Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It came from the cupboard shelf!

It's 1967, an hour before dinner, and your husband unexpectedly drags home a couple of old school buddies for dinner. What do you do? Your threat to run away and join the circus is not being taken very seriously (perhaps because you would survive one try on the flying trapeze in the best-case scenario).

 The minutes are flying by.

Quick, see what Betty Crocker's Hostess Cookbook has to say.

I hope you like cans.

Or, if we're being honest, maybe you hope your guests DON'T like cans. That will make it a short visit.

Let's start out with some nice spiced soup. Any guesses as to what that might entail?

If you guessed a can of condensed pea soup with a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg and a few random olives dumped in, great guess! You understand how these cookbooks work. (And if you really want to get rid of your guests early, I will break the laws of time and space to ship little Linda Blair back to 1967 to serve the pea soup for you.)

Soup is not enough, though. What about the main course?

Try some pork and peanuts! The "pork" in question is a can of luncheon meat doctored up with sweet potatoes, corn syrup (quite a bit of it, too!), peanut butter, orange juice, and a big jar of spiced crab apples.

I'm so busy imagining how cloyingly sweet this dish will be that I almost skip right over that last item. Canned spiced crab apples? I didn't even realize that was a thing, much less a thing that you as a '60s homemaker might be expected to have sitting around on a cupboard shelf waiting for some unexpected-and-barely-tolerated company. But if you do have them, why not throw them on top of canned meat with seriously sweet peanut butter?

What would canned spiced crab apples even look like? We are in luck:

Apparently they're whole apples-- stems on and everything so they will be extra tricky to eat. Pair 'em with canned green beans and the aforementioned slime-green soup garnished with floating eyeballs, and you have a meal fit for unexpected company!


  1. Squee! Vintage illustrations :D

    So that lovely photo looks like Spam. Is Spam considered "pork" luncheon meat?

    1. I believe so. They just didn't want to use a brand name since Betty Crocker didn't make Spam. And maybe they didn't want to alienate Treet aficionados.

  2. I'd rather spend the night out drinking than even think about any one of these dishes, Poppy. The hubby would have to take those buddies to the cannery or the nearest bar!

    1. It is sad when the best looking dish is the canned green beans!