Hit The Spot

Posted on Feb 23 2011 - 9:14am by RetroRuth

Welcome, welcome to the new Mid-Century Menu site!  This blog is all about mid-century cooking and recipes, and the testing of said recipes. And the sometimes hilarious and horrible results.

Favorite Recipes of Home Ec Teachers Casseroles001

This week we chose a recipe from Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers: Casseroles, which was published in 1965.  This cookbook cost me 10 cents at a used bookstore on Valentine’s weekend (romantic, huh?), but I think I got a pretty good deal.  This cookbook is actually still in print, and is available right now on Amazon in a reissue.  They even gave it a cute retro cover with a young girl who looks like she is trying to read a book in an incomprehensible language rather than just a casserole cookbook. 

Oh, those young housewives!  Sometimes I wonder if they learned anything in school. Huh? Huh?  Do you get the joke? See because she is a girl and…ahhh…forget it.

Anyway, this apparently beloved cookbook holds between it’s spiral bound covers literally thousands of recipes.  But not just any recipes.  Favorite recipes from home economics teachers around the country. Tried and tested recipes, recipes that have stood the test of time, been perfected and honed during hours of time in classroom kitchens, chopped and mixed and prepped to within and inch of their lives.  And out of this flurry of activity has come the best, the most authentic, the most delicious, the most healthy recipes you will ever see.

Recipes that would never insult an ethnicity.  They would never  claim to be authentic if they weren’t.  And they would never, ever contain something crazy like, oh, I don’t know, claiming that two whole cans of Vienna sausages topped with Parmesan cheese is Mexican food.

Favorite Recipes of Home Ec Teachers Casseroles003

Oh dear.

As an interesting side note, the book claims that if you have any problems with any recipe, that you shouldn’t write to the publisher.  Instead, you should address your questions to the teacher who submitted the recipe. 

Okay, then. I will.


Dear Ms. Adair;


While preparing the recipe “Hit The Spot” from the 1965 printing of Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers: Casseroles, I found myself confused by a few aspects of the recipe.


First, I was wondering why Vienna sausages were included in a recipe of Mexican ethnicity.


As most people are aware, the term Vienna sausage in America most often refers to a type of canned hot dog. Packed in it’s own jellies.


(Aside: I just had to take a picture of this, because the sausages were squwinched up so tight in the can that they didn’t even separate while I was cutting them.  I think they are precious, like little daisies.  I need to remember this so I can use them for some fiendish garnish, like on a Yule Log, for instance.

Vienna sausage flowers and pear “bells”.  Glorious. )


Also, the recipe included elbow macaroni.


However, I was pleased that the recipe was easy to prepare.


And included a whole pile of hot dogs.


I was also pleased that it fit in so well in my new casserole dish.


(Aside: Parmesan cheese = not Mexican)


Thank you for all your hard work in creating this recipe.  It is truly is casserole for the ages.


But if I may make one suggestion: I think a name change would be appropriate.  Instead of “Hit The Spot”, can you please change the name to “Chili Dog Mac?”


And also, remove it from the ethnic foods section.


“This looks like chopped up chili dogs. With macaroni.”




But my husband liked it, which always makes me happy.

Thanks for the fun recipe,


The Verdict:  It was okay. Definitely edible.  It basically tasted like a chili dog with macaroni mixed in with it. It was less Mexican and more Cincinnati, which isn’t a terrible thing.

Oh, and if you have any issues with this, don’t write to us. Ms. Adair will answer all your questions, thanks very much. 


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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. Toni February 23, 2011 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Ew. A friend went to New Zealand 15 years ago. Went with her newfound Aussie friends to a Mexican restaurant where she was warned about the spicy-ness of the food. She said it was like eating plain ground beef tacos with no flavor.

  2. Sara In AZ February 23, 2011 at 11:17 am - Reply

    You know, when I think of Vienna Sausage I ALWAYS think Mexico! Daisies – hee! I think a name change to ‘Chili Dog Mac’ is completely in order. Yay for Tom liking it! The new blog looks GREAT girl!!! 🙂

  3. Deb February 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Site looks great, Ruth!!

  4. RetroRuth February 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Thanks, guys, glad you like the site! It was a lot of work, but I think it looks pretty awesome.

    Toni – Ha ha!

    Sara – I am pretty sure Vienna Sausages = Mexico now in my book!

  5. h311ybean February 23, 2011 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Hi there! Long-time lurker, first-time commenter 🙂 Congratulations on the new site! It looks great!

    I’m also commenting because I remembered this book (which I came across totally by accident in a secondhand bookstore here in the Philippines) – it’s called “Ginnie and the Cooking Contest” and discussed at some length here: http://vickyandpolly.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/ginnie-and-the-cooking-contest-catherine-woolley/

    There are no recipes (though I think a cookbook was also published), but reading about a “chocolate parfait pie” that featured the ubiquitous lemon Jell-O made me think of your site 😀

    Keep writing – I’ll definitely keep reading!

    • RetroRuth February 24, 2011 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      Hi h311ybean! Thanks, glad you like the new site!

      Holy nuts, that poor girl! What was she thinking using that recipe for the contest. Thanks for sharing.

      Hope to “see” you around here often!

  6. Jane February 23, 2011 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Somos de Tejas y no comemos ‘vienna sausages’!

    • RetroRuth February 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Jane – Es verdad! Gracias!

  7. Andrea February 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Hah – Vienna =/= Mexico, that’s for sure! I also have a feeling that they probably intended for the recipe to use that powdery canned Parmesan cheese – your cheese looks too high quality, haha!

    Love the new site! Also love your new casserole dish!

  8. sablemable February 25, 2011 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Great new site, Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuth! Love it!

  9. Eartha Kitsch February 25, 2011 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    WOW, the pictures are even bigger and more vibrant over here! That Vienna jelly is KILLING me with it’s glistening madness.

  10. Kookie February 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    My mother has the dessert cookbook in this series. I baked out of it for years and years. Great cake, pie, cookie recipes, etc.

    Love the new site!

  11. RetroRuth February 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Andrea! That new dish was a steal, only $1!

    Thanks, Sable!

    Eartha – I know, aren’t the pictures great here??? It was the reason I picked this theme. The biggest, scariest pictures I could throw in front of you guys. Ha! Oh, and the glistening juices…all for you!

    Kookie – You lucky dog. I only found casseroles and salads (which is mainly jello-based). I might have to pony up and buy the reissue of the desserts, I dug for it forever in the bargain bin but couldn’t find it! Oh, and glad you like the new site!

  12. sookie March 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Vienna kinda DOES equal Mexico…there were a lot of Austrian/German immigrants to Mexico in the late 19th century, and they started breweries!


  13. Miss Ginger Grant February 1, 2014 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    I am IN LOVE with the concept of your blog!! OMG- all the crap our Mom’s fed us as kids that would could probably never stomach today! You have gained a faithful reader!

  14. Chris February 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    When you called the Vienna sausage floral phenomenon “precious,” I had a good, good laugh! So objective, sincere and contemplative … while marveling at the utter vileness.

  15. Mark. October 21, 2015 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Cubans (at least exiles in the US) and Puerto Ricans have a dish called Arroz Amarillo con Salchichas (yellow rice with, in practice, Vienna sausages). I don’t know of any such Mexican dishes.

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