6 Jan

The other day at Goodwill I stumbled upon possibly my favorite old weird cookbook yet. Sunset’s undated book, “Cooking with Casseroles” is an absolute goldmine of terrible ideas. Nearly every recipe seems to call for ground beef, canned beans, Worcestershire, and either a can of condensed soup or gravy (I’m not even going to touch upon canned gravy now. Woof). It’s actually pretty astounding how many recipes can be made out of essentially the same ingredients.

Upside Down Meat Pie, anyone? How about a Rolled Meat Pancake?!? I am baffled by the Beef Casserole, Chinese Style: ground beef, frozen peas, celery, mushroom soup, onion, cream, salt, pepper, and potato chips. I’m guessing that the Chinese element at play here is… uh, peas? But surely, the inexplicable addition of potato chips and table cream make this an indisputably American meal. Really, I can’t think of anywhere else in the world that would come up with combination of ingredients.

Some recipes I cannot even fathom the results of, like the Chicken and Tuna Pie. It’s got a can of tuna, a can of chicken noodle soup, cracker meal, bacon, and parsley. If I weren’t so afraid of actually having to eat what I pulled out of the oven, I’d like to make this and see what on god’s earth it manages to look like if not a generous pile of vomit. Or, I know, let’s have Yummy Balls for dinner! I mean, really. How has that ever been an acceptable name for a dish? And ok, I can’t decide if my favorite is the aptly name Mystery Casserole or the Spaghetti Beef with Mixed Nuts. Someone, please persuade me to try to make this, and then come over and eat it/provide moral support- I’m burning with curiosity here!

P.S. My latest article for the Cascadia Weekly came out on Wednesday! Check it out!

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