“Without Spam, we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army.”

Finally I can change the daily weather report. It is cloudy and breezy, and the air is so damp it almost feels like rain which is actually predicted for tonight. The rain may even be heavy at times. I’m hoping.

When I go out for dinner, I usually order a cheeseburger unless it is a seafood restaurant or an expensive restaurant which would never offer a cheeseburger except as a slider appetizer. I like pepper Jack cheese and mayonnaise on my cheeseburger. Mostly I choose regular fries unless the onion rings are the thin ones then I order the onion rings. I seldom salt my food as I want to taste it, not the salt, but I do salt French fries and onion rings. I don’t know why.

I like pudding. My favorite is chocolate but I also like tapioca. My mother used to make tapioca a lot as my father loved it. I seldom make it so I put the tapioca on my shopping list.

Foods have a shelf-life, a use by date, but they also come and go. Some foods quietly disappear off the grocery shelves while other foods lose their popularity. Deviled ham is one of the latter. My mother used to buy the small cans with the smiling red devil on the front. She’d mix the ham with stuff like relish and mustard. I ate it, but I always thought the undoctored right from the can ham looked like cat food. I was never a Jello fan maybe because I hate the consistency of Jello, and any molded Jello with fruit hanging produced nightmares. When I was a kid, I used to suck the Jello through my teeth. Now the mere thought of doing that gives me the chills. I gag at the mere mention of a tuna casserole. It didn’t even look good with all those peas swimming in the sauce.

Spam is still around, and I know Spam is really popular in Hawaii where Hawaiians eat an average of four cans of SPAM per person per year, more than in any other place on Earth. I just can’t figure out why. My father liked it, and my sister ate it. My other sister’s in-laws in Colorado once served it for dinner. They baked the block of whatever it is with cloves stuck in. I think they called it a roast ham. I was never good at opening the Spam can with the key. The cover would roll wrong as I moved the key and more often than not I’d slice my finger.

My mother used to make a shrimp dip for her parties. The shrimp came in a cocktail type sauce in a glass jar which could be saved and used for juice. All that needed to be added was cream cheese and maybe some ketchup. Once we put all the ingredients in a blender rather than mixing them by hand. I took off the blender cover to check but forgot to turn the blender off. Shrimp dip was all over me, the kitchen counter and cabinets.

My mother also made Swedish meatballs for her parties. I still make them. Cocktail weenies were big. My mother always served them in her fondue pot. They’d be swimming in a mix of jelly and barbecue sauce.

All this talk of food has made me hungry. It’s time for lunch! I’m thinking a grilled cheese sandwich. That never goes out of style in the food world.

Explore posts in the same categories: Excuse!, Musings

12 Comments on ““Without Spam, we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army.””

  1. Mark Says:

    Around 1970, my grandmother decided that Jello should be a culinary adventure and placed tomatoes in Lime Jello for Christmas. Although unappetizing, it certainly captured the colors of Christmas. This prompted the teenage males in my family to have a contest to guess the Jello flavor and contents of my grandmother’s Jello the following Thanksgiving. I came the closest by guessing avacados in Strawberry Jello but my grandmother was much more creative than we were. She placed avacados and tomatoes in Lime Jello. My mother wanted me to be polite and have some of my grandmother’s Jello but I was too horrified to be that polite.

    Now that my grandmother has passed away, I miss her and her eccentricities but I still don’t think that I would eat her Jello. Even today, I’m not that polite.

    • katry Says:

      Mark,
      I’m with you in not wanting to eat Jello especially when it had floaties. At least your grandmother was a bit imaginative, in keeping with the season of course.

      I love your contest. I’m trying to picture the tomatoes and avocados. Your grandmother still kept the festivities of the season in mind when planing her menu.

      I’m with you-I would not have been able to eat that Jello. I didn’t like it naked let alone dressed.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I like Spam, sort of. It has to be fried first, like bacon, otherwise it’s gross. I had forgotten all about the deviled ham in a can. For a long while I had a thing for deviled ham in a can and I ate it a lot. Tuna casserole is gross but I love it for inspiring the Garrison Keilor song, Tuna, The Food of My Soul”, which Jean Redpath sang so beautifully with him on his radio show.
    https://youtu.be/LzyI_Hh8ufI

    Your mother’s shrimp dip sounds like my salsa dip. Block of cream cheese on a plate, jar of salsa in one’s preferred heat level poured over it. If I’m feeling ambitious, I will mix the two together.

    Here I’m getting a wave of thunderstorms and heavy rains interspersed with periods of soft rain. It’s much cooler, though.

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I love this song. It is exactly the tuna casserole eaten by my family. We always had egg noodles and the casserole was topped with crushed potato chips. My sister always brought it to pot luck dinners sort of like in the church basement. She said it became her signature dish. I never ate it.

      My sister said she could only eat fried Spam.

      Nothing could be easier than either of those two dips. I, however, usually get a bit fancier with mine.

      I went to a friend’s house for dinner.They didn’t get rain. When I got home, I saw wet streets and puddles. I missed the rain.

      Have a great day!

  3. Birgit Says:

    I love jello, called food of the gods or wobble-peter here.
    Canned spam was Polish Breakfast Meat but I haven’t seen it for a while.
    Sunny summer doesn’t seem to end. Farmers cry for rain and but everyone else just enjoys the beautiful sunny weather. This summer is crazy.
    Perfect weather for the big free music festival in town which will start on Thursday. The town will be crowded and I will spend money on 2nd hand records, our famous curry sausage and Döner Kebab. Maybe a beer too.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I wondered how Spam became Polish breakfast meat. I believe it is a mixture of ham and pork. Most people I know don’t eat Jello. You are the first who does.

      It is the same here. We really want rain. The days have, for the most part, been beautiful, and the nights have been cool, but everything is too dry.

      I looked up Döner Kebab. It is like the Greek gyros sold here, and I’d love any festival with curry sausage. The festival sounds fun and delicious: a great combination.

  4. Bob Says:

    One time I picked up a passenger in Austin Minnesota and flew him to Sioux City Iowa. That’s when I learned that Austin Minnesota is the home of Spam. It was invented there in 1937 by the Hormel company. I assume it made it’s way to Hawaii during WWII. I only ate it once when I was a camper in the late 1950s. It was served for lunch one day and I didn’t like it then and haven’t tried it since then.

    Pudding for me is chocolate and when home made always formed a skin while cooling. The instant stuff isn’t worth eating. I remember the shrimp cocktail in the fancy jar that could be reused. It was a treat when fresh seafood was rare in North Texas grocery stores.

    My father didn’t believe in food expiration dates. If he found a good deal he would stock up put in his freezer. He once told me that scientists found a wooly mammoth in a glacier and the meat was still fresh. Unfortunately, he contracted idiopathic (an unknown pathogen) cardiomyopathy which weakened his heart which eventually killed him at 87.

    When I got in my car to come home this evening the temperature rest 104 degrees. Not official but hot enough. The TV weatherman said the record breaking heat is yet to come later this week. 😉

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I had no idea that Austin Minnesota is the home of Spam. I figure that in the days before shipping refrigeration Spam was a perfect food to send to Hawaii. I guess everyone got a bit addicted. My Dad first ate it in WWII as did many GI’s.

      I ate it as a kid but don’t eat it any more.

      I put wax paper over the top of the pudding so the skin doesn’t form. Like you, I don’t eat instant pudding. I have a couple of those shrimp glasses. I use them for orange juice.

      Wow, 87 is a good long life. I suspect that something he stored might have carried that pathogen. I am careful with exportation dates. I might eat something a few days over but no further.

      We got to the high 70’s, and the humidity was so thick you could see it in the air. It did rain, but I wasn’t home so I don’t know how much it rained.

  5. olof1 Says:

    I have never eaten the brand Spam but I have eaten a Polish variety of it and it is quite tasteful as long as it is fried like Caryn says. That and fried bacon, potatoes, eggs and sausages is a great lunch but I’ve never sung that song before eating it though 🙂 🙂

    Jello has never really made it over here, I’ve tried it once and I must say it’ll be a cold day in hell before I try it again 🙂 🙂 🙂 I must however say that Mark’s grandmother at least tried to do something with it 🙂 🙂

    No rain yesterday and today is supposed to be cloudy, cool and possibly rainy, so far its a bit cool but the sun seems to win over the clouds. Well the day is still young and one can always hope for rain 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I love that song. It is a classic.

      All of the ingredients to add to the Spam makes it sound delicious though I don’t like Spam.

      Jello is the weirdest consistency. I think that’s what makes it unattractive.

      I missed the rain last night, and that was the only chance for it until next week.

      Have a great day!


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