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July 15, 2009

Mid-Century Menu – Salmon Egg Casserole

PET Milk003Welcome to this week’s Mid-Century Menu, the special portion of my blog where I choose a hilarious or crazy recipe from my vintage cookbook collection, cook it exactly as the recipe tells me (no matter how horrible), and then serve it up for dinner. My husband has choked down more than his fair share of horrible creations thanks to this part of the blog.  And I don’t plan on letting up any time soon.

This week’s “fun” recipe comes from the PET Milk Cookbook, Warm Weather Meals for 2 or 4 or 6. You may recall this book as being the origin of Meatloaf Nests with Creamed Peas, also known as the best Mid-Century meal to date.  I picked another Warm Weather recipe for this week, hoping that by some miracle we could get another good meal. 

Well, the idea had potential. Right?

Anyway, if you recall, this cookbook was published in 1938 and is one of the oldest recipes to appear on this blog. As I mentioned before, calling this Mid-Century is really pushing it, but I just loved some of the pictures and recipes in this book. I mean, take a look at the lovely image to the left,  which is the back cover of the book. Check out all those pickles and eggs. That little china girl is just in raptures over it. And yes, that is a molded gelatin salmon salad.  Using canned salmon.

*Shiver*

In any case, the recipe chosen for this week is Salmon Egg Casserole.  I am not a huge fan of canned salmon to begin with, so I wasn’t too keen on trying this one. But Hubs was pretty excited by the prospect of canned salmon stuffed into hard-boiled eggs, so we decided to give it a try. PET Milk004

Pretty appetizing, huh?  Those little eggs are almost enough to make me wonder what I was thinking. Maybe we just picked this one because it is served in Fiesta. Yes. That has to be it.

Even though the title of this book is Warm Weather Meals, I don’t find these any different from regular meals in terms of ease or oven usage. In fact, I used both the oven and the stove to make the Meatloaf Nests, which is more than I do for a meal in winter.  So, I am going to count how many times the heat is on, so to speak, for this recipe.  And we will see whether or not it is considered a warm weather meal.

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Only 14 easy steps!  Let’s do this.

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Heat use #1!  Cooking the noodles and the hard-boiled eggs.  I am only counting this as one since I did them both at once.

Look at those happy little eggs cooking away. They have no idea that in 30 minutes they are going to be stuffed with canned salmon. Ahhh…blissful ignorance.

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Ingredient roll call. Looks kind of bland, doesn’t it?  Except forrrrrrrrrrr…oh, I don’t know, the slimy hunk of canned salmon! Ugh!  I tried to go for authenticity here by buying the old school canned salmon, but it looks like it is mostly just skin and bones. No real salmon to speak of.

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Separated hard-boiled whites and yolks. There is a hilarious story that goes with this picture.  I was running cold water over the hard-boiled eggs to speed cooling, when I started to hear a strange sound.  Almost like…chirping.  I walked to the window. The chirping got quieter. I walked back to the sink. The chirping got louder. I leaned my head down to the strainer containing the cooked eggs.

“Chirp…chirp, chirp…chirp…”

After I stopped hysterically screaming, I thought about it reasonably.  Okay, these eggs have been in the refrigerated section for at least a few weeks. I boiled them for 14 minutes.  There is no way, no possible way, that there is a chick alive inside these eggs. No way.

Still, the chirping continued, more feeble now.

With all the leftover courage I could muster (I used up a lot on the nasty salmon.  I totally plunged my hand into that mass and deboned and skinned it. Thank you very much.) I picked up each egg, put it to my ear, then shook it and cracked it.

As you can see from the picture, none held a chick. Thank goodness. The chirping must have been caused by the cooling shells, but it certainly freaked me out.  I dried my tears and separated the chick-free eggs, letting out a little sigh of relief every time a white split open to reveal a solid yellow yolk. Whew.

And no, I am not dramatic.

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Heat use #2! Cooking up the cheese sauce for the noodle base. Notice the makeshift double-boiler.  Seems like a good idea, but baby, that bowl got hot!

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The cheese  sauce, melted and together.  It got smooth and slightly thicker after only a few more minutes, but then I added the egg yolks to it and I couldn’t get it smooth again.

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The noodles covered with cheese sauce.  Part one of the recipe successfully completed.

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The stuffed egg filling. What you are seeing is a skinned and boned pouch of salmon that I picked up just in case the canned salmon didn’t work.  Which it didn’t. But some of the canned salmon is actually in there, too. After all the plunging in of hands and pulling off of skin and bones, the canned salmon only yielded about 1/4 of a cup of useable salmon. Hooray. Thank goodness for the backup plan.

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The stuffed salmon eggs being carefully placed on the noodle base. 

I have a question for you to ponder. How come over half my mid-century meals look they are stuffed with brains when I am done?  Look at that salmon stuffing. Nasty.

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Ready for the oven. Wow. Look at how bland it looks. No real color at all.

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Heat use #3!  The casserole after being baked in the oven.  Not sure if this improved it at all, but there you go.

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Getting ready to be eaten, with the required green veggie and glass of milk.  You can’t see it in the picture, but Hubs has a beer on the other side of his plate, just in case.

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Hubs taking the first bite. My hero.

After chewing for a while, he made a face and then swallowed.

“Is it bad?” I asked. I didn’t really have high hopes anymore.

“No just really, really bland. It doesn’t really taste like anything.”

He was right. The egg/salmon concoction didn’t taste like anything at all, except for a little fish aftertaste. The cheesy noodles, though, were incredibly salty!

The verdict: Edible, but salty and disappointing.

I was kind of sad about this verdict, because this one was a lot of work and I had high hopes for it after the way the Meatloaf Nests turned out.  But the stuffed eggs were practically tasteless, and the noodles just tasted like salt.  On top of that, I had to use a heat source a whopping 3 times for one dish.  Not a good warm weather meal, if you ask me.

Maybe I should have made the salmon gelatin salad instead.

This post has been submitted to Colorado Lady’s Vintage Thingie Thursdays! Head on over there and check out the goodies!

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16 Responses to Mid-Century Menu – Salmon Egg Casserole

  1. Sara in AZ Reply

    July 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Girl, you are too, too FUNNY!!! Meals stuffed with brains, hilarious! But, yes, now that I think about it a lot of them do resemble stuffed brains don’t they? 🙂 OMG salmon gelatin salad, I would love to see the recipe for that one. I had high hopes for this one too, I did not think it would be to bad. God, the cannned salmon looks like a slimy octopus or something – YUUUCK! Gosh, your hard boiled eggs look so, so perfect. It seems whenever I try to make deviled eggs the white egg part always gets ripped to shreads. You will have to let me in on your secret……

  2. sablemable Reply

    July 15, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Does Tom make faces when the MCM meal is awful? LOL, you should snap a photo of him and show us!!!!

    I agree with Sara, your HB eggs are a work of art! And I almost started sobbing myself over the mysterious chirping! God, I would have had nightmares had it been the real thing! Poor Ruth, your nerves must be on edge after that scare! Have a MCM martini, girlfriend!

  3. MidcenturyMarilyn Reply

    July 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    I have just giggled my way through several of your Midcentury Menu posts! A fantastic idea and so much fun for you and your husband, thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

  4. Alex Reply

    July 15, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    That is a very beige meal, which is usually right up my alley. I do like salmon and eggs, so I might really dig this.

  5. postcardy Reply

    July 15, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Too much work. Too much heat.

    I didn’t know you could get canned salmon with skin and bones. I seem to remember when canned salmon had some edible bones though.

  6. Carol @ Old Glory Cottage Reply

    July 15, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I thought this one was going to turn out to be a winner! It sounded good to me, because I love salmon. I’m disappointed. I wonder what could be added to give it more flavor? Oh, and by the way, your husband is a saint!

  7. Coloradolady Reply

    July 16, 2009 at 1:56 am

    I have to give you credit, you were might brave to try that one….As always, your post are really great! I look forward to next week already!

    Have a great VTT!

  8. fitty Reply

    July 16, 2009 at 4:00 am

    oh gosh.. you really follow the recipes to the T.. good job but too bad the taste were blah..

  9. Ulla Reply

    July 16, 2009 at 5:10 am

    Hilarious story but too much work for so little taste!

  10. Miri Reply

    July 16, 2009 at 7:16 am

    I too thought this one would be a winner-too bad.

  11. marian Reply

    July 16, 2009 at 7:52 am

    what a fun post!!..you are ssoo brave to try these vintage recipes lol!! 🙂

  12. ClassyChassy Reply

    July 16, 2009 at 9:51 am

    All that trouble – I thought there would be a happy ending – but I guess not! Well, you will probably never make THAT again! Have a great day!

  13. CC Reply

    July 16, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I have to admit, after I stopped laughing, that I did feel sympathy. For you see, I also collect cookbooks, the older the better..and my husband and son continually ask..
    if you collect them, why not cook the recipes in them???
    *sighs deeply. I say to them, “I am far to busy collecting to do any cooking”..:). I have a 1907 cookbook that I actually might try someday.. :), but first I have to stop laughing at the chirping… 🙂
    Happy VTT..and have a most wonderful weekend, cause girl..you sure deserve it.

  14. Bea Reply

    July 17, 2009 at 12:13 am

    What a lot of work! I do not like salmon and I do not like eggs. I would have had to settle for the noodles and peas.

  15. mub Reply

    July 17, 2009 at 9:04 am

    What a HOOT! I found your blog via VTT and I added you to my reader. I can’t wait to read some more of these Mid Century Menu experiments!

  16. Pingback: Mid-Century Menu – Stuffed Eggs on Rice | No Pattern Required

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