Up But Simple
By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist
Nostalgia commenced when my husband complained about
his lunchtime “Sloppy Joe” that had been so sloppy he’d had to eat it
with a knife and fork.
Sloppy Joes — I hadn’t thought of them for a long
time. And that set me to thinking about “spoonburgers.” In my high
school years, any time we needed supper for a crowd, whether it was the
church youth group or the after-prom party, spoonburgers were a regular in
Radford, Va., where I grew up. I have made them for my children, but it had
been years. I knew a can of soup was required, but I couldn’t remember
As well-known as spoonburgers were in Radford, I
guessed that the Radford cookbook I’ve had since 1972 would have the
recipe in it. Sure enough, there it was, contributed by Diane Grayson, who
grew up around the corner from me. The cookbook provided a trip down memory
lane as I flipped through the pages and saw friends and acquaintances from
years back. Likewise, many of the recipes were, like spoonburgers, well
known around our little town. It made me miss living where folks all know
each other and who is famous for which recipe.
Yes, spoonburgers use a can of chicken gumbo soup —
sounds strange, but they are good, easy and kids used to gobble them up.
They probably still will.
To admit using canned soup in a recipe is definitely a
“no-no,” I’m sure, with serious cooks. However, the spoonburger search
sent me looking for our son’s favorite scalloped potatoes recipe. I often
made it for him for special occasions. Happily, I found the recipe clipped
from the mushroom soup can and taped on an index card. Kelly loved these
Having recalled these favorites made with soup, I was
inspired to try a Campbell’s prizewinner of several years back,
“Polynesian pork chops.” Easy and good. What better criteria? A recipe
remembered for nearly 50 years as with the spoonburgers must have something
going for it. I don’t think I’ll be recalling the pork chops 50 years
hence, but they were pretty darned good!
Kelly’s Favorite Potatoes