Saturday, December 30, 2017

I'm not so sure ham will play along

I hope by this point that if you had ham for Christmas, it's been eaten. If not, my new McCall's No Time to Cook: Meals in Minutes (1985) has a pun for you:

Play it again, ham! What a majestic spread of ham-filled leftover magic, from the almost-too-pretty-to-eat Baked Ham-and-Cheese Fondue to the utilitarian-trying-to-look-fancy Ham-Rice Loaf to the WHY? of Ham Mousse and Banana-Ham Fritters.

The most '70s of all may be the fondue:

A quick read through the recipe loaded with ham, cheese, and creamed corn set into a slice-able egg custard reveals that this is less of a traditional fondue and more of a quiche with a bread cube sort-of crust-- so it's still a popular '70s dish, if not exactly the one conjured up by its name.

The Ham-Rice Loaf is a little more basic:

Rice, green pepper, peas, and ham all loosely bound with a bit of tomato sauce and fancified with halved olives. Wee!

The Stuffed New Potatoes sound delicious:

I'm a sucker for anything with potatoes and cream cheese! However, the fact that cooks were essentially expected to make two dozen miniature twice-baked potatoes makes me seriously question the book's "meals in minutes" premise. This would be delicious, but it's not the kind of thing anyone I know would describe as quick or easy.

I know ham and fruit is a classic pairing, even if it's not one that I could personally find exciting, but is there really much call for Ham Hash in Papaya?

My childhood grocery stores were not the type that would have a stock of papayas waiting, and you can bet that even if we did find a couple, our first move wouldn't be to fill them with celery, onion, ham, and potato cubes and bake them in a fashion that makes them look like Marge Simpson has a very scary infection down there.

Much more palatable-looking are the fritters. Who doesn't love some golden-brown deep fried goodness?

Ground ham and cheese rolled in boiled bananas before frying might be enough to make you think twice about whether you really want all those oily calories, though.

Of course, we can't forget about the pièce de résistance, the Ham Mousse. The thing is, the recipe was spread out over multiple non-consecutive pages, and I am too damn lazy to try to scan it all and piece it together, so I'm just giving you the glorious picture all by itself:

Rest assured that this daisy from the gates of hell is loaded with all the gelatin, white wine, hard-cooked eggs, pimiento, ground ham, whipped egg whites, and mayonnaise that you are imagining. It looks pretty impressive, but this is one flower I would not recommend stopping to smell!


  1. Suddenly ham balls in their crushed graham cracker crust glory don't sound so bad after seeing the ham mousse. Granted, I still don't want to eat either one.

    1. Most of these recipes will just make you remember how good (and easy!) a plain old ham and cheese sandwich is.