Saturday, August 8, 2015
Little Bundles of Yum-With an Update
Rather than linking, I'm posting the same post as I did on Thursday from my writing blog. I am excited to share that I have found the recipe, or a version close enough, and with my memory of what wasn't in them and am adding to the bottom of the story. I love when something from my childhood is able to resurface. Now, I need to plan an appropriate time to make these so I don't make and eat them all myself. I don"t know if these will be a fan favorite with my household. If DS were here, he would probably down a half dozen. Without further ado, as previously posted in Sam and Writing, Little Bundles of Yum.
Growing up, food did not have the significance of a lifestyle as it does today. People weren't described as foodies. Food nourished the body, was offered to guests, and on holidays, was eaten in too large a quantities. In stable financial times, breakfast was cold cereal, toast, or a big pot of oatmeal. We mostly ate school lunches, or brought a simple sandwich and fruit. Suppers were meat, potato, vegetable and white bread. Leaner times,we ate a lot more hot dishes and soups. I should explain hot dish for those not in the Midwest. Hot dish, not to be called casserole, was a noodle or rice base, a protein, often hamburger, leftover chicken or canned tuna, a can or jar of something to bind it, and maybe cheese or bread crumbs on top. That was about as foodie as meals came.
However, there was one food, served very rarely, that I absolutely adored. I don't believe I have eaten one in twenty plus years, probably since the last time my mom made them before they moved into town. She called them Corned Beef Burgers. These were not a burger at all, but rather a kind of meat salad, put on little hamburger buns, wrapped in tin foil, and heated in the oven. I think one of my sisters knows how to make them, but they are an acquired taste, and because I only remember these being made in large quantities, the recipe probably makes more than she could find current day eaters to consume. Really these are nothing more than canned corned beef, flaky and gelatinous, mixed with salt, pepper, relish, and a jar of Cheez Whiz. I really typed Cheeze Whiz as a recipe ingredient.
Oh how I loved the steam coming out of the little bundle when I opened the foil on my burger. The scent of the beef blended with the cheese msde my mouth would water. Corned beef burgers were associated with informal family and friend gatherings. Once cold and winter set in, it was less frequent that people would get together, but when I saw these being made, I knew the house was going to be full. A large pot of soup was also made to serve with the sandwiches and later years when mom got a bit more creative, a toned down chili, more of a hamburger, bean, and tomato soup. That is part of the appeal for me. These were a Saturday night food, made if my parents were having people over for cards. My sisters on the sides of me in age didn't like them, so when we were each offered one as a treat before we were banished out of the room, I got one of theirs as well. They were happy with potato chips we also were allowed.
My brother used to say he thought my mom was a good cook until he grew up and moved out and learned there was a thing called spice in the world. It is true that my mom was a no nonsense, basic, really quite bland cook. She would have had no time with the plethora of shows on the Food Network. In her later years, she got more adventurous with what she ate out of the house, and appreciated other peoples expanded menus, but personally stuck to her staples. Those little sandwiches though are locked in my head and in my memories, and no one since has been able to replicate the full package of the Corned Beef Burger experience.
Corned Beef Burgers
2 cans corned beef (square 6-7 oz. size)
16 oz jar Cheez Whiz
1/2 Cup mayonaise
1 cup sweet pickle relish
small hamburger buns, or dollar buns
Mix all ingredient together into a spread.
Put spread on buns, a couple tablespoons or so on each
Wrap individually in tin foil
Heat in a 350 degree oven 15-20 minutes, watching that they don't over brown
I really don't now how many this will make-I'm guess at least a dozen. My mom had them just loaded in the oven, so she probably doubled or maybe tripled when she made them. If anyone tries, please let me know how they turned out and what your family's reaction was to them. I bet these could also be done with a grill, perhaps the top rack, or on a very low heat, but turning over frequently. I read the bundles will freeze well, so you could make up, and only bake what you need perhaps in a toaster oven.