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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Retro Food, Next Chapter..




Sunday found us in an unusual dilemma- lots of food in the house, but: A.- What sounds good? B.- What would go together? C.- What would be easy? By discussing the merits of what we had, we came up with a menu... Had to do some grocery shopping first, as something is always missing!
Dinner became ham steak, home made mac n cheese, and fresh, steamed broccoli- followed by a subtly dolled up brownie..
What made the ham special? Nothing, beyond not being too salty..
What made the Mac n cheese special? Evaporated milk, and two kinds of extra sharp cheddar, shredded into the cheese sauce. Old timers used the evaporated milk far more than we do today, and I swear it made it creamier!
What made the brownie special? Fudge brownie mix, out of a box.BUT(that's me and my big but!)I added white chocolate chips for contrast, a touch of almond extract(because it goes with chocolate- ask Peter&Paul!)and a touch of cinnamon, because it works with chocolate, too..
A lot of the retro stuff I'm finding- I never had as a kid... My dad didn't like casseroles, sandwich spreads, trash veggies.. He lived through the Depression and WWII, and had to eat some pretty low budget meals...He swore when the war was over, his family would eat a best as he could afford- and that's what he did...
Next try will be bologna sandwich spread! A 50s staple in brown bags! but of course I'm going to change a few things.....

36 comments:

Akelamalu said...

Whatever you make always sounds so delicious! That's a great tip about the evaporated milk I must remember that.

Chef E said...

I loved fried bologne sandwiches with lots of mustard if it even made it on the bread :)

Now you got me wanting brownies, maybe 'Joe' would not mind...

CDB said...

I second first commenter.. must get evaporated milk on next trip, seems like a staple.

I had a plain-jane ham-n-cheese sandwich this wknd but dressed it up with some julienne-cut sun dried tomatoes. What a difference!

Jeff B said...

I'm interested in seeing what you can do with bologne to make it . . . well. . . less bologne-y!

Scarlet said...

You could write about sh*t on a shingle and make it sound gourmet.

Anette said...

I love the look of all that green broccoli! (it doesn't take more than that to make me happy!)

K said...

Ham and home made mac and cheese is one my hubby's favorites. We're pretty simple and retro in this house.

buffalodick said...

Ake- Welcome back- hope vacation was great! Evaporated milk used to be a staple in American pantries, now most cooks have never used it!
Chef- My wife loves brownies, and I have keep changing something so I can even look at them!
CDB- Ham n cheese or bologna and cheese are my long time favorites for a slap and dash sammich!
Jeff- I wouldn't eat this as a kid, but have been told by enough people I was missing something good!
Scarlet- Note to self: Must try to make chipped beef on toast as a retro experiment... My Dad just rolled over in his grave! Army WWII he ate a lot of that- or so he used to tell!
Anette- Broccoli went well with the cheesy mac, which went with the ham!
K- Ham as a main meal meat isn't as common as it used to be... they make more of it into lunch meat, I think!

Mona said...

Hi Buf I had tiramisu cake and it was like eating coffee...

My brother in law is still in coma.They wil wean him out slowly they say. He has emphizema in his lungs, so one of his lungs is toatally bad & redundant and the other that is partially working has pneumonia. he also suffered a heart attack as his blood oxygen level turned dangerously low. he is on life support system. The doctors are really shocked that one so young ( 45 years old) can be so ill. Please pray for him.

buffalodick said...

Mona- That is serious. A lot of those things are interconnected.. all we can do is pray. Be strong, I am sure your sister is glad you are there...

Belle said...

I use evaporated milk all the time. It makes a huge difference. I slice potatoes thinly, place them in a casserole dish and pour a tin of evaporated milk over them. Some coarsely ground black pepper and some sea salt. You could add some of your favourite grated cheese, and then simply bake.

JihadGene said...

That's a great way to do the Mac. I must remember that!

buffalodick said...

Belle- You just proved what we all should know- somebody out there had the secret- but didn't even realize the knowledge they held, that others didn't know...!
JihadG- My thoughts exactly!

Kate said...

I am a lover of Spam. Seriously. Baked with brown sugar and vinegar topping? Fried with eggs. Sliced and warmed for sandwiches with cheese? Yeah. I'm all about the Spam. And it's not retro in MY house because I eat it all the time.

buffalodick said...

Kate- It is retro, fried eggs are too! It doesn't make it bad, it just shows how it was- and can be! Never ,ever apologize for humble food on this blog... because if you do, you don't know what I'm talkin' about...

doggybloggy said...

what on earth is 'bologna sandwich spread'..I cant wait to see this...

buffalodick said...

DogB- I have heard of it all my life, but have never made it.. God protect us all...

g-man said...

I made home made Mac and Cheese as well!!!
Velveeta and sour cream, butter, and 4 different real cheeses as well.

Bina said...

I LOVE homemade mac & cheese. It's not only creamier, it tastes SO much better.

That meal looks awesome. I never thought about putting whie chocolate chips in the brownies. GREAT idea!

Just telling it like it is said...

Awe I love it when you write about your family...I wonder what meal he ate that was so low buget...boy the people of that time were tough hu? It makes my heart smile when you write about your family...
I'm sure everything you make is special out of love...

TavoLini said...

I have to admit, I always keep a couple cans of evaporated milk in the cupboard for similar reasons. And for when my coffee creamer runs out.

That and canned chocolate syrup, cream of what's on sale, powdered milk and velveeta. Sounds so random, but I can crack out some comfort food like nobody's business! You think its a midwestern thing?

TavoLini said...

and we ate brunschwager or peanut butter (skippy) on crackers. Often.

My grandma had the most impressive post WWII food cabinet ever, with cans dating to the 50's. You don't grow up in the depression with 12 siblings and forget.

Great story, Buffalo!

Brown Eyed Girl said...

We made bologna salad when I was a kid using a hand meat grinder that attached to the end of the counter. I picked one of those grinders up at a sale several years ago just so I could make that retro salad but haven't done it yet. Good stuff.

Casdok said...

'bologna sandwich spread' sounds interesting!

Jeanne said...

Funny, I made a mac 'n cheese casserole with ham chunks and broccoli this weekend (using rice-based shell macaroni and Velveeta because neither of those trigger my allergies). Not as good as evaporated milk and cheddar, but also minus the 8 hours of vomiting, so it's a wash!

buffalodick said...

G-man- I keep sour cream around, and use it in baking and cooking..
Bina- There is an inside out chocolate chip cookie recipe I use, that comes out looking and tasting like these browies!
Darngirl- He had stories of lard sandwiches, baked bean sandwiches, etc...
Tavolini- I think it's a Midwestern thing! My wife's family were country- canning was a big deal in the Fall..
BrownEG- Everybody but me around here has had it and liked it..
Casdok- That's what I thought! I guess we'll find out...
Jeanne- Ya gotta do what ya gotta do...

Chef E said...

Buff- Made brownies and the 'Joseph' meat was a hit, I made three pounds to freeze...for our monthly card game group, my friends hubby likes it I heard...my brownies were not as good as usual...

buffalodick said...

Chef- I don't think the name "Untidy Buffalo Dicks" would help your card game group- unless they drink a lot!

Heff said...

HAM !!! Not my favorite meat.

buffalodick said...

Heff- Priest and a rabbi on a flight together..Preist says to Rabbi; you guys are so holier than thou.. tell me- Have you ever eaten pork? Rabbi hangs his head and says "I was at a party, appetizers were everywhere, by mistake I ate a ham meatball... Priest laughs and says I knew it! Rabbi says to priest, "you guys are celibate- no sex... tell me you haven't tried it once" Priest hangs head and says "Once, a grieving widow came in for confession...I consoled her, one thing led to another, and I fell from grace"... Rabbi says; "Beats the Hell out of ham, don't it?"

Jeanne said...

Old Joke #10!

buffalodick said...

Jeanne- If you have any funny old jokes, you can start telling them anytime!

Roger said...

I would eat it!

pinknest said...

ah ha! i see you've made some retro food too!!! i like these fun colors.

buffalodick said...

Rog- Simple doesn't mean it's bad, does it?
Pink- Returning to our roots usually ends up eating something that is good- with a good memory of it ...

MarmiteToasty said...

Brocoli is me most favourite veggie after sprouts lol :)

Dam I hunger for something nice to eat, aint had nuffin scrummie since having tonsilillitis cos one its been hard to swallow even water and 2 Ive lost me sense of taste now that me tonsils have settled down a little so there is no point in eating LOL

x