Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mm-m, good?

Reading Michael Ruhlman’s blog today on The Huffington Post entitled “Becoming Better Cooks, or Why Sandra Lee is not Evil Incarnate” and feeling a little nostalgic. Originally posted in April 2010, Ruhlman tells of being reminded by his wife of the days they cooked pasta with Alfredo Sauce using an envelope of Knorr’s powder. As a self-described “foodie”, he retraces his path from novice cook to gourmand, detailing questionable culinary successes along the way. Dishes featuring canned soup and parmesan “cheese” in a can were high on his list of edible accomplishments. Laughing along with Ruhlman, one can’t help but conjure up images of our own gustatory creations from days gone by.

Certainly at one time or another, we’ve all tried the infamous string bean casserole, made with canned or frozen green beans, Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, and greasy fried onion rings in a can. My boyfriend-now-husband wowed me in the kitchen when he made this treat for us in college.

My mom, never a particularly creative cook, but competent enough to feed seven people 3-square a day for decades, sometimes treated us kids to her special tuna casserole. I seem to remember it was made by mixing canned tuna, cream of mushroom soup, and what seemed at the time a very exotic ingredient – Chinese noodles from a can. (For another interesting culinary idea using this ingredient, go to Slashfood and search “Chocolate Chow Mein Noodle Cookies, another of my mother’s epicurean delights!)

So take a look at Michael Ruhlman’s trip down memory lane, see what culinary memories are reawakened from your past, and share them here with us!