Cookbook Tuesdays: Mirro Challenge!

Mirro All-Purpose Cook Book, ©1954

Once upon a time (April of 2011), I invited my readers to prepare a 1956 dessert recipe that used, as a main ingredient no less, ketchup.

I had no takers.

The recipe, while unusual, didn’t actually sound awful. I’m still curious about it, and I’ll very likely make that dessert this week while I’m thinking of it.

This time, I’m not so brave. This week I’m featuring a recipe from my 1954 copy of the Mirro All-Purpose Cook Book, which I bought specifically for the chapter on pressure cooking (my Mirro-Matic pressure cooker is also, coincidentally, from 1954). The introduction says that the book “has been written for the average American homemaker who insists upon serving food at its best.” It also claims that each recipe in the book has been tested and approved for taste and appearance.

I don’t think so.

You see, there’s one recipe in here which I have decided must have been placed by a practical joker of an editor, and nobody ever caught it. Until now. Because there is no way, in spite of changing tastes, home economics, food availability, no NOTHING that would ever make this recipe seem like a good idea.

I give you: Banana Tuna Salad.

A recipe that did not stand the test of time. Any time. Ever.

For those of you who might enjoy stumbling upon this post via keyword searching, I’ll type out the recipe.

1 cup (1 or 2) ripe bananas, sliced or diced
1/2 cup canned or fresh pineapple, diced
1 10-oz. can flaked tuna
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 tablespoons stuffed olives, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

  1. Combine bananas and pineapple.
  2. Add tuna, celery, olives and salt.
  3. Mix together mustard and mayonnaise and add to salad ingredients. Mix lightly.
  4. Serve with crisp lettuce or other salad greens.
  5. Garnish with additional mayonnaise and lemon slices, if desired

 Serves 4.

Or 400, as soon as people hear what it’s made with. Go ahead. I dare you to try it. No, really! Post a personal review (or link to same) in these here comments, and be ready to provide photographic evidence if asked. I’ll give you two whole weeks to prepare! On January 11th I’ll choose a random reviewer from the comments to receive a copy of Magical Desserts with Whip’n Chill, published in 1965. This 44-page recipe booklet is worthy of a post of its own, to showcase these gorgeous, fluffy creations made with a product I’d never heard of, but which it turns out is still in production, although apparently only in food-service sizes. I imagine any instant mousse mix would work in place of the home-use-size packets of Whip’n Chill called for in the recipes.

Prize! Approximate $7 value!

View an interesting 1967 Whip’n Chill TV ad here.

(as usual, enclick any image to enlarge)

NOTE: You do NOT need to be a U.S. resident to enter!

Take a Look-See: Party Chef by Cory


LIFE magazine, May 26, 1947

Perhaps best know for vacuum coffee pots and the patented “Cory coffee rod,” the Cory Corporation is also responsible for the flying saucer shaped gem that is the Party Chef electric skillet, patented in 1956. Behold, its brushed aluminum space-age greatness (click on any picture to enlarge):

The Florence (Alabama) Times, July 11, 1961
The Gadsden (Alabama) Times, January 28, 1968
Image from Carmen and Ginger

So, how happy am I that my Christmas present to myself arrived today? Many thanks to Carmen and Ginger for creating the perfect shipping box! This gorgeous specimen appears to be unused, but I won’t let that stop me. Bring on the fried cereal!

Take a Look-See: WD, Nov 1968

Not much time to write any back-story for you today, but I can tell you that the following advertisements are all from the November, 1968 issue of Women’s Day. Click on images to enlarge.

KiNDNESSâ„¢ Instant Hairsetters by Clairol
Shimmering Chandelier would still look nice today!
Sterling Silver Charm Bracelet and Brooch. I have my grandmother's, although it predates this one by nearly two decades.
Win Schiaparelli furs…from Wyler's! I always think "jaguar coat" when I'm mixing up a cup of instant bouillon, don't you?
"High-fashion beauties for a low-fashion budget." Heck, it's 43 years later and I still can't afford some of these!