Spaghetti’N Franks Casserole and V-8 A La Mode

Posted on Nov 17 2010 - 10:15am by RetroRuth

Happy Wednesday everyone!!!  I am super excited this morning, and that can only mean one thing – it’s time for the Mid-Century Menu!!!  This week I have a fun cookbook that I picked up in Rockford, Michigan when I met up with Jan and Sara at Rosie’s Diner.  This lovely lady is “Easy Ways to Delicious Meals”, published by Campbell in 1968.  This cookbooks is awesome, because it is all about how to cook with Campbell’s pre-packaged products.  Which you know I always love.  Go canned food, go!

Anyway, this cookbook is interesting because it has ideas for food that don’t really need any additions (like 12 toppings you can put on frozen pot pies, and about every combination of different canned soups mixed together that you can imagine), and because it is probably the worst organized cookbook I have ever come across. Seriously.  Instead of being organized by ingredient, it is organized by convenience products, which means you can find recipes for chicken in 5 different parts of the book. I did a lot of paging around when my bookmark accidentally fell out while cooking.  It took me so long to find the recipe I was cooking that I seriously started to to think that I had imagined it and it wasn’t actually in the book at all.

But it was, and too Tom’s everlasting joy, Spaghetti ‘N Franks Casserole was finally on the Menu.

And V-8 A La Mode wasn’t far behind it.

I always wonder about something.  If THIS is the crap that made it in these books, what didn’t make the cut???  The taste-testing must have been Satan’s own buffet.

And for you eagle-eyed readers, yes, these are photographs of the recipes.  We just got a new computer, and the scanner hasn’t decided if it is going to be friends with the new guy yet. 

The big black blob off to the right is a cat.  She was keeping a close eye on those hot dogs.

The great thing about this meal is that a kid can make it.

I mean, the only skill-set required here is the ability to cram cheese into a split weiner. 

Oh, and the arranging.  Don’t forget that.

As a disgusting side note, Spaghetti-O’s smell exactly as horribly as I remember.  So that’s a plus, right?

Fun with tomato juice.


I just wanted to show off Tom’s President William Henry Harrison glass here. He died in 30 days!!!

What kind of insanity is it to put CINNAMON on top of LIME SHERBERT floating in TOMATO JUICE. Who the…I…


Words fail me.

I put it in Tom’s favorite glass to take the sting out of actually having to drink it.

“So?  Is it awful?”

“Not really.  It just tasted like tomato juice and…Aagh!”


“What is that taste?”



“You put cinnamon in V-8?  You have got to be kidding me.”

Mmm….hot dogs fresh from the oven.  On a greasy bed of squishy, smelly noodles. 

Hot hot dogs, apparently. 

“How is it?”

“No surprise here.  It tastes like hot dogs in Spaghetti-O’s with cheese on top.”

I took a bite.  He was right. The thing that was most surprising was that the Spaghetti-O’s were almost edible with the addition of cheese and hot dogs.  So I guess it is true.  If you throw enough cheese on canned spaghetti, it is edible. I guess the cookbook authors succeeded.

The Verdict:

Spaghetti ‘N Franks Casserole – Edible, but not by much.  Just make sure you get hot dog and cheese in every bite.

V-8 A La Mode – Not bad, mostly just tastes like V-8 with the occasional un-nerving hint of cinnamon.


TODAY is the last, last, last chance you have to put in your nomination for the best consumer product for the Mid-Century Housewife!  Email me or go here and leave a comment.  There are embarrassingly few entries so far, so you still have a super good chance to win the 52 retro cards from What’s Buzzin’!

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

  1. jafi November 17, 2010 at 10:39 am - Reply

    I think my mom had that cookbook (plus another Campbell’s that had a red cover and half a dozen Kraft ones since my grandfather worked at Kraft). I’ll have to check if she still has them.

    Thankfully, she never made that – though that reminds me that she did make Hot Dog Casserole with peas, cooked potato cubes, cream of mushroom soup, and cooked bacon sprinkled on top. You cut up the hotdogs and put them upright all around the edge of the dish and put it in the oven till the hotdogs got all kinda roasted – I’ll track down the recipe card – it was actually pretty good if a little salty.

    BTW – a fab source for wild old recipe ads (Underwood Deviled Ham Snowcap Spread) (Sunset Gold Macaroni Loaf) (Minced Steak Dumplings) (Macaroni Ham Bake) (Tuna Macaroni Cheese Loaf) (Vintage Rice Krispy treat ad)

  2. Lorie November 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Hey now! Don’t go dissin’ Spaggetio’s. They are my goto food when I don’t feel well. Cause they are bland central I guess. I may have to try this one for the kids. They would like it. The whole V-* ‘float’ was just nasty extreme, however.

  3. Annie B. November 17, 2010 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    The spaghetti-o’s I can handle; the V-8 concoction I cannot. That’s got to be the most disgusting combination in history. Skip the cinnamon and sherbert; break out the Smirnoff’s!

  4. Andrea November 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Wow, I think that first dish really is my worst nightmare. I don’t eat canned pasta, hot dogs or process cheese, LOL. And there they all are in one dish! I must say, “It’s taste-testing must have been Satan’s own buffet.” has to be one of the best lines I have ever read on a blog, too funny!

    The V8 a la mode is pretty much as horrifying as I expected it to be when I saw the title in my reader. Although I was anticipating ice cream in there, I don’t think lime sherbet is much better, ack!

  5. Eartha Kitsch November 17, 2010 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Wow, my opinion went back and forth as I read this post. In the end, I bought Spaghetti-o’s and am having them for dinner so subliminally, you had me. No cheese or franks though.

    I love that your kitty was watching over those franks.

  6. jamie in Hollywood November 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    I laughed out loud at this entry in the recipe demonstrations! I can’t imagine how they could come up with that drink! What were they taking at the time? Even the picture on the front of the cookbook is hilarious! The food looks like it was just plopped out of the can. Fabulous. Gotta love it. Poor Tom, God bless him! The kitty probably just watched, I bet. The smell (and taste) of Spaghettio’s is enough to put even the animal kingdom off! Thank you for this fun installment.

  7. TimC November 21, 2010 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    I worked with a guy named Paul. His wife would buy the BIG size V8 and then pour out a small glass for Paul’s bag lunch. He didn’t like regular V8 so his wife included a note which read, “Be a man – drink it.” I suspect this is where this year’s political phrase “man up” originated.

  8. Yvonne May 13, 2012 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Hi, so happy to find your site 🙂 I love vintage stuff too but only recently have begun to find fellow afficianados online. I have a ‘Betty Crocker’ cookbook from the early 60’s that tells you how to make such gourmet delicacies as cold cereal with milk and sliced fruit on top. I think there must’ve been some push by the food manufacturer companies at that time to keep up with the modern day woman’s active lifestyle. (like with the electric dishwasher and oven range “Moms- save time and still feed your family right!) I swear I’m going to find the recipe for ice cubes in one of them.

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