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……

Mock-Steak Joubey (adapted from The Smart Shopper’s Cookbook, 1972)

Mock-Steak Joubey is one of the more entertaining recipes in The Smart Shopper’s Cookbook.  To some degree it captures the essence of the cookbook – making elegant meals with ground meat or inexpensive cuts – but very few of the recipes take that charge quite so literally.   Mock-Steak Joubey actually fashions a ground meat patty……

Chili Wheat (Oklahoma, 1978, adapted)

Let’s be honest – Chili Wheat is not a particularly appetizing name for a supper dish.  It sounds like it ought to be a snack food or some kind of hipster breakfast cereal.  Or maybe even a bad joke.  The truth is more mundane:  think Chili Mac but with wheat instead of macaroni.   To understand……

Tomato Barbecue Jell-O Salad (Georgia, 1960s, adapted)

This is one of those recipes that belongs to another time and place, and probably should have stayed there.   Savory Jell-O salads have always fascinated me, but I don’t get around to making them all that often.  There’s usually a weird crunchy ingredient like celery or chopped nuts that prompts the gag reflex just reading……

Eggs and Tomatoes, or American Shakshuka (Wisconsin, 1962, adapted)

Eggs and Tomatoes is a simple main dish from the good women of Arcadia, Wisconsin ca. 1962.  Nestled among a variety of chicken casseroles and chop suey recipes, this recipe is something of an outlier.  No meat.  No condensed soup.  And a keen-eyed observer might recognize this dish looks an awful lot like shakshuka, a North……