I've been going through my mom's recipe box. Started out looking for her kick-ass peanut-frosted cake, and then of course just kept poking around. Most of the recipes were from the sixties thru the eighties. She obviously pitched all her old-timey from scratch recipes of earlier days. Pity.
The recipes had far too many cake mixes, instant pudding, canned pineapple recipes. And the main courses were also instructive. It would have been hard to find a recipe not calling for cream of mushroom, celery or chicken soup, with a can of chopped olives and a can of sliced mushrooms. Were fresh mushrooms unavilable? Too much trouble? Coated with toxins?
As a kid no mushroom ever crossed my lips. I hated mushrooms until I discovered they weren't the slimy ick that came in cans and jars but big plump white or brownish delights from the produce section. It was love at second sight. Obviously, there was no olive bar in those days, so olives were also canned.
We forget how fortunate we are to have such a variety of fresh foods nowadays. I only found two recipes that looked interesting: Chicken corn bread casserole, and Botty Bool's Sausage Casserole. I noticed there were a lot of ethnic recipes that didn't call for ethnic seasonings, but appealed to the bland fifties taste buds. I'll never forget that International Night in college when we were served Curry and it was love at first bite, as in where have you been all my life? Same for Mexican food at Felix in Houston which was more authentic obviously than what my Kansas mom made.
Some of mom's recipes were sliding into Julia Child territory, but not many. That can of soup was just too tempting rather than making the sauce from scratch. Canned chicken broth seemed to be a new ingredient.
My mom's old stuffing recipe (to which I found a likeness on the web) and her cake cut into squares, frosted, and rolled in chopped peanuts were among the missing. Both from scratch of course, and therefore, sadly trashed. The newspaper recipes were just as bad. Processed food reigned supreme. So now I troll the net for remembered goodies from my childhood. Someone always prefaces the recipes with "my mother (or grandmother) made this. Hooray for the old-time cooks.
If you ever get tired of cooking and want to make "food" from the center isles of the store, see me. I have about a thousand recipes that are quick and easy. Who knows what they taste like? Condensed mushroom soup, for sure.