October 1, 2010

Orange You Glad It's Friday?

For the final frightening food feature of SPAM week, I chose a recipe that's shown on the cover of Meals in Minutes, a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from 1963. The picture is actually what made me pick up the book - it's the kind of picture you look at and just think, "What IS that?" and also, "Does that shade of orange really exist in nature?"

The sweet potatoes are recognizable, but would you have guessed that the radiantly tangerine stuff in the center was good old SPAM?  Two cans worth, sliced and stuffed with half-rings of pineapple and topped with apricot jam.  The pastry shop where I once worked used thinned apricot jam to make fruits shiny and to keep them from turning brown.  I do not recall them radiating with this intensity, but perhaps that was the fluorescent lighting under which none of us look our best. The dish also has an alliterative but completely non-descriptive name, so you can keep the family guessing even when you answer the daily question, "What's for dinner?"


1 1-pund can applesauce
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 12-oz. cans lucheon meat [SPAM, wonderful SPAM]
1 8-oz. can pineapple slices
1 1-pound 2-oz. can sweet potatoes
*   *   *   *
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. water

Combine applesauce and ginger; spread in 10x6x11/2-inch baking dish. Slice each loaf of luncheon meat 3 times on the diagonal, cutting only 3/4 of the way through. Halve pineapple slices; insert in cuts in meat. Place meat atop applesauce, arrange sweet potatoes around meat. Combine remaining ingredients. Spread over meat, pineapple and potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Meals in Minutes, Meredith Corporation, 1963

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