Friday, April 26, 2013

Food Friday: Tacos with Ketchup from Illinois

Oh tacos, our family loves them. We often have a taco night where we set up a taco bar with everything that can make a taco great like meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, guacamole, and sour cream. And of course, glorious shredded cheddar cheese.

Now, everyone has an idea of what makes a great taco. I have spent almost my entire life in Southern California and have traveled to Mexico. I've tasted great tacos. Let's face it, people travel, they like a dish and want to make it for their family but may lack the recipe or even the ingredients to make it like the original.

That's where What's Been Cookin' in Bureau County. Bicentennial Cook Book comes in. I've highlighted this cookbook last year and its recipe for pickled eggs. There's a lot to like about this cookbook from the Ladies of the Bureau County Home Extension Association (1975). Aside from recipes are some history snippets with drawings of historical buildings.

And then there's recipes. I will admit that there's a few that seem very 1970s to me, maybe even 1950s, including one that calls for a lot of cream soup, cheese, pimentos,  noodles and pork. For the sake of the recipe author I won't say more. But then there are the taco recipes, both unattributed so no one needs to worry that I am making fun of anyone.

My favorite instruction has to be to add the cheese and then if it needs color, add ketchup. Ketchup does cover a magnitude of sins. I will say the addition of baked beans is not one I would recommend.

You know, life changes, people grow, tastes mature. These odd recipes serve a purpose. They show us the types of foods made by our families with what they had access to and they show some creativity.

So when you put together those family cookbooks, make sure to add some of the more weird interesting ones. They help tell your family history story.