Cookbook… no, wait, Cookcards? (Ham and Bananas Hollandaise)


Ham-Banana. Fun to say, questionable to eat. Click for biggyness.

You read this blog, so you know that I lazily collect old cookbooks. That is, I don’t actively seek them out, but I “somehow” have two shelves full and as many more stacked in piles on my dining room table. Bad Housekeeping Seal Of Approval.

When I was a kid, my mom had the McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection set of, well, recipe cards. The plastic bin for them was a light beige on the bottom, hot stamped with some sort of patriotic shield-and-eagle thing, and a clear, hinged lid. I never made a single thing from those recipe cards, and I don’t know if my mom did either. Somewhere along the way, it disappeared. Nobody was saddened.

About 5 years ago, I picked up my own nearly-complete set of the 1978 Better Homes and Gardens Recipe Card Library. I’ve never made a single thing from these recipe cards, either, but I did finally go through each and every one to pick out some that look tasty. Many are dubious, and I’m sure they’ll get posts of their own in the future.

Today’s post is about a stack of those old McCall’s cards, found for me last week by my friend Erin of ThedaBaraVintage. My plan is to share these 1973 recipe cards with my customers, and most of them are feasible for today’s palate. Zucchini Tossed Salad. Peaches in Marsala. Salmon Steaks Tarragon. But a few, just a few, would test the taste buds of anyone I know. It will be a crapshoot, and I hope my customers enjoy the gamble. Will you get a recipe card for Creole Doughnuts (Beignets), or for Perfection (gelatine) Salad?

Because I know that everyone will want to make the Ham and Bananas Hollandaise shown above, I’ll share that recipe with you here.

6 medium bananas
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 thin slices boiled ham (about 1/2 lb)
3 Tbs prepared mustard
2 envelopes (1-1/4 oz size) hollandaise sauce mix
1/4 cup light cream

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly butter 2-quart, shallow baking dish.
  2. Peel bananas; sprinkle each with 1/2 Tbs lemon juice to prevent darkening.
  3. Spread ham slices with mustard. Wrap each banana in slice of ham. Arrange in single layer in casserole. Bake 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make sauce: In small saucepan, combine sauce mix with 1 cup water, 1 Tbs lemon juice, and cream. Heat, stirring, to boiling; pour over bananas. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until slightly golden. Nice with a green salad for brunch or lunch. Makes 6 servings.

You’re welcome.



Filed under amusement, collections, food, friends, kitchen, nostalgia, vintage

3 responses to “Cookbook… no, wait, Cookcards? (Ham and Bananas Hollandaise)

  1. Jeff

    Sometimes I wonder if the people that came up with these recipe cards just had bets going to see who could come up with the craziest stuff that sounded ALMOST reasonable, but would always be a disaster to eat. Also? It’s times like this that I’m really glad I’m a special needs kind of guy with food.

  2. I also love recipe cards and booklets, because of the “how did this happen?” factor. Who is the one that took this combo and put it together? And decided that salt and pepper would MAKE it? It’s so perfectly hideous.

    • Donna, I’ve run across a few recipes in my collection that make me think that the editors occasionally tried to slip one in just to see if anyone would notice. Maybe they still do! Old Cookbook Publishing Tradition, perhaps.

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