One of my favorite pastimes is perusing old recipes and taking in all of the once-popular ingredients, such as Jello, oleo, maraschino cherries and fruit cocktail. On a very rare occasion, I still let a bit of Velvetta cheese or Campbell's cream of mushroom soup creep into a dish, and for all the snickering and upturned noses they induce in toney New York "foodies," these creations are always the ones gobbled up lickety split.
Every Christmas my sister excels at giving me the best Gifts of Thrift, usually delightful old cookbooks with Technicolor photos of jiggly green salads and unnaturally tanned poultry. This year, she outdid herself: four boxes jam packed with recipes, most handwritten on 3x5 cards, complete with commentary. Several, like " Big Batch Salmon Casserole" and "Jelly Roll Salad," were given the distinction of "very good." Others, like "Rhubarb Salad" with cherry Jello were called out with "Ovle likes this." (I can only guess that Ovle was her husband.) But only two recipes in the batches were marked with the honor of being deemed "super": a seven-minute frosting and "Heavenly Pineapple Mold" made with lemon Jello, pineapple juice, cheddar cheese, and a cup of Dream Whip.
Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,
The Elegant Thrifter
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