Remember Watergate Salad? Of course, you don’t. It was a crazy green concoction that Kraft introduced back in the seventies, that included crushed pineapple, Cool Whip, pistachio pudding and marshmallows. It was dubbed Watergate Salad because, like the scandal, it was nutty and messy. I don’t make it any more.
I don’t make pineapple-Spam kabobs either, or tomato aspic or gooey casseroles laced with sour cream and can of mushroom soup. I’m thinking of tossing those recipes, but it’s hard. They contain memories.
Women of my mother’s era swapped recipes like kids did baseball cards and comic books. The popular ones got passed around by word of mouth or scribbled on a 3” x 5” card or a page torn from a Big Chief tablet. In the computer-free homes of yesteryear, my mother kept her stash of recipes in a small metal box. Batter-stained scraps torn from magazines and newspapers were tucked in the file box amongst the handwritten cards.
Today my castoff recipes languish in shoe boxes preserved for the amusement of later generations. Only at Thanksgiving do I fish out the handwritten card for the old, green bean-mushroom soup casserole with the can of fried onions sprinkled on top. My family today prefers crispy beans to mushy one. My mother would’ve never understood.