Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Creamed Corn Spaghetti

Prize-winning urban legend brought to life!
Horrifyingly, I was having a conversation recently with someone who had not heard of Dr. Bobb's Kitschen. Which means you people haven't been busy liking our Facebook page , talking us up at cocktail parties, distributing flyers around your neighborhoods, and whatnot. GET BUSY.

Anyway, back to my story. My friend related that her sister, many years ago, had a go-to recipe called "Creamed Corn and Spaghetti". The dish was apparently so delicious, and so frequently made, that the sister had submitted it to a newspaper recipe contest. But, feeling like maybe the recipe, on paper at least, was a little too....well, to be politic I'll say "down home" for a high-falutin' newspaper contest, sister submitted the recipe under her mother's name.

Long story short - recipe won, mother horrified, yadda yadda yadda, family lore is born.

It was Aristotle, I believe, who said that "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts," so let's do a little math with today's ingredients and see how that statement holds up.

Spaghetti + Cheese = awesome
Spaghetti + Butter = awesome
Butter + Corn = awesome
Corn + Cream Sauce = awesome

Spaghetti + Butter + Cheese + Corn + Cream Sauce = SUPER AWESOME

It's true!  Thanks, Aristotle!

And why not mix all these things together? As my father used to say, while stirring the entire contents of his dinner plate into one giant lump of grayish matter that vaguely resembled food, "It all goes to the same place."

My friend couldn't recall the exact recipe - she believed it also involved cream of mushroom soup - but cobbling together a few different versions from the internets, I came up with the following:

1 can cream-style corn
1 can whole-kernel corn with liquid
1 cup (about 1/3 pound) spaghetti, uncooked, broken up
1 cup grated cheddar or mozarella cheese (I used a half cup of each)
1/2 stick butter, melted

Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake an additional 30 minutes.

You'll see that Dr. Husband struggled with his rating - Also due to the white-trashiness of the combination of ingredients.
Our Rating: Two One Screaming Husband!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tomato Pineapple Surprise

The Joys of Jell-O (1960)
I'll be perfectly blunt: today's post is less about the recipe (which didn't sound altogether disgusting to me) and more about featuring my new collection of Mirro brand Copper-tone Molds (with Alumilite finish!) which I fetched at an antique mall in Burlington, NC, mint in box for nine dollars. YES, NINE DOLLARS. 
Another ten bucks for my long-coveted fish mold (still with the Mirro-brand sticker affixed) and it was a happy day, indeed.
The Aluminum Manufacturing Company of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, was incorporated in 1895, inspired by the white-metal wonders from Germany that had been featured at the Columbian Exposition of 1893. In 1909, they merged with the Manitowoc Aluminum Novelty Company in neighboring Manitowoc, and a legend was almost-born! (FUN FACT: Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels, is one of the youngest serving Mayors in the US!)

The company's early days were spent producing heavy-gauge, high-quality pots and pans for the emerging American housewife, as well as combs, compacts, and other "novelty" items.  By mid-century, they had expanded to become almost entirely a cookware manufacturer, including the radiant molds you see above!
(You can find a more exhaustive history of Mirro, at least up through 1955, in the 1955 edition of The Mixing Bowl, downloadable here.)

Now, the recipe - a pretty standard tomato aspic variation from 1960's Joys of Jell-O. I apologize for the lack of originality, but it was my first time home in three-and-a-half weeks. I'll have a little more imagination next week.

You CAN make the below without the pineapple (it which case it's called just Tomato Surprise - "A can of flavorful stewed tomatoes becomes a tempting mold!" - if you do so, eliminate 1/2 tsp. of the vinegar and the allspice.)

1 can (1 lb.) stewed tomatoes
1 can (8 3/4 oz.) crushed pineapple
1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Lemon, Lemon-Lime, Strawberry, or Mixed Fruit Gelatin (I used Lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Pour tomatoes and drained pineapple into saucepan, saving cans to use as molds (I used one of my new fancy molds.) Bring mixture to a boil; add Jell-O Gelatin, salt, and allspice, stirring until dissolved. Add vinegar. Pour into mold or cans. Chill until firm. Serve with mayonnaise, if desired. (You'll desire it, trust me.)

Dr. Husband has a history of not minding tomato aspic, so I wasn't too worried about the tasting:
Our Rating: Two Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)