Meatloaf Nests Filled With Creamed Peas

Posted on Jun 24 2009 - 6:59am by RetroRuth

PET Milk 001Welcome to this week’s Mid-Century Menu, where I find the strangest mid-century recipe I can and I cook it up and serve it to my husband, who will eat pretty much anything.  And most of the time it is even edible.

This week’s recipe comes from Warm Weather Meals for 2 or 4 or 6 published by the Pet Milk Company in 1938. 1938 isn’t truly mid-century, but I just love this cookbook. Hubs and I bought this book when we were visiting his parents in Wisconsin. We were in this great antique mall, but all we did was look at vintage cookbooks for the Mid-Century Menu. This book was by far the “best” in terms of choices of recipes. Actually is really interesting, because the recipes are actually portioned out for 2 or 4 or 6 which is really nice. 

The bad thing is the pictures, which are….a little scary. Ok, they are a lot scary.  If you don’t believe me, here you go:

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Meatloaf nests filled with creamed noodles and peas. And this is the “Company Dinner”. Wow.

So, let’s get started!

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I love the first instruction: Light oven.  Wow, this book is old.  And I’ve never made meatloaf with oatmeal before.  My mom always used crackers.

Anyway, we decided to make the recipe for 4, so off we go!

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All the ingredients assembled and waiting to be destroyed.

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All mixed up and ready to go.  Why does meatloaf always look so disgusting when you are mixing it? Look at it. Braaaaains….braaaaaains…..

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Egg-shaped and ready for the depression in the center.

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A carefully placed “nest” for all the creamed noodles.

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What the??? What happened? My nests melted! Stupid cheap hamburger!

Actually, the 1 hour cooking time is FAR too long in this recipe.  It probably could have been cut down by 15 minutes. Maybe even longer.

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I’ve never, ever, EVER made creamed anything before. I wonder why that is?

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The butter and onions happily cooking away.

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Adding in the liquid from the canned peas. Good lord.

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Actually, the “cream” sauce turned out well. Reminds me of the great white sauce I did for the frankfurter pie, which basically ended up being a waste of culinary skill.  But I suppose you could say that about EVERY recipe here at Mid-Century Menu….

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The noodles and the peas join the “cream” sauce. Doesn’t look too bad.

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Volia! The finished product, meatloaf nests with creamed noodles and peas, ready to be eaten for dinner!

Besides the fact that I had greviously overcooked the “nests”, this actually was pretty good.  The meatloaf nests pretty much tasted like meatloaf, and the creamed noodles and peas just tasted like canned peas with some pepper in them.

The verdict: Good

I thought this was actually a really good meal.  I was scared it was going to end up like last week’s ham loaf, where it looked ok but tasted as if something horrible had gone wrong.  I ate quite a bit of this dinner, and actually enjoyed it.

Hubs shoveled down his portion quickly, but complained that it tasted “bland”. He said neither item really tasted like much. He said he was expecting something a little crazier.  I, on the other hand, was happy with the “bland” food. This probably is number #1 so far on my list, replacing the Bologna Papooses as the Best Mid-Century Meal Yet.

As a side-note, why are these two recipes considered “Warm Weather Meals”? I mean, that is the title, isn’t it?  I am pretty sure a hot slab of meat filled with a heavily creamed combination of canned peas and noodles isn’t warm weather fare.  And I had to turn my oven AND my stove on to make one main dish.


Anyway, visit Vintage Thingie Thursdays at Colorado Lady for more vintage awesomeness!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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19 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. sablemable June 24, 2009 at 10:02 am - Reply

    LOL @stupid cheap hamburger!

    I actually think this recipe sounds tasty as I love meatloaf.

    Ruth, Mom used oatmeal or Rice Krispies when mixing a meatloaf. Never tried making it with cracker crumbs but will give it a whirl next time. Did your Mom use saltines or Ritz?

    • RetroRuth June 24, 2009 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Sable and Sara! Thanks for the comments. Mom used whatever crackers she had on hand, but I LOVED it when she used Ritz crackers!

  2. Sara in AZ June 24, 2009 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Bologna sacks!!! Just had to say that again because it is so, so funny! Our family actually made meatloaf both ways, sometimes with oatmeal and sometimes with crackers. I thought it was fine both ways. YEA!!! for a decent meal. And, yes, I would like to know how this is a “warm weather” meal???? Please explain Pet Milk Company……

  3. sablemable June 24, 2009 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    That’s right, heating the oven up during the summer doesn’t sound like warm weather meals to me. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t take long to cook so the oven wouldn’t be on for long. And, since the average housewife didn’t have central a/c, they probably didn’t notice the extra heat. LOL, I get hot flashes just thinking about the oven.

    Ruth, the Ritz crackers sound good, so maybe this winter I’ll rustle up a meatloaf with them.

  4. Amy June 24, 2009 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    hmm the end result doesn’t actually look too bad but yeah an hour for cooking was probably based on the quality of heat their ovens etc back then generated, nowadays ours are more powerful.

  5. RetroRuth June 25, 2009 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Good point, Amy. I didn’t even think of that. I just assumed it would be the same cooking time at the same temp. Next time I will just have to keep a closer eye on it!

  6. ladyjane June 25, 2009 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Love it..Adding ingredients to my grocery list now! I love old cookbooks! It is a little hot here in the Midwest…perhaps I shall just bring us all to you…since everything is so YUMMY ready! Do you have (LOL) a suggested wine I can bring to to with these yummy GOURMET BURGERS! YUM!

  7. postcardy June 25, 2009 at 9:22 am - Reply

    I love meatloaf but haven’t made it for many years. Its hard to believe someone thought this was a warm weather meal–they didn’t even have air conditioning back then!

  8. Kellie June 25, 2009 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Hi there…found you through Vintage Thingies Thursday. I love the idea of reproducing those mid century recipes! I have some vintage cookbooks, but I doubt there’s anything in them my vegan husband would eat! So, I’ll be living it vicariously through you! 🙂 I’m bookmarking you right now!

  9. Carol @ Old Glory Cottage June 25, 2009 at 9:35 am - Reply

    I love this idea, how you find these menus and cook ’em up! The meatloaf nests sound yummmy, because I love meatloaf and noodles. Did you make the melon ball cocktail too?!

  10. lavoice June 25, 2009 at 10:52 am - Reply

    My what a good looking meat loaf. However, I am from the old class, I like it better in the winter. Thanks for visiting my post today. I enjoy the comments so much.

  11. Coloradolady June 25, 2009 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    I am going to try this. My husband’s mom used to make years ago creamed peas, and she is no longer with us. He always wants to know if anyone knows how to make them, maybe this is close enough….thanks for the great vintage cookbook and recipe. I will try this soon. Did you happen to see a recipe in that book for just creamed peas??? How cool would that be…I’d be a hero!! (but only if you sent it to me)! HaHa.

    Have a great VTT!!

  12. RetroRuth June 25, 2009 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone – thanks for all the great comments!

    Lol, ladyjane! Not sure what wine would be appropriate for a mid-century feast. How about a nicely chilled glass of whole milk! 🙂

    Hi Carol! We didn’t make the melon ball cocktail, which probably was the only real warm weather thing on there! I made the meatloaf nests/creamed peas, and the buttercup biscuits. I intended to make the parsley carrots, too, but it just got to be too much for two people to eat! The biscuits are going to be posted down the road…

    Hi Coloradolady! I would suggest making the above recipe and just leaving out the noodles. I think it would be good just like that. In fact, while I was making it I was thinking that the noodles weren’t really necessary. And the cream sauce turned out really good, just be sure to whisk in the flour for no lumps!

  13. Miri June 25, 2009 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the chuckle and the recipe! I may just have to make this for DH’s birthday dinner on Saturday! 🙂

  14. Sarah June 26, 2009 at 10:13 am - Reply

    What fun to try these old recipes. I think I’ll pass on this one though!!!

  15. CC June 26, 2009 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    I so enjoyed your post… I also collect vintage cookbooks, one is 1907 and actually has some good ideas. Alas, some of the cookbooks,the recipes sound awful. You’re a brave girl to try them out..I applaud you. Happy belated VTT..have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  16. Beverly Chiesi July 5, 2013 at 3:10 am - Reply

    How do I go about gettting e-mail articles from your site?? Love your recipes from “mid-century” — brings back memories of Mom and her attempts to prepare food that we all would enjoy.

    • RetroRuth July 5, 2013 at 11:14 am - Reply

      Hey Beverly – There is an email icon at the top of the page on the right side, but I just signed you up! Check your inbox for the confirmation email. Thanks so much, and glad you want to be a follower!

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