May 1, 2013

A springtime perfect 1950s dinner recipe


There are few flavours more evocative and filled with the culinary spirit of spring then fresh peas just picked from the garden. Plucked while still so tender and fresh you could easily, joyfully eat them raw, peas are like little green globes that symbolize the fact that winter really and truly is behind us once more.

Whether you grow your own, pick them from the grocer's shelves, or opt - during the off-season in particular – to use the canned variety (as seen in today's charming 1950s recipe, where of course you can use the fresh variety anytime you like), peas are must on just about any well-rounded springtime menu.

On this fine morning on the first day of May, whether you're waking up to steaming rays of buttery sunshine or watching raindrops bounce of the window by the thousands, I think we can all agree that the end of the work week calls for a meal that's chocked full of flavour, but far from demanding on our time or energy.

Enter today's charmingly named Garden Patty-Go-Around dish of beef patties, green peas, and classic white rice. Meat, veggies, and grains, they're all there on one plate and are sure to prove a hit with all who gather around your springtime supper table.

Vintage 1950s Del Monte peas vintage  springtime recipe ad
{A handful of ingredients and less than a hour are all it takes to prepare this hearty, delicious dinner of green peas, beef patties, and rice. Vintage recipe via Salty Cotton on Flickr. Click here for a larger version.}


If you don't eat or would prefer not to use beef (and/or bacon) here, you can certainly swap in any other ground meat or vegetarian/vegan meat substitute that you desire (flaked tuna fish patties would be fun here as well). I've made this exact dish several times before myself and have used ground chicken or turkey on each occasion. I also added a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, which, interestingly, is missing from the original recipe.

Should peas not happen to be are not your favourite veggie (or if you know your kids are likely to protest about them), you can always swap in another beloved springtime green vegetable such as chopped string beans, asparagus, or wilted watercress instead. By the same token, feel free to trade the white rice for brown, wild, or any other variety, or forgo it entirely and use pasta, mashed potatoes, quinoa, or another starch (if desired) in its place.

I really like this dish because it's a whiz to toss together, can be multiplied to your heart's content, is relatively budget-friendly (the meat will likely be the most expensive ingredient), and can be made with ingredients that are generally on hand most of the time.

Those are the kind of hallmarks one looks for a busy weekday evening meal, and which have helped earn this quick, fun, and very tasty dish a permanent place in my seasonal dinnertime repertoire.

Happy cooking and May Day celebrating, my wonderful friends!

40 comments:

  1. I love seeing these old recipes! I never liked peas growing up (my mom bought canned) but as an adult I have grown them in my veggie garden and my husband and I fight over picking them off the vine (save them for the dinner plate!!!) I'm going to grow twice as many this year. Yay, May is here!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Jessica, that reminds me of the stuff I grew up with! My mom would make dishes like that, easy, practical and in my mind delish!

    Happy May Day!
    Meri

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the presentation of this simple plate -
    Maybe you have heard from elder people that veggies, meat or other edibles don't "taste the same as they use to".
    I was thinking about this several days ago as my grandmother mentioned that tomatoes tasted like nothing, eggs tasted different and that you had to use a lot of condiments to make meats edible. Hmm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dear Lorena, yes, absolutely, I've heard this from my parents, grandparents, aunts, elderly neighbors, etc over the years and have also experienced it firsthand, too. I remember some fruits and veggies, and meats, having more depth of flavour to them when I was a little girl than they (often) do now. I tend to find that this is less true with organic or locally grown produce, though, which makes me even more thankful for the wonderful farmer's market that we have here each year during the warmer months.

      Thank you for your comment & have a marvelous May 1st!
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  4. Happy May Day Jessica!
    I am glad to see you feeling better and reading your lovely posts again! I must say, the recipe looks so delicious and simple to make. Don't you just love 1950's ads? They are so simple yet beautiful and fun to read. The lemon cake recipe you posted a while back was awesome! Thank you for keeping us all reading your fabulous blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, dear April, that's really sweet of you to say. I utterly adore 1950s ads - many were so cheerful and the copy is so much fun to read. I'm so happy to know the lemon cake turned out awesomely for you - I make a GF version of it (I have celiac disease) and it's always a huge hit with GF and gluten eating folks alike.

      Happiest May 1st wishes!
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  5. I agree with Lorie...fresh peas are a revelation to those of us that only had mushy canned ones growing up! I thought I didn't like peas until I had fresh ones at my MIL's house that had been purchased fresh at the farmers market...wow, were they GOOD!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Also, dear Jessica, so glad to see you posting again! Hope your recovery is going well!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'll be giving this one a try shortly! Hurrah for Spring!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love seeing these vintage inspired recipes. It certainly is neat to see how food was presented vintage style. I'm sure back then there were a lot more preparation and "family" dinners sat all together at the dinner table. Problem is, I'm sure it was the vintage housewife doing it all lol.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yum! I do like peas. I used to grow them before I moved house. This dish does look tasty and simple!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mmmmm I love peas. Will have to try this.

    Glad to see you are up to blogging again (((hugs)))

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love how decorative food serving was back then. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ps: please don't misunderstand my comment about your age. I don't think you look old, in fact I think you look lovely, which I keepwriting over nd over again. But your writing seem so wise, your opinions so grown up and your manners so perfect, so I would never have expected you to be in your twenties. I'm almost fifty, in November, and a great admirer of you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi sweet Sanne, you're so considerate. No worries at all, I didn't misinterpret what you said, and I completely appreciate all of your touching, wonderful comments. I just never think I look my age any more. I feel like I can see the years that severe chronic health problems and unending physical pain have added to my face. Sure, we all look older as time passes, but even when I look back at photos from a year ago and compare them with recent ones from a few weeks ago, I feel like I look three or four years older (in my eyes at least), instead of just one. Who knows, maybe it's just my perception of things. I have no qualms with my age as a number though (I'm incredibly grateful for each year I get to be here, believe me).

      Thank you again - for being both a dear online friend and a blog admirer,
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  13. I love the name of this dish!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm glad this has rice, as we know it's g-free {yay}! I do not partake a lot of beef, even though it's good for my b-12, I just don't have the taste for it like others. I do love a tasty steak now and then. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi sweet Sean, I hear you loud and clear - beef (and pretty much all red meat) has been a strict no-no for me (for medical reasons) for over a decade now. I just sub in ground chicken or turkey for it in any recipe that calls for it. Not the same taste, but equally yummy in my books! :) If one can eat it, crumbled Italian sausage would be tasty here, too, I think.

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  15. Nice to see you back to blogging Jessica :) Glad to hear you are on the mend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, dear Rachel. Slowly on the mend, but surely it appears, and that's what counts.

      I really hope you're doing well and that May is off to marvelous start for you and your family.

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  16. I don't like peas... What could I put instead? :/ xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy,

      Peas certainly aren't everyone's favourite veggie, no worries there at all. As mentioned in the post, some possible alternatives would be chopped string beans, asparagus, or wilted watercress.

      I'd further add that fava beans (really any kind of bean), halved raw cherry/grape tomatoes, oven roasted tomatoes, lightly steamed broccoli or carrots, or corn (fresh or canned) would likely all be delicious, too.

      Hope this helps - and happy cooking, dear gal!
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  17. Really like the sound of this recipe, I love peas. Just made a lamb and pea curry for tea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds lip-lickingly delicious! It's a shame that lamb isn't seen (by most people) as more of a mainstream meat on this side of the pond, too, these days.

      Happy start of May, dear Kate!
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
    2. That is interesting, lamb is really popular over here, you often find slow cooked lamb shank on menus when you eat out. Happy May to you . We have just had 2 days of sunshine in a row which is pretty unheard of and a lovely way to start the month!

      Delete
    3. It is interesting for sure. I lived in Ireland (ROI) for a couple of years and was stuck early on by how much more popular lamb was there than in Canada/America. We do eat it here sometimes (and it certainly factors into some ethnic cuisines more than others), but generally just in chop or rack of lamb form. That said, I have been seeing a few more lamb burgers pop up at various places over the years, so perhaps it's gradually becoming a wee bit more popular.

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  18. Yummy, thank you for sharing..must try this out! Lovely blog and you are bellissima! Ciao from Italy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Molto grazie, Caramella!

      Un bacio,
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  19. These '50's recipes are such fun! I love the way they are presented in the ads. They are all so bright and cheerful! Did you know in England there is a national joke that peas are boring, I don't know what that says about us as a nation as we eat tons of them (and are one of the few veg all my children would always eat)! Even now they love them (we favour frozen, but what a treat for those who can pick their own). Have a happy May Jessica may you go from strength to strength xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really do, too - they're often much more like pages out of a cookbook than how we expect most modern food ads to look.

      Indeed, I do know about the (unjustly bad) rep that peas have in the UK (they had much the same in Ireland when I lived there). I've always adored British cuisine and really think that overall it gets trashed for no good reason. Who in their right mind wouldn't love a proper Sunday roast, sheppard's (or cottage) pie, fish & chips, Victoria sponge, Yorkshire pudding, toad in the hole, summer pudding, trifle, or anyone of the countless other sublime British dishes?! (My mouth is watering just thinking about these awesome foods!)

      Thank you very much, my sweet friend - I hope you have a stellar month of May as well.

      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  20. Happy beginning of this month of May, dear Jessica! I came to visit you and I find the table presented with this delicious homemade food ... hmm, it's a pleasure to come and visit your home cozy virtual!

    ReplyDelete
  21. The other day my 8 yr old said to me, "Mama, if you were eating peas and you didn't like them, you could just pretend to wipe your mouth with your napkin and then spit them into the napkin. Then you could throw the napkin away and no one would ever know." I said, "Am I going to have to start checking your napkins?" He said, "Nah, I like peas!" HA!! He is hilarious and always super sincere. This post completely reminded me of him.
    Welcome back!!
    ~xoxo, CoriLynn

    ReplyDelete
  22. So glad that you are on the mend and able to start posting again. I have missed you!

    This recipe looks delicious, I love peas! I also love the look of the actual vintage ad. I think somewhere over the years in the advertising business they lost it. HA! Some ads nowadays don't make any sense to me, sometimes I can't even figure out what they are trying to sell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, my sweet friend, I've truly missed being here and interacting with you as well.

      I adore peas, too! They're tricky for me to eat (like most fruits and veggies) due to some of my GI issues, but I still treat myself to the occasional serving of canned or fresh every now and then (particularly during the spring).

      So true! I've noticed that about some of the modern ads as well - there's a shoe brand (I can't recall which one off the top of my head) whose ads always look like they're for clothing not shoes, and I've seen jewelry ones as well where you really has no clue what they were for until you got to the fine print at the bottom of the page.

      Many thanks again & tons of hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  23. I am new to this blog, I love it. I have always loved everything about the forties and fifties. I was born in 1950, my Dad was WW2, the clothes, music and stories of the past are wonderful as far as I am concerned. Hope you are feeling better. xx Arlene

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Arlene, thank you very much for your blog visit and lovely comment. How wonderful that you got to experience the 1950s firsthand and that you continue to adore that era to this day. You're definitely in good company on that front here! :)

      Happy start of May wishes!
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  24. Thank you for sharing this recipe!! :D I love vintage recipes, as you can really experience the past that way :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's my absolute pleasure, honey. I love knowing that you enjoy them, too, and completely agree that they're a very poignant, wonderful way to experience the past. Be sure to stay tuned for later in the month, I'm planning to do another vintage recipe post for Mother's Day.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
  25. It looks absolutely lovely. I might give this a try sometime myself :3

    ReplyDelete