Sunday, January 17, 2010

SpaghettiOs and other food from the 60s & 70s...

Listening to NPR while driving to work last week I learned that Donald Goerke, the Campbell Soup executive who created SpaghettiOs (and Campbell's Chunky Soup line) had died. I flashed back to Girl Scout camping trips, when SpaghettiOs offered an easy way to 'cook' dinner over a campfire. Add some ground beef, serve with a salad and garlic bread: Dinner.

SpaghettiOs, Instant Breakfast, Pop-tarts, Dinty Moore Beef Stew, Tang, Jiffy Pop: none of these have been in my consciousness for years. Since my mother didn't buy these foods, of course we wanted them. Growing up, we ate fresh or frozen food prepared by my mother. TV dinners, bakery cakes, deli meat, processed food, and white bread were not on our table. Nor was anything that would have been considered ethnic food, except for spaghetti: Prince from the box and homemade meat sauce. It wasn't until my senior year in high school that my mother finally had enough of preparing hot breakfasts and offered us Instant Breakfast and Pop-tarts. My sisters and I were thrilled.

After college, when I had the choice to eat whatever I wanted, I found that aside from the occasional Dinty Moore Beef Stew, I continued to eat fresh, rather than processed food. I still do.

In honor of Donald Goerke and all the other executives who created the processed food from the last half of the 20th century, here is my favorite SpaghettiO recipe:

Girl Scout Camp SpaghettiOs with Garlic Bread
Serves 2
Can of SpaghettiOs
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic pressed or mashed garlic in a tube
2 Italian rolls

In large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil, add onions and saute.
Add ground beef, cook until browned.
Open can of SpaghettiOs, add to onion and ground beef mixture; heat thoroughly.

Garlic Bread
Cut Italian rolls in half as if for sandwich, separate halves.
In small cast iron skillet, melt butter and garlic over low heat.
With small brush, spread garlic and butter mixture on rolls.
Toast rolls in toaster oven until browned to desired crispness.

Serving suggestion
Add a simple green salad (lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes) and you have recreated the simple supper made on many camping trips in my youth.

No comments:

Post a Comment