Oh yeah, it’s that time again! Welcome to this week’s Mid-Century Menu, where I take a recipe from my collection of vintage cookbooks, cook it, and force my husband to eat it for dinner. The catch is, we don’t pick a recipe because it looks good. We pick it because it looks terrible.
This week’s recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens Coobook, Jiffy Cooking. This book is part of a rather large Better Homes and Gardens series, all of which were publish between 1955 and 1980 or so. This book was published in 1968, and I think this is one of the newest recipes we have ever cooked from.
Now, the great thing about the Jiffy Cooking cookbook is that is uses canned or pre-packaged foods almost exclusively under the guise of “quick” cooking. Instead, I think all they accomplish is vile cooking. Which makes me really excited about this book.
Why? Because I am a glutton for punishment. Hot dogs, canned beans, spam, dried packaged beef, canned potatoes, canned sauerkraut, all of these things play heavily in the recipes in this books. There are even some canned things I have never heard of. Like canned macaroni and cheese.
That’s right. You read that correctly. Canned mac and cheese. We are through the looking glass here, people.
But since I have never SEEN canned mac and cheese before, I was forced to pick something with easy ingredients to find. Trust me, it is a hard choice when about half the recipes are worthy of the “honor”.
Ginger beans. Simple, easy and weird. I think anything that has cookies and Spam in it is instantly qualified for the Mid-Century Menu. The only other recipe with meat and gingersnaps I have seen is an altered version of the German dish Sauerbraten. Which actually ended up being quite good.
In any case, let’s ruin some food!
There were so few ingredients this time, I had to put out the salt to round out the picture. Notice the retro ketchup bottle. It was a great birthday present from Hub’s parents.
Look how happy the gingersnaps are. Little to do they know they are about to get snuggly with that generic Spam. Sigh. Sometimes I think I enjoy this too much.
Crushing the gingersnaps into a fine meal.
Can’t forget the secret ingredient of all jiffy cooking: ketchup.
The completed bean mass, ready for the Spam slices.
Carefully laying out the slimy slices. Look at the grace! The finesse! Okay, okay, so they kept sinking into the beans. How is that my fault?
Here we are, ginger beans fresh from the oven. Honestly, I baked them for about 30 minutes more than the recipe recommended, and I uncovered it for about the last 15 minutes. After the first 30 minutes it still looked disturbingly…moist.
Plated and ready to be et. Notice the mixed veggies and wholesome glasses of milk. I’m trying, I really am.
Hubs “enjoying” his first bite. After which he said, “It just tastes like…baked beans. Really sweet baked beans.”
Actually, we were both a little disappointed that the finished product was edible. It basically tasted like sweet, sweet baked beans. The saltyness of the Spam, which usually makes it inedible to me, actually counteracted the sweetness in the beans, so if you took a bit together it almost became good. Almost.
The Verdict: Very Sweet, but Edible
I have to commend this meal for being pretty fun and fast to make. Crushing the gingersnaps and placing the Spam actually was good fun. The end product was just so incredibly sweet and salty, that I can’t imagine it being good for anyone at all. Ever.
This post has been linked up with Vintage Thingie Thursdays at ColoradoLady’s blog! Head over there and check out the vintage goodness!