Do not try this at home

I found a memory I had recorded a few years ago for posterity in a folder of recipes.  Thought I’d share it here.  And though when I originally wrote it I entitled it “Tupperware and the New Bride,” I think now I will call it

Who on earth would even want to try a recipe called “Shrimp-Macaroni Casserole?”  That would have been me, I guess.

My co-workers at Bible College and a few friends threw a “Tupperware” shower for me before dad and I married [note: I was writing this for the kids].  That meant that the Tupperware lady would come and display her wares and everyone would order something for me from her.

I don’t really remember anyone asking me what I wanted.  And I don’t really remember wanting anything in particular. My mom had been the queen of re-using bread bags and cottage cheese containers before there was ever even a green-movement.  So I had not grown up dreaming of the Tupperware that would grace my kitchen cabinets one day.  Not at all.

Luckily, my friends and co-workers knew just what I “had to have,” and excitedly began scouring the catalogs and items on display at the shower.  I witnessed great exuberance over matching sets of plastic storage containers, and crispers and pie-rolling mats and lids that “burped” the air out before sealing.  Much enthusiasm to be sure.

Everything I got was the late seventies brown or avocado green or harvest gold.  But it was nice.  The lettuce crisper wasn’t the savior I thought it would be (you do eventually have to make sure you don’t leave it in there for weeks on end) and the huge yellow mixing bowl with lid was soon pitted with hot popcorn kernels.

As a “hostess” gift from the Tupperware lady, I received a Tupperware cookbook.

30th Anniversary Edition, published in 1981 Tupperware’s Homemade is Better cookbook

As a new bride, I decided to try one of the recipes they had.

Now, growing up in the Moslander household, you really pretty much doubled, tripled, or quadrupled every recipe when you made it.

I was already struggling to rein it in for dad, Tara and me, because I couldn’t quit doubling recipes.  There was always tons of everything I made (150 homemade meatballs, pounds and pounds of noodles for, in theory,  just one spaghetti dinner, etc).

The Moslander auto-double+ Tupperware’s HomeMade is Better cookbook

Now – take my doubling obsession and mix it with a Tupperware cookbook and you’ve got trouble.  For what I failed to understand was that the Tupperware people were trying to get you to believe you needed more Tupperware so the recipes in the books were already made to fix and then divide and then store in your handy dandy Tupperware for 3-5 future meals.  That would have been a good thing to understand.  I did not.

So one day, I wanted to find a new and really special recipe for our little family.  In the cookbook, I found something, a casserole utilizing ingredients I loved: macaroni, Corn Chex and cooked shrimp.  I could imagine a wondrous and delightful meal.  I decided to double it, naturally, because if it were really good, we’d want leftovers, and I could just tell we would.

Well – may I just say I could have catered a party for 50 with that much of the cereal, macaroni and shrimp conglomeration?  I don’t know if we had a loaves and fishes miracle happening or what? But the more we ate that stuff, the more there was left in our small fridge.  Dad ate it, graciously.  He, who prefers Rice Chex, can take or leave anything with “macaroni” in the title and doesn’t like shrimp unless it is generously breaded and deep fried beyond the recognition that is was once a living sea-creature – he ate it.  And he ate it the next day.  Maybe the next even…?

I discerned immediately – that if I was going to be cooking like that – I did not have enough Tupperware.  I think we may have actually used every storage bowl and a few old bread bags to boot.  Of course, I actually loved it and ate it for breakfast and lunch, too.  After a couple of days, dad asked me, “Do you think it’s still safe to eat this?  I mean it is seafood and I don’t know how long it will be good.”  He was gentle and very honoring.  Sadly, I watched him scrape it into the trash.

“Next time,” I thought, “I’ll only make one recipe.”  There has never been a next time.

written 9.22.07

PS – Just in case you’re curious, I decided to look up the old recipe.  And OOPS.  It was supposed to be Rice Chex.  I guess I used Corn Chex because I love them and was trying to sway Dave.  That may have made all the difference.  Haha. Or not.

Shrimp-Macaroni Casserole

2 7 1/4 oz. packages of macaroni and cheese dinner mixes
1 1/2 c milk
3 10 3/4 oz. cans of condensed cream of chicken soup
1 16 oz. package frozen cooked shelled shrimp
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups Rice Chex, crushed

Prepare macaroni and cheese according to package directions, except substitute the 1 1/2 cups of milk for the total amounts called for.  Stir in the shrimp and soup, Worcestershire sauce and pepper.

To bake immediately, turn one-third of the mixture into a one-quart casserole.  Bake uncovered, in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.  Stir.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup crushed Rice Chex.  Bake 10 minutes more.

To freeze and bake later, divide remaining two-thirds of the mixture between the Seal-n-Serve Set.  Apply seals, label and freeze.  Immerse sealed container in warm water for about 3-5 minutes, just till mixture is thawed enough to remove from container.  Invert into a one-quart casserole.  Cover and bake in a 400-degree oven for 40 minutes; stir to spread mixture evenly in casserole.  Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.  Uncover and stir.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup crushed Rice Chex atop casserole.  Bake 10 minutes more.

Makes 3 casseroles, 4 servings each.

This recipe exhausts me just reading it.  Thank goodness the common folk could start to afford microwaves in the 80s.

So, um…I actually might try this again, for fun, and I think now, after all these years, I would definitely double it again, but probably quadruple the shrimp.  And the Corn Chex?  Stays!  Dave won’t eat it anyway.

3 thoughts on “Do not try this at home

  1. I lurk, but I do want you to know I read every last blog post of yours.

    I am an overdoer with chilis and stews. I will make a huge stew pot full of food only I (and now the baby) like and will eat two meals of it and be done. Meanwhile, a 2/3 stew pot of aging… stuff… sits in my fridge because I can’t admit it’s going to go to waste (again) and throw it out. So, instead, my refrigerator stinks.

    I just tossed the giant pot of 13 bean chili in the garbage today. Next time (hah) I’ll make it with twelve…

  2. Just for grins, I was looking for different articles about Tupperware. Trying to find other people’s thoughts about the product. Being a manager with Tupperware, I enjoy doing a little research on the product.

    I want to tell you that I really enjoyed your post. I hope that your children that you wrote it for enjoyed it as well.

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