October 12, 2006
Recently my mother gave me a copy of the Cooterville Historical Cookbook and tonight I finally decided I should put it away — somewhere. Being the avoider that I am, however, I first decided to flip through it and see what the Cootervillians of yesteryear were eating. Turns out they were more cultured than I give them credit for (typed with a big, heapin’ helpin’ of sarcasm). As proof, I give you the favorite recipe of a 1940’s Cooterville social club. I give you:
1 1/2 packs Mueller spaghetti (’cause the folks at Mueller are known for their amazing Asian noodles)
6 strips bacon, fried and cut small
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 med. onion, chopped (what could be considered the first actual Asian ingredient in this recipe)
2 green peppers, chopped
1 sm. garlic, chopped
1/4 stick of margarine (’cause we all know how folks from Asia love their margarine)
3/4 cup canned tomatoes
1/3 cup flour
1 sm. can sliced mushrooms
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese (yes folks, cheese; and cheddar no less)
1 tsp. Worcesterdshire sauce
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
dash of paprika
Boil spaghetti. Rinse and set aside. Put margarine, onion and garlic in large skillet. Cook 5 minutes. Add celery and cook 5 minutes. Add flour, cook until light brown. Add meat and peppers and cook 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, bacon, salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce and cook 5 minutes. Pour over spaghetti and mix thoroughly. Let stand over night in refrigerator. When ready to bake, spread cheese through and on top. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees or until brown.
Now, I’m not saying this doesn’t make a tasty, artery clogging, cooked-all-the-nutrition-out-of-the-vegetables kind of a meal, but I worked at a Chinese restaurant and this recipe would have the owner/chef, R. Cao, spinning in his grave. If he were dead.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.