This week I took money I got for Christmas to a huge antique shop/flea market... and spent more than I had... but the upside is that I got a bunch of the type of little local cookbooks that tend to have the weirdly fun regional recipes that make me feel all fuzzy. (Maybe the fuzz is a feeling of warmth from an imagined friendlier, more regionally varied past. Maybe it's just confusion... or nausea.... Probably best not to try too hard to figure it out.) Today we're going to a small Ohio city whose main claim to fame is that it is near a lot of other Ohio cities. (Canton and Akron and Cleveland! Oh my!) Today we'll learn what was popular in 1955 Massillon from the Massillon Cook Book Sixtieth Anniversary Edition.
Massillon must have had at least a few people who managed to avoid the flavorless fifties trend. I can tell because this recipe hints at disapproval of those who want seasoning:
If you need a sauce that "is not so highly seasoned [as the one made by the crazy lady down the street who is always foisting her incendiary sauces on unsuspecting potluck-goers]", then Mary Ann Lee Smith has your back. (She doesn't even approve of spicy names! It would be hard to think of a more generic string of girls' names than Mary Ann Lee Smith.)
At least she wasn't totally opposed to flavor-- I was a bit surprised that she'd still include onion, garlic, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Even a touch of sage! Based on the description, I kind of expected this to be little more than tomatoes cooked with some meat. Her "not so highly seasoned" sauce might not be too bad after all.
This sauce also is lighter on traditional seasonings, but it has a secret ingredient I did not anticipate:
Green mangoes! I'm shocked to see a spaghetti sauce recipe from '50s Ohio call for mangoes. I could maybe picture one with canned pineapple, but green mangoes? Okay, I wouldn't really want to try either one of those, but still... it's something to know that home cooks were experimenting with something besides Jell-O and cream of mushroom soup.
This last one I picked mostly because I love the name:
Hot diggity! We're having hot ziggities for dinner! Grinding hot dogs with egg and mustard and using that mixture to stuff a "tomato catsup" flavored dough sounds like a lot more work than rolling some hot dogs in crescent roll dough to make pigs in a blanket, but the name kind of sells it. It has a ring of [probably unwarranted] '50s enthusiasm and optimism (And how!) that warms my cynical little heart every time. Thank you, Katie McArdle.