Hawaiian Meatballs and Pineapple Rice

Posted on Nov 3 2010 - 7:20am by RetroRuth

We have a fun Mid-Century Menu this week.  The recipes from this week come from Betty Feezor’s Best TV-Tested Recipes. This book was given to me by a co-worker of Tom’s, who apparently loves to see Tom eating questionable dinners because this is the second book he has given to me to use on the MCMenu. Awesome.

In any case, Betty Feezor was a lovely woman who had a cooking show on WBTV, a station in North Carolina. Her show ran from 1953-1977, and would broadcast during lunchtime to inform and educate housewives.  She also has the honor of being the first show to be recorded color. In the world! Wow.

Sadly, Mrs. Feezor died at age 54 of cancer. If you would like to read more about her, you can visit Betty Feezor’s BT Memories page.

Betty’s son, Bob, has uploaded some of her shows to YouTube. I watched what he had to offer, and decided I liked Betty’s style.  Here is a clip from a tribute to Betty Feezor that was aired on her 20th Anniversary show.

Isn’t she the sweetest? 

Of course, we looked through her book and picked the recipe that we thought looked the most…interesting.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have always wanted to make a recipe that had a half a cup of vinegar in it.  It just seems like a heck of a lot of vinegar to me and I was interested to see what it looked like.  And…tasted like.

And, of course, we had to pick a side dish.

Can you see how well this book was loved?  A bunch of pages in this book are filled with all kinds of splotches and stains.  The mark of a good cookbook!

I have found I am buying a LOT more generic ingredients when making the Mid-Century Menu.  Go thrifty Ruth, go.

The first layer of rice.

Crushed pineapple.

Pouring butter/sugar/juice mixture over pineapple.  At this point it smelled really, really good.

Pretty plain meatballs.  Only beef, pork and salt.

I cheated and used a cookie scoop to make these little guys.  Also, check out my new Fiesta color!!  Tom just got this set for me last weekend. And I love them.

Cherries, pineapple and green peppers.  A winning combo.

Browning meatballs. 

All mixed together!

This muck is actually the remaining ingredients all thrown together. Including a half cup of vinegar AND a half cup of corn syrup. Yum.

Help them! Help them!  The little meatballs, they never learned to swim!!! Aiieeeeeeeeeee!

So…glistening.  I’m almost blinded.

As a side note, Tom kept asking, “What’s in this?  What IS this?”  And I didn’t tell him.

Pineapple rice, down the hatch.

“It’s good.  Needs something though.  It is a little bland.”

I took a bite.  It was good, but more like a dessert than a side dish.

On to the main course!  Check out that maraschino cherry staring Tom down.


“It’s strange.”

“What do you mean?”

“Maraschino cherries should not be in this.  And you can totally taste the vinegar.”

The Verdict –

Hawaiian Meatballs: Very vinegary. We have eaten better.  Not terrible, but not our favorite.  It reminded me a lot of sweet and sour chicken from a Chinese take-out restaurant. Especially with the cornstarch in the sauce.  The maraschino cherries were a disgusting addition, and the worst part of the dish. Green peppers and maraschino cherries should never be eaten together. Ever.

Pineapple Rice In Casserole: Good.  I am not sure if I would serve this as a side dish, it should really be a dessert.  If I was making this again, I would cook the rice with a mixture of coconut milk and water, and then add a little cardamom and serve it for dessert.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to 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 (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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

  1. Kellie November 3, 2010 at 9:55 am - Reply

    That honestly is one of the shiniest meals I’ve ever seen! I am tempted to try the rice though. I love pineapple casserole with cheese and crackers so I’ll bet I’d like that one too.

  2. jobo November 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    My mom made a variant of that in the midwest during 1960’s-70’s. In an electric skillet.
    From the recipe card –
    1/2 c water
    1/4 c vinegar
    1/4 c brown sugar
    1 1/2 tbl. salt
    1 tblsp soy sauce
    3 tblsp cornstarch
    Juice from a can of pineapple (I think standard 12-14 oz size – doesn’t say)

    cook until slightly thickened.

    add cooked hamburger patties (smaller and thicker) and cook for 1/2 hour until tender.

    Before serving add pineapple chunks
    1/2 c minced onion
    1/2 c sliced green pepper
    (I seem to recall mom adding those about 15-20 minutes before serving to warm/cook a bit). Sometimes she’d add shredded cabbage with the hamburgers.
    She always served it with Minute Rice (we didn’t discover steamed rice till the 80’s:-))

    This version wasn’t too bad as I remember and doesn’t sound nearly as sickly sweet with the soy/brown sugar over the corn syrup and cherries and has half the vinegar.

  3. Lorie November 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    I moved over to youtube and watched a little of her work. Betty Feezor reminds my immensely of my friend Joy who lives in Virginia. Almost in a creepy way. LOL. Same smile, accent, and almost the same voice timber. Funny.

    Still, both are recipes that could be tweaked to be really good, I bet.

  4. Sylkozakur November 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    I seriously look forward to Wednesdays. I love mid century menu.

  5. Sara in AZ November 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Awwww, what a lovely lady Betty was. She seems like someone who would be really fun to know!

    Well, at least this week we did not get the look of disgust from this meal. 🙂
    I must confess, I don’t really like maraschino cherries, so having them in a meatball recipe is insane to me. I hope you never find a recipe that has mustard, pickles, and maraschino cherries in it — I think I would throw up all over myself then!!! 😉

  6. Angela November 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Ruth, I’ve got to say I think you’re making a really smart move re: the generic ingredients. Why waste good money on things for MCM meals that might be inedible (though you guys are such troopers for trying them ALL!)? Also, those green Fiesta dishes are awesome! Do you mind sharing what color they are (like, the official Fiesta color)?

    I’ve got two sets: turquoise and persimmon 🙂

  7. Annie B. November 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Gosh, I was hoping this might be fairly good. It looks as if it could be without such a whopping amount of vinegar. And maybe with a little soy sauce?

    Ruth, are those the Fiesta glasses on your table? Your kitchen is SO fabulous!

  8. RetroRuth November 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Kellie- Isn’t it just about the shiniest? I was amazed! I recommend the rice, it was good stuff.

    jobo – THAT looks like a more reasonable recipe than the Hawaiian meatballs. Your recipe is very similar to my mom’s sloppy joe recipe,so I am betting it would be pretty good!

    Lorie – I think so too, just a little tweaking is really all these recipes need. Betty was pretty close!

    Sylkozakur – Awesome! I am glad you like it. 🙂

    Sara – Yeah, the cherries were kind of a sticking point for me, too. Everytime I ate one I would think of cookies, and my tastebuds got all screwed up because it wasn’t cookies in my mouth but a big hunk of meat. I think you have a good start for a horrible recipe there. Try it out on Mike and let me know! 🙂

    Angela – Thanks! The recipes are fun to make, but they do get expensive. Especially when they use up so much stuff (like a half cup of corn syrup). I think the official color is called Lemongrass. We don’t have the turquoise in our collection, we decided we liked the peacock blue and went with that! 🙂

    Annie! I was hoping it would be good, too. It wasn’t BAD so much as just not…good. Does that make sense? 🙂 And those are Fiesta glasses, but they are new and not old. I love them because they are the only glasses in our little collection that I can put in the dishwasher! 🙂

  9. Annie B. November 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Ruth!

    I really do like those glasses. Vintage glassware is SO cool, but really does require hand washing, especially the patterns with gold and silver in them.

    One of the nicest things about the new Fiesta dinnerware is that you can put it in the dishwasher. Who wants “dishpan hands”???!!

  10. MissMarwood November 4, 2010 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Kellie – “Pineapple Casserole with Cheese and Crackers” You just HAVE to explain that. What’s the recipe? Is it edible? RECIPE PLEEEEAASSSE.

    Jobo – this sounds really good. I have been experimenting with pineapple in savoury dishes for years, love it! Definitly will try that.

    Ruth – thanks again for your hilarious menu. Cherry on top! 🙂

  11. Jamie in Hollywood November 4, 2010 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    I don’t believe it! Is that, is that, well, is that just the slightest trace of a smile on Tom’s visage? I, I can’t quite believe it. It can’t be digestive upset as he hasn’t eaten the dish yet. I choose to believe it’s a smile! Marvelous. I think he realizes this is actually an edible dish. It looks like it to me. A little sweet, perhaps and I could do without the cherries but edible and definitely in keeping with the era. Mrs. Feezor was a pioneer and has the great distinction of being part of television history. She did indeed leave the planet too soon but because of the miracles of modern technology her work is with us still. Wonderful. Thank you for another great edition!

  12. sablemable November 5, 2010 at 11:04 am - Reply

    LOL, looks like Tom’s praying in the first of his photos!!!!!

    Yes! Love your new Fiestaware! I have one ancient saucer from them in that lime color. I just have to find it, first, LOL! Belonged to my mother.

  13. Maggie November 7, 2010 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Hey Ruth, I think Tom needs to devise a rating system for his MCMeals. And what would be more appropriate than a maraschino cherry scale?

    He could rate from one to four cherries — and you could have a cute little graphic to add to your Wednesday headline, like movie reviewers do.

    Of course, you’d have to decide what the scale represented; would Four Cherries denote a meal that was actually good, or one that was truly spectacularly awful?

    And on a separate note, I just love when your dining photos show a broad expanse of your gorgeous kitchen. In the Tom pictures in this post, those beautiful metal cabinets just seem to go on forever behind him.

    Sigh. I covet your kitchen so much.

  14. Jamie in Hollywood November 7, 2010 at 10:24 am - Reply

    I love Maggie’s idea of a Maraschino Cherry Scale for Tom’s MCMeals! If you’re going to put the poor man through these culinary experiments it would be nice to have an a rating for each of them. I remember hearing that all Maraschino cherries have the same size stem because they are made of wax. I wonder if there is any truth to that? Anyway, I vote for the scale. Maraschino cherries were put in everything from food to drinks. Interesting affectation from the era, that!

  15. BlueRoc85 November 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    I just wanted to comment on your use of generic brands. I remember growing up in the 80’s that generic brands had a bad rap as they didnt taste good or were lower quality. My mother NEVER bought generic of anything. Recently I have been trying to find more ways to save money as grocery prices seem to keep on rising! In my ongoing quest to save money, I have been trying differnt generic products to see how their taste compares to name brands I normally buy, and I have been quite suprised! Often the great value stuff is just as good if not better than the name brand stuff and cheaper(I wont’t buy the cheaper ingredients if they don’t taste good). I have been successfully using them in my everyday cooking too, not just in recipes that I need a larger quantities of. I guess the generics have come a long way!

    • RetroRuth November 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm - Reply

      I think they have, too! In fact, in some case I prefer the generic brand versions of some things better than brand names. For example, Great Value ketchup is really good!

      • BlueRoc85 November 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm - Reply

        I like the Great Value shredded Mild Cheddar cheese and sour cream!

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