Hawaiian Chicken with Ginger and Peach (California, 1996, adapted)

Hawaiian Chicken with Ginger and Peach is a chicken and rice dish with vaguely tropical sensibilities.   If you’re expecting a traditional plate-lunch style chicken you’ll need to look elsewhere:  this dish is more Nixon-era casserole than luau food.  Pan-fried chicken breast is set atop a salty pilaf and seasoned lightly with ginger and coconut –……

Chili Stack (adapted from Sunset Cook Book, 1949)

Chili Stack is an out-of-the-ordinary savory pancake main dish with the flair of the American Southwest.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it before or since.  Adapted from the 1949 Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes, Chili Stack is  a meal of thin cornmeal pancakes and a smooth, spicy chili.  The pancakes and chili are……

Chinese Pork Balls and Cabbage (adapted from Myra Waldo’s Chinese Cookbook, 1968)

Chinese Pork Balls and Cabbage is a hearty dish suitable for a cool autumn weeknight.  If you’re after an authentic Chinese main dish keep looking.  This recipe is adapted from Myra Waldo’s Chinese Cookbook, first published in 1968, and reflects Americanized Chinese sensibilities adapted to the tastes and ingredient availability of the 1960s.   Like most……

Beef and Noodles Italiano (Missouri, 1964, adapted)

Beef and Noodles Italiano is a hearty two-pot-one-meal pasta dish with vaguely Italian sensibilities.  Adapted from a 1964 community cookbook published by the St. Louis Symphony, Beef and Noodle sItaliano has a little bit of a fancy company vibe to it, in keeping with the mildly patrician sensibilities of the rest of the book.  The……

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……

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……

Cheese Grits with Tomato Gravy (adapted from The Black Family Reunion Cookbook, 1991)

The Black Family Reunion Cookbook (1991) is a glorious cookbook compiled by the National Council of Negro Women.   The recipes honor NCNW’s founder, Mary McLeod Bethune, and commemorate the organization’s annual Black Family Reunion Celebration, which honors “the historic strengths and values of the Black Family.”  The recipes are peppered with stories of Ms…….

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……