Saturday, March 15, 2014

Alpo with olive eyes

I'm not usually much for celebrating St. Patrick's Day. I do have a little bit of an Irish heritage, and it makes me no more appreciative of beer (green or otherwise) than the larger chunk of German heritage makes me appreciative of sauerkraut (or beer, for that matter). Plus, my introversion makes me want to stay away from any celebration that involves drunken strangers, many of whom may demand kisses for their questionably Irish roots. (And we won't even consider how many of them may have barfed up green beer prior to their requests...)

I came across a selection of interesting corned beef hash recipes in Good Housekeeping's Clock-Watchers' Cook Book (1967), though, and St. Patrick's day seems as good a time as any to write about them. So here is the entirety of my St. Patrick's Day celebration.

First up, we have "Pantry Shelf Broiler Supper":

I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees stuffed olives garnish and can't help feeling like dinner is returning my gaze. I half-expect it to leap off the platter and try to eat me, just as Calvin's mom's cooking sometimes tried to turn the tables in Calvin and Hobbes. At least this looks less blob-like than those meals did, so I'm not sure what it could use to form a mouth. This dinner's attempt at self-preservation may be limited to its soulless gaze.

If the recipe's main claim to fame is that the ingredients are all already on the pantry shelf, I wonder how it would actually taste. 

Hash cylinders on canned pineapple rings, sweet potatoes, and green beans broiled together with some butter. I'm sure the sweet-and-savory devotees would say there are worse pantry dinner recipes.

Next up is something that either doesn't seem very Irish OR seems a little Irish, a little Indian, and a little French.

Corned beef hash seasoned with curry powder and cooked au gratin style. It's an unlikely and perhaps disagreeable mixture, just like me!

Finally, and most Irish of all:

Corned beef hash balls over a bed of cabbage.

Here's hoping you enjoy St. Patrick's Day in whatever way you see fit.

I'll be remembering how my sister and I used to make fun of dad for occasionally eating canned hash. We called it Alpo so often that once he almost bought a can of Alpo by mistake. My life would feel just a little more complete if I could write that sentence without the "almost."

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