1959’s “The Electric Cookbook” was “your complete guide to cooking electrically” and it sure is a good thing I have it, ‘cause in my apartment, I have an electric stove. Now, I was raised cooking with gas, and I greatly prefer it, but I’ll leave off that particular tirade for the moment, and be glad that as long as I must use an electric range, I have a guide. My guide, in fact, tells me that perhaps this whole “electricity” thing is gonna be huge: “For the homemaker, electricity takes the “work” out of housework…Tireless electric servants do most of the work, affording more time for the fun of creative cooking.”
SO! That explains how cooks in the 50s had so much time to come up with all the TOTALLY BIZARRE and INEDIBLE concoctions I encounter in vintage recipe books. Anyhow, there is something completely sensible about this book that I just love. Basically, you decide which electric appliance you are going to use (Roaster? Broiler? Electric Skillet?) and then the book presents an entire menu, all to be cooked at once, at the same temperature for the same amount of time. Genius!
And, happily, THIS RECIPE TASTES GOOD. And in fact, it is one I had been taught to make by the mother of an old boyfriend (by the way, moms always LOVED me because I wanted to learn all their recipes and hang out in the kitchen with them rather than trying to sneak off with the boyfriend or smoke cigarettes. OK, enough of the goody-goody show!). She called hers “White Trash Casserole”, and it was essentially the same thing, with the addition of sautéed onion and garlic added to the canned soup. I always add in sliced fresh mushrooms (sautéed), and organic “healthy” mushroom soup, when I’m not using Campbell’s for the whole “Andy Warhol” effect. So I already knew the pork chops would be yummy. But I had no idea the carrots and celery would – and it turns out that my daughter went bonkers over them and asked for them again the next night! There was a third element to the menu, but I ran out of time so I’ll have to try the Steamed Devil’s Food Pudding another time. Probably the next time I make these yummy pork chops!
Pork Chop Casserole
Temperature: 375 Time: 50 minites Serves: 6
Preheat roaster to 375 degrees. Trim excess fat from 6 loin chops; salt and pepper; brown on both sides in skillet; place in meat dish. Combine 10 ½-ounce can cream of mushroom soup, ¼ cup water; pour over chops.
Buttered Carrots and Celery
Temperature: 375 Time: 50 minutes Serves: 6
Peel 4 or 5 medium carrots; cut in lengthwise quarters. Cute celery in 2-inch pieces to make 1 ½ cups. Place vegetables in covered dish. Add ½ cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons butter. Cover to cook.