November 17, 2010

The Surprise Inside

Before microwave ovens entered the typical American kitchen, how could the harried housewife get dinner on the table in 45 minutes? "It's possible!", says the Better Homes and Gardens Meals in Minutes cookbook, adding, "The family will think you're a wonder." With chapters headed "Main dishes like magic", "Skip-a-step salads","Dandy do-little desserts" (my favorite) and "Bigtime broiler meals", this cookbook offers plenty of options for quick meals, accompanied by luridly colored photos of the final product.  I'm especially taken with their desire to avoid showing a brand preference by disguising their ingredients in plain brown wrappers (well, actually plain yellow, pink and green wrappers):

Note the can of soup labeled as FROZEN SHRIMP SOUP.  Is it frozen, or is it canned? Make up your minds, people!

Today's selection comes from the "Broiler recipe roundup".  Aren't you tempted by a dinner with the enticing name "Surprise Logs"? Me neither - which is why this dish makes it into the  frightening food category. The intro tells us "Inside each, a row of olives.  Next time, the surprise can be a dill pickle stick -".  It sounds like the start of a game - "Name that Surprise"! Next time, the surprise can be - a row of lima beans.  Next time, the surprise can be - pickled beets.  Next time, the surprise can be - I could go on and on! But you, dear reader, are no doubt waiting with bated breath for the recipe, so I will stop dallying with fun fillings and get on with it.


1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup corn flake crumbs
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon snipped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
20 pitted ripe olives
5 coney buns, toasted [and of course the recipe leaves you with 3 lonely hot dog buns]

Combine first nine ingredients; shape in 5 logs to fit coney buns. Press a row of olives into center of each log, molding meat around olives. Broil 3 inches from heat, turning occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Serve in coney buns. Makes 5 servings [duh!]

Better Homes and Gardens Meals in Minutes, Meredith Corporation, 1963

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