Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Target-Rich Environment

Because we all love to snark at bad food-company recipes, I decided to pull a few out of this recent acquisition.

At least once a month I forget to bring my lunch and have to walk the three blocks to the hole in the wall Chinese place that, oddly enough, is just around the corner from ye olde Neighborhood Thrift Shoppe. Between their dazzling display of costume jewelry and their second-hand book selection, it's probably a good thing I don't have these absent-minded episodes more often. This week's lapse cost me a whole two and a half dollars and I got a copy of Catton's "Terrible Swift Sword" and a 20-inch gold chain along with it.

According to the inside blurb, this little book was popular enough to warrant four re-issues between 1969 and 1977, the year my copy was published. One can only wonder why. The competition was stiff but here are two of the worst -- recipes that make absolutely no culinary sense whatsoever (the runners-up include a recipe for Bearnaise made with condensed cream of celery soup. No wonder the French hate us).

Tropical Fruit Soup

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 soup can milk
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup seedless graes, halved
grated lime rind
grated nutmeg

In saucepan blend soup, milk, and lime juice. Heat; stir occasionally. Chill 6 hours or more Just before serving, bend in banana; stir in grapes. Garnish with rind and nutmeg. Makes about 3 cups.

Bologna Bundles

1 can condensed bean with bacon soup
1/3 cup choped dill pickle
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 pound bologna, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

Combine soup, pickle, and onion; place equal amounts soup mixture on each slice bologna. Fold over; fasten with toothpicks or skewers. Arrange in shallow baking dish (12x8x2 inches). Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika, bake 10 minutes more. 4 servings.


Miss Allen said...

It's Campbell's at the very nadir/peak of the "let's throw a crappy can of soup on crap and call it food!" phase.

Thanks for posting this; it just reminds me of how screamingly awful food was in America during the middle of the last century!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh good heavens!!! I got this book as one of the first cookbooks in my adult life (probably about 1975). I think there was a deal where you sent in labels and some money. (they were big then). I thought the recipes were very good. (but then I thought the words Cheese and Velveeta were synonyms. Go Figure.

Ladytats said...

well, I wonder if anyone actually tried these?

Shay said...

My mother in law used to make a dish of scallopped chicken that called for half white sauce and half cream of mushroom soup. It's comforting, homey, and not half bad.

When convenience foods are used for convenience I've nothing against them, it's when someone tries to disguise them as haute cuisine that annoys me.

Packrat said...

There are a few recipes that use canned soup that are really good. Either of those that you shared are not amongst the good ones.

I have a 1972 copy, but don't think I've ever actually opened the book.

museumgirl said...

Did that actually say soup and bananas? I don't think my description of what that must look/smell/taste like is suitable for family viewing! Ugh! And I actually LIKE creamed canned soups used as sauces-for meat! Not fruit! God help us all that we even survived the 70s!

Shay said...

Yes. That is the recipe, word for word. Soup and bananas.