Craving poverty suppers
My oven is broken therefore it's no surprise I really want a baked potato and 4-H meatloaf now that fall has nipped the air. Limited to stove-top prep I'm remembering suppers from the Sixties. My mom put supper for five on the table every evening and believed in the beneficial force of a round table to promote egalitarian conversation.
May Fritzi dine at the celestial Outback for all eternity! She deserves it. Some of her Sixties suppers I now realize were poor family desperation basement pantry concoctions. And they were among my childhood favorites.
Mom used to toast "open-face" left-over hamburger buns in the oven topped with salted slices of American (not Velveeta) cheese. I'm craving one right now.
Another deeply satisfying meal was Creamed Salmon on Crackers. That was basically a can of salmon, a can of mushroom soup, and a lot of Tabasco sauce heated together in a double boiler, then ladled onto saltines. The thrill was in arranging the cracker squares on our plates.
Bread-and-gravy was one of my childhood favorites. We each got a piece of white bread (bordering on stale) to tear up into pieces. We competed to form the tallest heap. Served with thin slices of leftover rump roast and warmed-up "scram" gravy. The cornstarch gravy was flavored with brown sauce. One good rump roast could make up for a lot of cheese buns and canned beans.
In those Ed Sullivan GI Bill years a carrot stick, a canned pear half, and a Flintstone jelly glass of skim milk were considered a balanced meal. If you were living large you might have a Duncan Hines cake or some Jello instant pudding for dessert.
© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder