By RetroRuth

Happy Wednesday, All!  This week on the Mid-Century Menu we are cooking out of a cookbook that a lucky lady in 1957 would have received with her brand new, state of the art Rena-Ware.  Published in 1957, this super cute book has tons of recipes created by the Home Economics Department Test Kitchen at Rena-Ware.

What is Rena-Ware, you ask?  You poor sap, cooking your food in water like a sucker, never knowing the amazing advantages of “waterless” cooking!  Rena-Ware is the new, state of the art cookware meant to cook your meals on the stovetop and bring them straight to the table with the minimum of wasted nutrients. Really!  Don’t believe me? Well, this book told me so!

Want to see how it works?  Me, too.

Fascinating, huh? Low temp cooking to “save fuel and keep your kitchen more comfortable”.  Got to love the 1950’s science-y stuff.   But who needs to know anything when you look this good???


Anyway, I flipped through the book and decided to make “Macaroni Republic” because it caught my eye.  I would like to say that it was because of something besides just the name, but…well…I picked it because of the name.

Welcome to the Republic!  Get ready for canned tomatoes and noodles! Yes!

I love recipes with only a few ingredients.

The onions and green peppers, sauteing in a heck of a lot of butter.

Adding canned tomatoes and seasonings.

Happily simmering away.  Notice the random curls of excess butter on top of the tomatoes. Yum.

Throwing noodles on top.

And here is Tom, layering away like mad with shredded cheese.

Ta-da! Fellow Citizens, our long struggle for food freedom is over!  Welcome to the Macaroni Republic! *muted cheering…or maybe it is meowing*

Anyway, I decided to let another member of our household show you what he thought of the casserole. And now…First Bites With Clark The Kitten:

Well, either he wants some, or he is scared that Tom is eating it!  “No Daddy, wait! It’s poison!”

After Tom and I stopped laughing, we decided to actually settle down and finish tasting the food.  It was pretty good, definitely edible.  But Tom thought it was a little bland, and it reminded me of a casserole I was served in my grade-school cafeteria.  Not necessarily a bad thing, as the food there was good, but not a great dish by any means.  Probably due to the 1950’s fear of spices.

The Verdict: Scary to small white cats.

Seriously, it was good and we ate a lot of it, but it was rather bland and just tasted like a macaroni casserole made with canned tomatoes. I won’t make it again. Unless I need to whip Clark into shape…