Hello everyone! Welcome to this week’s mid-century menu. This week I tried a recipe from one of my new cookbooks that I recently bought at the Midland Antiques Festival. I was lucky enough to find a whole pile of these little cookbooks for pretty cheap at one booth, and you can be sure that I snapped up everything I could!
The victim this week (besides Hubs) is from this cute little book, “None Such” Mince Meat Recipes for Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, published in 1952* (Thanks, Sablemable!). Now, I thought that mince meat was only used for questionable pies made at Christmas time. Apparently that isn’t so. The lovely people at None Such created a whole BOOK of recipes that you can serve year round, if you are brave enough. And only about half of them are pie.
The “crazy” thing about this book is that not only are there 21 recipes in this book, but also 21 ingredients in None Such Mince Meat! What an amazing coincidence.
Thankfully, there are no longer 21 ingredients in None Such Mince Meat. A look at the modern packaging shows only about 12 ingredients. Why am I thankful? Well, not sure exactly which ones are no longer used, but modern mince meat actually has no meat in it. Which is good, because the mid-century version had beef in it. Blech.
In any case, despite my fear of eating meat in my mince meat, I decided to make the one recipe in this book that actually ADDS meat to mince meat.
The None Such Ham Loaf.
Since it is the only actual meal in the book, it was pretty much a shoe-in for the Mid-Century Menu. Unless they meant it to be a dessert. In which case, it is even more qualified.
By the way, this whole cookbook is incredibly freaky. I choose to serve the only item that is considered to be dinner, but every “dessert” in the book contains beef from the mince meat. So, those oatmeal cookies = Beef Cookies. The None Such Cake = Beef Cake. You get the picture. And it isn’t a pretty one.
All the ingredients, assembled and waiting. Check out the condensed mince meat I found at the local grocery store. I didn’t think they still made it, but they do! It was about half the price of the jar version, so I bought it.
Here is the mince meat, reconstituting. According to the cookbook, I was supposed to notice the delicious aroma as it cooked. It just smelled like apples and raisins to me. But that isn’t a bad thing.
Ham, bread, onions and milk all together. It actually isn’t that bad at this point.
Adding the mince meat. I was surprised that it actually smelled good. There was the delicious aroma I was promised! The only bad thing at this point was that the loaf could have used some binder, like an egg or something. It was so crumbly and really hard to work with.
Here it is, packed into the pan and ready for the oven. At this point it still smelled pretty good, so I wasn’t really worried. I was actually looking forward to tasting it to see what the verdict would be.
Fresh from the oven and depanned. I didn’t have a can of peaches to sling over it, like in the cookbook, but I figured it didn’t matter in the long run.
So, Hubs and I sat down to eat. We cut slices, and stuck the first forkful in.
“This is…kind of nasty,” Hubs said. I was surprised to hear him voice it first. Usually I am the one who is screaming the roof off with disgust.
It was nasty. It was very, very sweet. I had left out the extra salt, thinking it would be salty enough with all the ground ham, but it could have used that salt. And probably a lot more besides that.
“Too bad this isn’t really meatloaf,” I joked, “then we could slather ketchup all over it.”
Hubs got an unholy look in his eye. “Let’s try it with ketchup,” he said, “it can’t be worse, right?”
So the ketchup came out and on the ham loaf. It was better, but only enough to make it edible. Only if you closed your eyes and pretended we were eating meatloaf.
The Verdict: Edible with Ketchup
And now the true irony: This meal was saved by ketchup while other mid-century meal experiments were ruined by it. Interesting, isn’t it?