Sorrento Soup (adapted from Smart Shopper’s Cookbook, 1972)

Sorrento Soup is a hearty tomato-vegetable soup perfect for a crisp, autumn weeknight, one of a dozen or so excellent soups in Loyta Wooding’s 1972 Smart Shopper’s Cookbook.  While ostensibly written for budget-conscious homemakers in the face of rising food prices, Mrs. Wooding’s background at Betty Crocker kitchens lends a sense of company-friendly sophistication to……

40 Carrots (Nebraska, 1987, adapted)

I’m a little bit embarrassed to publish this.  40 Carrots isn’t much of a recipe, and the end result isn’t really worth eating.  Spoiler alert:  it’s cooked carrots and Cheez Whiz.   It tastes exactly like you’d imagine.  My kids weren’t impressed.  I won’t be making this one again. Why did I choose to make it……

Mexican Chicken with Prunes and Bananas (adapted from Buen Provecho, 1995)

Mexican Chicken with Prunes and Bananas is adapted from Buen Provecho, a 1995 recipe collection compiled by the AT&T Hispanic Employee Group HISPA.   I’ll admit that my first reaction was “hard pass” but was encouraged by the author’s note to take a second look: People may at first be a little startled by the combination……

Mock Turkey (adapted from Mennonite Community Cookbook, 1950)

Many of my older cookbooks contain some variant of a “mock turkey” recipe.  Despite what our twenty-first century sensibilities might suggest, mock turkey has nothing to do with tofu or seitan and it’s anything but vegetarian.   Recipes vary but they usually agree on two core components:  ground beef and poultry seasoning.  From a health……

Hot Cucumber Soup (Indiana, 1984, adapted)

Whoever invented the phrase “cool as a cucumber” never partied with the St. Andrew’s Parish Bingo Committee.  Hot Cucumber Soup is a straightforward weeknight recipe courtesy of a sixty-something parishioner.   It’s a creamy vegetable soup thickened with white sauce and sour cream.   The vegetable base includes the usual suspects, a mirepoix and some boiled potatoes,……

Lentil Soup (adapted from Home Cookin’ with Dave’s Mom, 1996)

My favorite recipe from Home Cookin’ with Dave’s Mom is the lentil soup, which comes courtesy of David Letterman’s sister Jan.  This recipe was a winter favorite back in our college days, and is one of the few “starving student” recipes that still finds its way onto our table twenty years later.  Like any good……