My mother was a good plain cook of the meat/starch/veg school. She became more adventurous only after I’d gone off to college and she started playing a lot of bridge. Those bridge ladies were really into food, so my mother collected quite a few recipes for dips and canapes and the like.
But I have only one stack of index cards that make up her entire recipe collection. I gave her a box and the first cards in 1962, as you can see, and there are contributions from my grandmother, me, my sister, my grandmother’s occasional housekeeper, and some of those bridge ladies. They are much as you would expect from that era—there is a lot of Jello involved.
I will not burden you with some of these recipes (like my sister’s Pretzel Salad, which involves a package of pretzels, sugar, butter, cream cheese, Cool Whip, and Black Cherry Jello). But I was giddy enough to purchase an eleven-pound ham for Christmas (for three of us? What was I thinking?), and there’s plenty left over, some of which will be frozen for later use.
But my mother did have a recipe for Ham and Swiss Pie which sounded more or less edible, and I’ve got plenty of ham. Think of this as an experiment in retro cuisine.
Ham and Swiss Pie
(remember, this was before the world discovered quiche!)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese½ cup chopped green onions or yellow onions
2 cups whole milk
1 cup Bisquick
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 10” pie plate.
Sprinkle the ham, cheese and chopped onions over the bottom of the plate.
Beat together the eggs, milk, Bisquick, salt and pepper for one minute (with a hand mixer or stand mixer) until smooth. Pour the liquid over the ham and cheese layers.
Would you believe this was better than I expected? The ham and cheese kind of floated to the top, which then browned nicely. If I was a snob, I could have deconstructed the Bisquick into its components—but this is what it is, straight from the 1960s. And it tasted good!
Coming next month!