Vintage cookbook! Scary shells edition.

There wasn’t a great deal of cooking here over the weekend as yesterday was Mr. Pea’s birthday, and I drove him to the Former State for a surprise party. There was pizza, cake and bowling, just like it might have been when he turned 12. I’ve only known hims since he was just 12, so I couldn’t tell you what he did that year. For those of you who live out in the Boston area, I can’t recommend cakes from Party Favors in Coolidge Corner, Brookline enough. We had a Fenway Park cake and it was awesome.

But without any cooking, what to post? Time to return to the Vintage Cookbook collection. Today’s is from the 1983 Dover Library “Food for Thought” centennial fundraising cookbook. The recipe? Chicken Filled Shells. Sure, you’re probably thinking of stuffed shells with a ground chicken and tomato sauce, and maybe some mozzarella. Well, you’d be quite wrong. 1983 was well before ground chicken was readily available on store shelves. So here we go:

2 c cubed, cooked chicken
1 c cooked peas
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/3 c finely chopped onion
1 pkg jumbo shells, cooked and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c water

Mix together first four ingredients. Stuff into shells. Arrange in baking dish. Stir water into soup and pour over shells. Cover with foil and bake in a 325 oven for 25 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Serves 8.

Ahh, nothing like cream of mushroom soup poured over mayo first thing in the morning!


3 responses »

  1. this is a cool idea, taking really old and dated recipes and cooking them. i found a McCall’s from 1941 in an drawer down at my parents beach house last summer. the recipes were HILARIOUS. they utilized many canned and processed stuff in every meal (ala sandra lee, i guess). i wanted to do a few posts about this and do exactly what you did here by recreating it. it’s amazing how far food has come in this country, huh!?

  2. Well I haven’t been brave enough to actually cook one yet! So you can take that on if you’d like. I made a loaf of bread out of the baking section once, but never one of the meals. It’s amazing how reliant it seems folks were on canned goods, but I think these things are still in heavy circulation today, just less than they once were. There’s a really funny site–the name of which escapes me now–with photos of recipes from the 1950s and onward. I’ll have to try and remember it and post it.

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