Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Kingan and Screamin'

For Cookbook Wednesday, a ham with a terrible skin condition:

Okay, I know I may be in the minority on hating the fruit-and-ham pairing. Those cherries and pineapples are creepy, though, no matter what you think. That has to be some industrial-grade glaze, too, for them to stick so tenaciously even to the slices on the platter.

Kingan's Meat Recipe Book (undated, the internet consensus seems to be mid-'50s to early '60s) was an advertising booklet for Kingan & Company, and Indianapolis-based food company. (If you want to see the entire booklet, one in better shape than mine, click here.)

The company made ham, obviously, and they had a recipe to help reaffirm my conviction that the only acceptable flavor of mousse is chocolate:

This ham mousse even goes the extra retro mile of making the whole smoky, foamy, jiggly mess in a ring mold so it can corral the apple/celery/mayo combo of Waldorf salad!

And if there is any leftover ham, you can always go with this recommendation for using up leftovers:

Or you could just save yourself some trouble and have some peanut butter toast without dumping creamed ham all over it.

The company mostly made canned and cured meats, but the booklet also has recipes for fresh:

Short Ribs Creole has very little discernible seasoning. I guess the paprika, garlic, and onion are enough to give it the "creole" title in Kingan's estimation, but this combination seems only slightly more deserving of the description of creole than the toy triceratops staring down at me as I type this sentence. The recipe does get tied into Kingan's empire with the addition of "Kingan's Reliable Tasti-Creamed Lard"! (Don't you hate it when your Tasti-Creamed Lard is unreliable?)

The real draw for this book is the pictures.

Maybe it's the sense memory from working for a year in a grocery store deli kicking in, but just seeing half-inch slabs of salami, bologna, etc. gives me goosebumps. Kingan's made cold cuts for everyone's mid-century creepy-sandwich needs:

Some of these are pretty obscure.(Pilot Loaf? I don't know whether I'd be more appalled if it contained people who flew planes or the distant relatives of killer whales.)

Some remind me why I hated certain sale weeks when I worked in the deli. I did not love feeling like a particularly nasty Christmas decoration as I picked slimy red and green lumps off my apron whenever Pickle & Pimiento Loaf was on special.

My favorite, though, is pretty pedestrian. The description of Oven Browned Ham might be a bit to small to see easily, but printed directly below the name on the label is "(Browned in an Oven)." I'm so glad they cleared that mystery up!

The canned specialties are even more varied:

I'm not normally one to think of the mid-20th century as a more innocent time, but... I have to say that the picture of a young girl in that pose directly above the word "WIENERS" would not work today.

You'll notice that variety meats are well-represented, with Liver Spread, Pork Brains with Gravy, and the ever-popular Lunch Tongue.

The Noodles and Beef with Sauce and the Spaghetti & Meat with Sauce look a bit wormy, but apparently that wasn't too much of a problem at the time.

If you needed Ox Tongue, canned Hamburgers, Lima Beans with Sauce and Ham, or some Picnic Spread (full of ants, I assume) Kingan had you covered.

For those who missed military chow but did not want to buy actual Spam, there was even "K-P Luncheon Meat"!

The late '50s/ early '60s were a deeply weird time, but just like your humble writer, they may be amusing to view at a suitable distance.

Happy Cookbook Wednesday, and  thanks again to Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations for hosting!


  1. Actually, you make it all sound disgusting. That's a change from most food blogs!

    best... mae at

  2. Ox tongue in a can????? I agree...the only acceptable mousse is chocolate.

    1. Too bad there wasn't a recipe for canned ox tongue mousse... ;-)

  3. Creamed ham on toast spread with peanut butter, really???

    I knew I was going to enjoy this post as soon as I read the first line, Poppy. That's more than a terrible skin condition, oh my that's more like poison ivy on steroids!!!

    Where do you dig these books up Poppy. I have to tell you, now whenever I browse through by "vintage" booklets, I think of you and wonder what choice words you would use to describe the contents, lol...You sure have changed my perspective!!!

    Thanks for sharing Poppy and for joining in on Cookbook Wednesday...

  4. HAM!! I despise ham

    So being the nerd that I am, I had to look up pilot loaf. The closest I found was "Dutch loaf". Basically ground pork and or beef mixed w/ spices and preservatives and shaped into a loaf shape

    1. Ha! I love "Kids in the Hall"! I'll admit that ham is one of the few meaty things I occasionally miss, though. Salt, smoke, not all fat like bacon.

      Dutch loaf was always on sale the same week as Pickle and Pimiento Loaf and Olive Loaf.... Ugh! Worst sale week ever.