Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Old Cookbook Fun

Mindy here and, after months of planning and preparation, it's finally happened.
Yes, our house in the suburbs is finally on the market.

You know what that means--everything is clean, clean, clean. And while it's rather nice having things so tidy, it also means there's not much cooking going on. Who wants to whip up a big meal only to have to rush to get everything cleaned up when someone wants to come and look at the house?

And so it goes.

As we were packing up some of our stuff, though, I came across a couple of old cookbooks that belonged to my mother. Neither of them had any photos, except for the front covers, however there were some rather interesting recipes.

In this casserole book, copyright 1965, you can find recipes for just about any type of casserole one could possibly imagine. And if not, there's a page that gives you guidelines on how to come up with your own main dish masterpiece.

In this book, you will find intriguing recipes, such as Hawaiian Venison (yep, there's pineapple in it) and Mock Chicken Casserole which uses sausage in lieu of chicken. You can have a Super Supper that includes onion, celery, ground beef, noodles, cream of mushroom AND cream of chicken soups. Or perhaps you would enjoy a heaping helping of Chicketti comprised of chopped chicken livers, onion, spaghetti noodles, celery leaves, salt and cream of chicken soup.
Did these people like their canned soup or what?

The cover says it all. With Basic Freezer Cookery, copyright 1959, you can have a feast on the table in no time. Delicious meals like Beef 'n Prune Stew. You simply thaw a portion of your Basic Beef Stew Mixture (made from cubed stew beef, flour, salt, pepper, suet or other fat and water) over low heat. Simmer 4-5 prunes and 1/4 tsp. pickling spice (in a cloth bag) in water until tender. Add prunes to stew mixture, season with 1/8 tsp. onion salt, heat 5-10 minutes and serve with cooked noodles liberally sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. I guess all that cheese helps to cover the taste of the prunes.

And I know all of us here at the café will appreciate Harlequin Meat Loaf made from frozen mixed vegetables, evaporated milk, day-old bread cubes, onion, ground beef, salt, a couple of eggs and a little dry mustard.

But my favorite has to be Lime Frappe Punch. Two cans frozen orange and grapefruit juice, diluted with six cans of water, 1 cup lemon juice, 4 qts. lemon sherbet and 1qt. ginger ale.
Um...so why is it called LIME frappe punch?

Yes, once I get back to cooking, I can't wait to try out a few of these dishes.

Now it's your turn.
I know a lot of you here at the café have an affinity for old cookbooks.
What's the craziest recipe you've ever come across?

Mindy Obenhaus lives in Texas with her husband and the last of her five children. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com


  1. These are a hoot, Mindy. Hate to say it, but some of those recipes sound like they could have been on my childhood dinner table.

    1. Oh, I just hope it wasn't the chicketti, Mary Cate. I'm not sure I'd wish that on anyone.

  2. Oh, I love investigating old cookbooks... sometimes the best gems are there! Last week I did some searching for some of Aunt Bee's recipes (from The Andy Griffith Shoe) and what a hoot that was.

    I've got possum recipes and kidney pie recipes and head cheese...

    It's such a lost part of history (not that I will ever, ever, ever, ever, ever make those) and it's fun to slip some references into historical things.

    Mindy, I hope you sell quickly! I think this is such an adventure to move to a real live ranch....(my fictional ones aren't nearly as cool as a real one!)

    And how far is the ranch from your suburban house? Does this move entail new churches, friend circles.... or is it fifteen minutes away, so not a huge life change?

    And have I mentioned how stinkin' cute that picture of you is???

    1. Hey, I might need one of those possum recipes, Ruthy. I try to steer clear of kidney, though.

      The ranch is four hours southeast of our current home. So yes, major life change. But like you said, it's an adventure. And what is life without a little adventure. :D

  3. I love those casserole recipes!

    My mother-in-law made one often that was my husband's favorite as a kid - "Mock Chop Suey." Of course, the only thing in it that resembles chop suey is the soy sauce, but I used to make it often. It's a great casserole for growing children, stuffed with ground beef, rice, celery and onion...and condensed soups. Two of them. :)

    Enjoy your move! I know you've been looking forward to this. It was six years ago this month that we moved from Kansas to South Dakota, so I'm reminiscing as I follow your progress. :) Praying for a quick sale!

    1. That recipe is in the casserole book, Jan, under "Casseroles with a Foreign Flare." (Yes, I'm laughing out loud)

      Thanks for the prayers. The move will be great once it's complete. Unfortunately, we're moving twice. The initial move puts us in the camphouse and most of our things into storage while the big house is renovated. So, 4-6 months later, we get to do it all over again. Nothing like dragging things out, huh?

  4. So -- I'm not signing up to bring those cookbooks back in print, Mindy. LOL Shudder.

    I think one of the dreadfulest (I know that isn't a word but it should be in this instance) 50's/60's recipe involves jello and vegetables and sometimes sour cream. Blech. And once, at a church potluck ages ago this lovely elderly lady brought a jello dish with spam in it!!!!

    Good luck with the house selling!!!!! Hope it goes quickly so you can get back to living. :-)

    1. Kav, we're writers. We're allowed to make up words. :P

      Okay, I've had the orange Jello thing with carrots and pineapple, but that's the only Jello/veggie thing I can think of. And it's not bad. Anything beyond that, though...

      Spam?! No thank you. Even Jello can't transform that. The only protein Jello goes with is cottage cheese. I still love lime/orange/whatever fluff. Of course, I only think of it in the spring. Must be the pastel color.

      Living. Yes, living instead of existing. We sometimes feel like we're all dressed up with nowhere to go. Appreciate the prayers.

  5. Actually, that Harlequin meatloaf sounds good to me! :)

    But I'm still laughing about the lime punch! And the prunes. :)

    1. LOL! Yeah, I only picked the Harlequin Meatloaf for the name, Missy. Other than that, it was pretty normal. Unlike Chicketti. Shudder. I don't know about you but I do not want chicken livers in anything. Nor do I want prunes in my stew. I'm not sure I even understand the thought process in that one, unless someone was just trying to stay regular. :P

    2. Haha! Yeah, maybe so. A way to slip in prunes without anyone noticing. :)

      I hope you sell the house quickly!