Creativity Cooks

Collage ~ Cooking ~ Creativity … inspired by three generations of women

Kitchy Casseroles

on 10/14/2011

Most folks from my generation (born in the 1950’s to the early 1960’s) remember some of the foods of our childhood being particularly interesting, sometimes delicious and sometimes inedible or at least, unappetizing. I remember my Nana making recipes she would find in the pamphlets given her at her local supermarket or found in the middle of magazines she subscribed to. Her cookbook is full of clips from these pamphlet booklets as well as a few of the booklets themselves, still intact after more than seventy years of collecting and writing down recipes.

As a child I delighted in spending time with her, helping her with her meal planning, as she prepared three meals each day, along with her daily schedule of homemaking activities. She had a weekly schedule that went something like this: Monday – laundry, Tuesday – ironing, Wednesday – heavy cleaning (refrigerator, oven, windows, outdoors, etc.), Thursday – shopping, Friday – dusting/vacuuming/bathroom and kitchen cleaning for the weekend, Saturday – travel day or leisure day, Sunday – church and a big dinner with family. Whew! To think that in between all of this was meal preparation, baking… and let’s not forget raising children!

Somehow my mother and grandmother still found some pleasure in creating new dishes to enjoy for dinner. I may use the term ‘enjoy’ loosely… I never enjoyed my mother’s Polynesian Chicken Supper, a casserole of white rice, pineapple and cut up chicken breast bits. It was not only visually pale and unappealing to look at, but I seem to remember actually gagging while trying to swallow the warm, mushy pineapple and rice. Not a pleasant memory at all. My nana had a Salmon Loaf that I actually loved. Made in typical meatloaf fashion, but with canned and carefully boned salmon, it had a nice flavor and she made a dilled cream sauce to go with it. The pink salmon color, the cream sauce flecked with fresh, chopped dill, sided with green beans or broccoli, looked inviting. It was one of my favorite dinners, my Pop Pop loved it too.

One of the recipe booklets I found recently as I combed my Nana’s cookbook for pictures of meals I remember was put together by Bird’s Eye, the frozen vegetable company. Each recipe used one of their products – this was a common practice among convenience food purveyors to increase product sales – providing these booklets near their wares in the supermarket. This booklet, entitled ‘Super Bird’s Eye Suppers’ had two recipes for suppers I remember clearly. I have posted a picture of the page below. The Beef Bavarian with Vegetables was more to my liking than the Hawaiian Beef dish was, it seems the addition of pickle relish to give the dish its exotic flavor was off-putting. At least there was no pineapple in it. Feel free to try the recipes!

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