Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the US, which means, based on the day’s most prevalent activity, giving thanks for being omnivorous. It also means, as usual, I’ll make my yearly appeal for you to send the equivalent of your weekly coffee/burrito/gummi bear/ramen/”medicinal” marajuana budget to some organization that will help spread the virtues of said omnivorousness. (The local favorite here at Soho the Dog HQ is The Greater Boston Food Bank.) Not reading this until Friday? No problem—they can use the cash all year round.

Now, I also usually use this space to extol the virtues of my mom’s stuffing, but for a little variety, here’s a couple of recipes my grandmother used to win five-dollar prizes from the Chicago Tribune back when the estimable Mary Meade was their food editor.

Barbecue Beans

1 pound ground beef
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
2 tablespoons shortening
1 large can pork and beans
1 cup chili sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper

Brown meat and onion in shortening [I would consider the shortening optional—M.G.]. Add remaining ingredients. Turn mixture into a casserole and bake in a moderate oven, 350 degrees, for 30 minutes.
(Chicago Tribune, January 4, 1947)

(Russian Dessert)

¾ pound cream cheese
½ cup butter
½ cup rich sour cream
½ cup sugar
1 cup almonds, chopped
¾ cup candied orange peel
1/3 cup seedless raisins

Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Pack in a mold and chill overnight. Unmold and serve with plain [whipped] cream or preserves.
(Chicago Tribune, June 15, 1948)

Note that the traditional mold for a paskha is a pyramid, but my grandmother was Irish, not Russian, and it’s nowhere near Easter, so we won’t stand on ceremony. The beans have long been a Guerrieri/Knop family gathering staple. A few years ago, it was dubbed “beefy beans” by my brother-in-law Mike, and the name stuck. Family lore also has my grandmother sending in the exact same bean recipe a few years later and winning another five bucks. I couldn’t find evidence of this in the Tribune archives, but honestly, it wasn’t all that straightforward finding these two recipes there, and I knew where to look. So we’ll leave it at se è non vero, è ben trovato for this year.

One comment

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.Susan< HREF="" REL="nofollow"><>

Leave a Reply