When I was home over the Christmas holidays, I had a chance to chat with my grandmother about a certain recipe collection she had been holding on to for quite some time.
You see, I come by my foodie tendencies honestly, and perhaps even genetically; my grandmother, Joan Carter Archambault, worked for the television station KTSM in El Paso in the mid-1950s, where she hosted a cooking show called Today’s Kitchen.
According to my grandmother, the show was meant to help everyday home chefs with interesting and creative meal ideas that were frugal as well. As this was before character generation of any kind, my grandmother typed up the recipes for each show and displayed them on a stand for the cameraman to shoot so that viewers could copy down ingredients or part of the recipe.
And now, that collection of typed recipes has been passed on to me.
It’s only a small portion of the original collection. Grandma told me that she only kept the main dishes; side dishes, salads, and desserts have been lost to time, except where she makes mention of them as menu suggestions. And, as this was long before video tape, all of the episodes were live to air, so these recipes are all that remains of Today’s Kitchen.
While home, I carefully photocopied the entire collection of recipes so that I wouldn’t damage any of the originals while working from them—because I intend to cook my way through the collection!
Some are familiar, like the creamed green enchilada casserole we frequently ate when I was a kid. Others are classics, like baked macaroni or spaghetti with meat sauce. A few are surprising, like chop suey. And a few are just downright strange—ham and pickle fondue anyone?
So I thought it would be fun to resurrect some of these old recipes, cook them once as written, and then again, updated for a modern palate. Should be a lot of fun!