Hoooweee. We really pulled out all the stops this week on the Mid-Century Menu. I can’t wait until you guys get a load of this one.  But I am getting ahead of myself. 


This week on the Mid-Century Menu, we are cooking out of this cute book we found while on a trip in the Petosky area earlier this year. (Go Morels!) It was published by McCall’s in 1972, and is a cookbook made up completely of, you guessed it, casseroles.  This cookbook is well laid out, easy to read and even though it doesn’t have a ton of pictures, has some cute illustrations. Some great classics are in here, but there are also some cringe-worthy funktastic concoctions that I loved.

Like Ham-Banana Casserole.

Okay, just….just hold on a minute here. Bananas. Wrapped in mustard slathered ham. Covered with cheese sauce.

Who the heck thought this would be a good idea?  Ummm…how about The Food Network? I can hear all your gasps of shock, but it is true.  While doing my research for this post (what little there was) I found out Paula Deen recently whipped up a ham and banana casserole on her show. She really did.  Granted, it was more of a breakfast strata with ham and banana (no mustard in sight), but still. Eww. Reviews seem to be pretty negative overall. Including this hilarious post at FoodNetworkHumor. Which made me really excited to try our version.

As a side note, one reviewer on Food Network hailed Ham-Banana Casserole as a “classic”.  Which begs the question, “A ‘classic’ what”? Waste of time and ingredients? Way to never have guests for dinner again? It certainly can’t be a time-honored, proven dish. Anybody chime in here. I know there is some Foodie out there just itching to put me in my place and regal us with the long and pointless history of the ham-banana casserole.

But once again, I digress.  As a reward for us choking down the Ham Whatsis Nonsense, I also decided to make us Flan as a treat.

Also from the McCall’s Casserole Cookbook.  The pictures on this one didn’t turn out, so sorry about that. The end result was kind of a bust texture-wise, but it tasted pretty okay. If you have a traditional Flan recipe, don’t drop it for this one.

And we are off!

Umm…can anyone figure out what I forgot to add to this picture??? Ding, ding! That’s right. Bananas. Nice move, me.  But don’t worry, you will see far more of them coming up than you want to. 

Also, the flan ingredients are pictured here, so you can stop shrieking about the sweetened condensed milk.  Mustard is going to be bad enough in the casserole, thank you very much.

Starting the white sauce.

Adding milk.  By the way, Tom photographed this whole thing, so thanks for that, Hon! 

A pretty good looking white sauce, if I do say so myself.

Check out this thick, creamy cheese sauce!  All this practice is paying off.  Too bad it is going to be slathered over bananas.

Mustarding ham. Poor, poor ham.

At this point Tom started laughing.  I was just glad he wasn’t crying.

At this point we both started laughing.  There is just something really…wrong about this.  The peeled bananas. The glistening pink of the ham.  It is almost…perverse.

And here I am brushing the banana ends with butter for some unknown reason in a completely useless step. 

And now everything is covered in cheese sauce.  Really, the only word for this is: Glorious.

“Can I have some ham?”

“I want to be a ham-wrapped banana!”

Ha ha. Oh, you kids.

Steaming fresh from the oven.

Tom, the bravest man in the world, taking the first bite.

“How horrible is it?”

“Bad.  It is really, really bad.”

I held my nose and took a bite.  Then I almost spit it out.  It was truly, terribly disgusting.  The ham, cheese sauce and mustard were all fine, but the hot, slimey banana (perverse again!) gave it a gross level of nastyness that can only come from a meal on the Mid-Century Menu.  I made it halfway through my piece.  Tom, in true form, laughed and ate all the rest. Disgusting.

The Verdict:  Truly disgusting.  Probably one of the worst Mid-Century Menu’s yet.  It wasn’t even the banana and ham, or the banana and cheese sauce, the banana and mustard was a horrible combination that I never want to choke down again.

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