How Tastes Do Change

My younger-but-not-so-little brother Thomas is a true chef. He’s actually in the biz. He knows about the chemistry of cooking and can make up recipes that you’d actually want to try again. I, on the other hand, have mixed results when it comes to making things up. And by “mixed” I mean sometimes it’s really really embarrassingly bad. (On that note, I’d like to offer a big, hearty apology to my family for the painful pork roast and the hash browns that…weren’t. I’m usually better. Really.) That said, I do enjoy cooking, and when I take the time to search out recipes I think I cook pretty well because I have very nearly mastered the art of following directions. Kindergarten skills to the rescue once again!

This morning as I was reorganizing my cookbooks, I ran across some little booklets that were in a bunch of cookbooks Josh’s mom gave me a while back. I saved the booklets because they are 1950s and 1960s vintage with pictures and drawings of happy Leave It To Beaver type families enjoying molded gelatin salads and spam.

From a book entitled, “Let’s Eat Outdoors” comes this gem that I know you will want to try for your next cookout:

Paul Bunyan Sandwich
Grind together one loaf Spam, one small onion, and 1/2 pound cheddar cheese. Stir in condensed mushroom soup to moisten. Scoop out soft centers of buns. Fill with mixture. Heat, foil-wrapped, in oven or on grill.

In case this is not a convenient time for you to vomit, I will spare you a description of the black and white photo of this delicacy.

Or if Spam is not elegant enough for you, the booklet “Joys of Jell-O Gelatin Dessert” has a recipe for a Molded Chicken Mousse Ring made of lime jello, cayenne pepper, chicken, celery, pimento, and mayonnaise. You’re meant to fill the ring’s center with potato salad to “make a meal fit for company.” If you’re out of chicken, the recipe helpfully contains pointers on how to substitute canned salmon, ham, or tuna! Yummy! Tuna jello!

Let it never be said that I am against gelatin – there are certain ways that it can be very tasty. That said, suspending veggies and hard boiled eggs and baked beans and such in jello would not be my first choice, I have to admit. Isn’t it interesting how tastes can change? I’m sure that fifty years from now my grandchildren will be laughing cous-cous and hummus and marinades and the like!

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