It’s Been Awhile

Last week I made Macaroni Meat Bake. I boiled egg noodles, because I didn’t have elbow macaroni; I used Aldi brand luncheon meat instead of Spam, and used a can of cream of celery, because I didn’t have Campbell’s Cheddar cheese soup. Can I even call it the same thing since I substituted a bunch of ingredients? I wish I could tell you it tasted great, or that it tasted terrible, or that my family loved it. But this is what happened.

I had a guest. From Mongolia. I mean, she didn’t just get here from Mongolia, it was a roundabout way, and it’s a long story that I’m not going into, but she was here, and folding my laundry, and I was cooking supper. It was going to be a busy evening, because E had a concert, and my Mongolian guest, I’ll call her Alice, was getting a ride somewhere, and the boys, Dale and Bob, had a party to go to. So I made the Egg Noodle Speat Bake, put it in the oven, and it was done right on time. So, DH was home, and I was planning my evening around shuttling Alice to where she needed to go. Thankfully, she had given me some “Hoe-schoor” to eat. I don’t know how to spell it or anything, but it was very tasty. Ground beef and cabbage and onion in a kind of pita-like bread dumpling. So Alice and I went our merry way. I showed up late to E’s concert, found DH, found a good friend dandling Tori on her knee, and Farley was oh so happy to see me too. I asked DH if he enjoyed supper. He said everybody just kind of fended for themselves. Hmm. Lovely concert, horrible weather outside. Horrible for driving, of which I had a bunch more to do. I had to pick up the boys and a treat and get gas et cetera. Finally got home.  The next morning, I asked E if she told Dad about supper. She said, I told him you made it, but I didn’t know where it was!” So I opened up the oven, and there was the Egg Noodle Speat Bake, untouched, unpreserved.  Did I mention how good the Mongolian Dumplings were?

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My 70s Flashback

I mooched a book from “Bookmooch”. You should really check it out, if you like books at all. But anyway, the title caught my eye. Menus for a Whole Year of Dinners. I just knew this book was going to solve all of my cooking dilemmas. Anyway, I was delighted when it came in the mail. It smells of libraries or musty old lady living rooms. It smells wonderful. The pictures are godawful though. Grainy, aged, not really very appetizing. But the names of the meals are hysterical. You may remember my post about naming your food. This book is ALL ABOUT naming the meals. Tomato aspic, toast points, Fruited Lamb Riblets, Macaroni-Meat Bake. Oh My Goodness. This book is a flashback to when Jello was, like, newly invented. And Avocados were TRENDY. So I’ve had a lot of fun with this. Last week some of our dinners were: Country Dinner, Gourmet Franks and Kielbasa and Lentils. These meals crack me up. The Country Dinner consisted of cabbage wedges, instant mashed potatoes and Vienna Sausages. Yes, Vienna Sausages. Here is a line from the recipe: “Stick sausages into potatoes.” Guffaw. That was fun.

I had to give my family a break though, because really, you can only eat so much processed meat. The gourmet franks? It was hot dogs simmered in onions and mushrooms and a little chicken broth. Ahem. So we had my good old fashioned double bean burritos. That was yummy, and the family breathed a collective sigh of relief. They complain about my overuse of some Mexican food standbys: tortillas, ground beef, cheese, and enchilada sauce. But I think my recipes from the Good Housekeeping book circa 1972 are worse. Oh, I’m not done with it. I’ve got two cans of luncheon meat in the pantry just waiting for the Macaroni-Meat Bake, and a five pound Duck in the freezer for Hunter-Style Duckling. I know, you’re smacking your lips.