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……

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

Soup Bagdad is a warm and rich lentil-and-lamb soup punched up with a heavy hand of fresh herbs.   Despite the long simmer time this is still a tractable weeknight meal, and requires very little chopping or active time.   It’s also plenty hearty for a weekend meal.  This recipe comes to me by way of Smart……

Rolled Lamb Breast, Sous Vide

Lamb consumption in the United States is on a decades long decline, with the average American consuming just a single pound per year.  Now my family members probably average a pound of lamb per month, and I imagine that many of my Middle Eastern and Indian neighbors do the same.  When Americans do eat lamb……

Macaroni with Yogurt Sauce (California, 1990s, adapted)

I’ve been cooking long enough that I can figure out what a recipe’s going to taste like just from reading the ingredient list.  There’s not a lot new under the sun, and the community cookbooks that I frequently cook from aren’t exactly known for their innovative cuisine.  There’s an awful lot of repetition, even within……

Chicken Cutlets with a Swiss Cheese Crust (Nebraska, 1987, adapted)

Chicken Cutlets with a Swiss Cheese Crust is a tasty fried chicken dish suitable for weeknight cooking.   The whole chicken and cheese thing isn’t normally appealing to me, but I had been craving fried chicken like crazy when I came across this recipe.  I was also looking for an opportunity to use my new meat……

Curried Chicken with Rice Colombo (Oklahoma, 1920s, adapted)

Curried Chicken with Rice Colombo comes to us by way of a community cookbook published by the First Presbyterian Church of Enid, Oklahoma in the late 1920s.    Originally published in the Kansas City Star, it provides an interesting window into perceptions of “exotic” cuisine in this area.   Colombo presumably refers to the Sri Lankan port……

Spam Puffs (adapted from Sunset Cook Book, 1949)

Say what you will but I’m a big fan of Spam.  No irony, no poverty cuisine voyeurism, no pining for some lost Hawaiian vacation:  fried Spam is a genuine treat for our family.  At any given time we’ll have a half a dozen cans on hand, ready to whip up a quick batch of musubis……

Tomato Beef Chow Yuk with Pea Pods (Oregon, 1974, adapted)

I’m fortunate to live in an area with a large Asian population and have ready access to high-quality traditional Chinese food.  And I occasionally like to tell myself that I’m somehow fancy or cultured because I can distinguish regional cuisines or appreciate cold, spiced jellyfish, but I also have a soft spot in my heart……

Orygun’s French Dressing (Oregon, 1974, adapted)

This simple salad dressing recipe comes from No Regrets, a cookbook compiled by the Junior League of Portland (Oregon) in 1974.   The recipe itself doesn’t particularly spark joy in me – I find it hard to get excited about salad dressing in general – but the title makes me smile.  No, it’s not a typo. ……