So I'm watching the Food Channel yesterday and not only do I realize it's November, time for planning the Thanksgiving menu, but I'm feeling guilty for not trying new recipes. All the cool-looking dishes whipped up by Paula, Ina, Giada, and Rachel. It seems they're all using fresh herbs in everything these days. A little basil here, some parsley there, dill, rosemary, thyme, and even something called cilantro.
Okay. Now I'm no gourmet cook. I admit that. But what's wrong with the tried and true? Those recipes handed down from our mothers and grandmothers that didn't have one bit of fresh herbs mixed into the olive oil and butter? Hmm? (Or the Crisco, whatever the case may be.)
Well, fine. Grow your herbs, slice and dice all you want. I pulled my Betty Crocker cook book, circa 1961, off my shelf. Published by McGraw Hill it includes this paragraph at the beginning of the book, directed I'm sure, at women:
Hints for the Homemaker: Every morning before breakfast, comb hair, apply makeup and a dash of cologne. Does wonders for your morale and your family's, too! Think pleasant thoughts while working and a chore will become a 'labor of love.' Have a hobby. Garden, paint pictures, look through magazines for home planning ideas, read a good book or attend club meetings. Be interested--and you'll always be interesting! If you have a spare moment, sit down, close your eyes and just relax. Wear comfortable shoes and easy-fitting clothes while working. Stand erect. Good posture prevents fatigue. Have sink, worktable, counter tops at height that is comfortable to eliminate strain. If dishpan is too low, set it on a box. Use a dust mop and long-handled dust pan. Use self-wringing mop to prevent stooping."
Seems like Betty Crocker was not only concerned about our cooking, but our homemaking spirit, as well!
I love this old retro cook book. There's not an herb mentioned in the whole darn 450 pages that I can see. Here's a recipe you can try, straight out of 1961!
SKILLET MEAT LOAF
"My guests like this," says Helen Ayres Davis, who combines homemaking with an advertising career."
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
6 to 10 large stuffed olives, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped fine (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix beef, 1/3 cup of the tomato sauce, olives, onion, oats, egg and seasonings. Spread in heavy 10 inch skillet. Cover with remaining 2/3 cup tomato sauce. Bake 1 hour. Remove excess fat from skillet before serving. Cut in wedges to serve. 6 servings.
Well, shoot. Add some mashed potatoes and creamed corn and you've got yourself one fine meal. What can I say?
Blessings to you and yours.