

Here, the fine people at the National Canners Association have combined the idea of a loaf with the idea of a ring and the result is this scrumptious "Ham Loaf Ring with Creamed Peas:"

Another loaf and another mold--"Double Decker Salmon Loaf" and "Molded Tomato Salad:"

Nothing says "refreshing" like canned mixed vegetables mixed with fresh onion and celery with a combination of French dressing and mayonnaise slathered on top. But that's not all--here comes the "hearty" part: slivered canned tongue. Mmm... Why so much tongue and why must it be canned?

These salads are just so awful. They get worse. The "Fruit Salad Bowl" includes canned fruit, lettuce, and American cheese with a fruit juice French dressing. The "Stuffed Peach Salad" combines mayonnaise with raisins and nuts to use as filling for canned peach halves which are sprinkled with cheese.

The photograph below illustrates "Canned Beef Stew in Almond Rice Ring." I don't know why it is shown on the next to last page, far from the recipe, but I thought you would enjoy seeing the final product nonetheless.

Next time, I'll bring you more ways to decrease your time in the kitchen and engage your gag reflex with Shortcut Cooking.


liddadog said...

Oh my! I don't quite know what to say about all of this except that I have seen canned tamales. In the grocery store, not on a plate or something. This is like being in a time machine, huh?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

That's just disturbing.