Sunshine Carrots (Tennessee, 1978, adapted)

Sunshine carrots is a simple, tasty glazed carrot recipe. I was originally drawn to this recipe by the cheery name – who doesn’t love sunshine? – but it also serves a practical purpose for the members of our family who don’t like cooked carrots.  Sunshine Carrots hides their funkiness with a sweet ginger orange glaze. 

Meat Balls in Dill Sauce (Tennessee, 1978, adapted)

Meat Balls in Dill Sauce is a hearty meal unto itself, delivering a one-two-punch of meat and potatoes.  There are plenty of ground beef and condensed soup dishes out there, but the dill lends enough character to make this one feel almost fancy.  It pairs well with egg noodles, rice, or hot buttered rolls and a leafy green vegetable.

Fire and Ice Tomatoes (Tennessee, 1978, adapted)

This recipe has got personality top to bottom, from the provocative title to the spicy flavors to the sassy instructions.  It’s a simple tomato salad with zesty spices (the fire) and cucumbers (the ice).  The original recipe describes the spice mix as ‘sultry’, which seems entirely appropriate.  It’s perfect for a zippy summer salad or even as a hamburger topping.

Coca-Cola and Jell-O Salad with Cherries and Pineapple (Tennessee, 1978)

The 1978 Thorn Grove Baptist Church cookbook has a dozen different variants on the gelatin salad, which is common for cookbooks in this era.   I love Jell-O, and I grew up in a community that loved these sorts of salads.  Most were simple mixtures of flavored Jell-O and canned fruit, sometimes with added dairy or……

Chicken Delicious (Tennessee, 1978)

Chicken Delicious, from the Thorn Grove Baptist Church cookbook, is kind of like the casserole version of the everything bagel.  It combines several different elements of 1960s/1970s cuisine into a single dish, and then amps it up to eleven by wrapping everything in bacon and seasoning with MSG.  Outside of whatever fungal matter exists in……

Tennessee Barbecue Sauce (Tennessee, 1978)

I’ve lived out West all my life where “barbecue” means either tri-tip, hamburgers, or some sort of hodgepodge of Kansas City and Texas-style barbecue from somewhere else in the United States.  I’ve traveled enough to realize that this it utter heresy to some folks, where each regional variant is held as the one true barbecue…….

Elephant Stew

There’s an old joke that goes something like this: Man:  Waiter, I’m told this restaurant serves everything. Waiter: That’s right sir!  If we don’t have what you want, your meal is free! Man:  All right then, bring me an elephant ear on a bun! Waiter:  Right away, sir. Waiter (a few minutes later):  I’m sorry……