Saturday, April 14, 2018

Saturday Lunch Bunch

In case you were just planning on pouring yourself a bowl of cereal for lunch again, The Good Housekeeping Cookbook (ed. Dorothy B. Marsh, 1963) wants you to know there are other options! This book has an extensive menu collection (seasonal, budget, family, couples, krill-based menus for when a whale stops by-- you name it!), including a whole section of menus for family lunch on Saturday.

I honestly love the whimsy of some of them. There are plenty of almost-as-fun-as-a-bowl-of-Sugar Rice Krinkles menus. Saturday could be Pirates' Picnic day:

I'm not exactly sure how peanuts thrown on chicken-with-rice soup is "hidden-treasure," but I'd certainly prefer the peanut "treasure" to the one made of egg salad in the Treasure-Chest Sandwiches. The gelatin is surprisingly sedate, left plain and cubed up into "gems" to go with the nugget cookies. (I'm presuming the cookies are supposed to remind us of gold, rather than chicken, nuggets.)

If you like the water but don't want to encourage the kids to grow up to be dread pirates, there's always Sailors' Choice instead:

I'm not so sure about the Neptune's Nectar (clam chowder) with floating islands of hard-cooked egg, but sailors definitely get better sandwiches (open-face cheese and bacon) and desserts (banana-boat sundaes) than pirates do.

If the rodeo is more the kids' style, there's the Rodeo Day menu:

The Western Egg Sandwiches are unsurprisingly just small Western omelets in sandwiches. My real question is about the Cowboy Chowder. How does one make "beef soup with cereal lassos"? The item I can easily guess is the one with the recipe; the enigmatic one offers no explanation.

If your family is into casual racism, there's the Indian Powwow:

Don't even get me started on the shortcake.

There are even some surprisingly specific menus. Have a weird friend named Molly? Make the For Molly and Me menu.

Of course she likes Tuna Spaghetti over English muffins with cranberry sauce! That's such a Molly thing.

If you're wondering about the Tuna Spaghetti, here's the recipe:

Yeah-- mushrooms, olives, tuna, tomatoes, Parm, and cranberries is a real classic....

If you want the real fun, though, you just can't top Fun for Lunch:

Canned green pea soup with toast and beet, cucumber, carrot, and turnip sticks just screams "We're cutting loose! It's Saturday!" Okay, I can see why this one got the "fun" label... Otherwise, families would tragically live out their lives without ever realizing that this lunch had been fun. (Why it gives a page number for the veggie sticks, I haven't a clue. The "recipe" is to wash the vegetables and cut them into eighth-of-an-inch-thick sticks.)

I hope you've enjoyed these "fun" old menus. Now I've got to try to talk my way out of having lunch with Molly...


  1. The name tuna spaghetti sounds like an upgrade from buttered spaghetti that so many people talked about making for a meal as a kid (or in college). "I wanted a fancy dinner, but I couldn't afford a box of tuna helper. Instead, I boiled some spaghetti, buttered it, and added a can of tuna."

    1. In college, my friends and I would just buy the helper and make it without the tuna (or hamburger, or whatever). If we got it on sale, it was about the same price as plain pasta.

  2. Ah,casual 1960s racism. So so glad there were not illustrations of a red tomato w/ an Native Indian headdress and a tomahawk!

    1. There weren't any illustrations in with the menus, or I'll bet they would have included those images!