Gather ’round, boys and girls. We’re going to have some fun today, because we have a very special guest with us! She’s going to watch as we continue to learn how to cook just like Mother! Because that’s what we all want to do, right?
Johnny, one mustn’t scream like that when someone enters the room. Say you’re sorry to Ms. Crocker.
You can sit to the left there, Ms. Crocker. You’ll be able to keep a careful eye on everyone, and I’m sure all the boys and girls will find that very comforting.
Now, children, please get out your cookbooks. I hope you all remembered … oh dear. You didn’t bring your cookbook with you?
Now Ms. Crocker very kindly updated her Boy’s and Girl’s Cookbook from 1957 so it would be exactly what our modern children of 1973 would want. Isn’t that grand?
So let’s get started with learning how to cook!
Okay everyone, open up your cookbooks to page …
I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that Ricky.
“Before You Start to Cook:
- Choose a time to suit your mother, so you won’t be in her way.
- Be sure to wash your hands.
- Wear an apron to keep your clothes clean
- Read your recipe and all the directions in it very carefully”
What’s that Mary-Sarah? Well, I’m sure your Mother has an apron somewhere you can use, doesn’t she?
Oh. Well, maybe your Grandmother then.
Okay, who wants to read this time? Alpha … is that really your name? You don’t happen to have a younger brother named Omega? Oh, you do? Well, isn’t that … special. Alpha dear, please read the section titled, Good Manners at Mealtime.
“Being polite and considerate is always important. Use your company manners every day. Mealtime is happier for everybody when you remember these rules.
- Wait to begin eating until Mother is seated and all the family has been served.
- With your knife, cut food into bite-sized pieces, one at a time, to eat it.
- Break bread or roll into pieces and butter each one as you eat it.
Oh, Ms. Crocker, please don’t leave! We haven’t gotten to the recipe yet! Oh, and look, Sandra wants to tell you her absolute favorite thing she learned from this class. Go ahead, Sandra. Tell Ms. Crocker what you learned.
Ms. Crocker? … where did she go?
Oh, dear. Well boys and girls, it looks like we’re on our own again.
Ricky, stop bothering Sandra.
Sandra, put the knife down.
Mad Hatter Meatballs
This recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker’s New Boy’s and Girl’s Cookbook, published in 1973. The dish was my Mom’s favorite, so much so that she had me prepare it nearly every week. Truthfully, I’m not sure if she really loved the recipe or just loved someone else doing the cooking, but there you go. My modernized version doesn’t include canned soup. The 70s were all about canned soup.
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth or water
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 egg
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 slices dry bread, torn into pieces or 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Saute the chopped peppers & onion in one tablespoon of olive oil, until tender. Add garlic last. Stir in tomatoes, broth or water, and seasonings. Heat to boiling, then turn down heat and simmer sauce, stirring occasionally.
While sauce cooks, make meatballs: Beat egg in a bowl, add remaining ingredients and stir well. Shape meat into balls about the size of ping-pong balls. Drop balls into simmering sauce and cook slowly about 40 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened.
Serve with mashed potatoes, noodles or rice.