11.18.2012

Contented Cows

A 1950 ad for Carnation Evaporated Milk, with recipes
You don't really see many recipes today that call for evaporated milk, but when I was a child, we always had cans of it on hand. It was used in casseroles and desserts, and my mother always served it instead of milk for coffee when we had company. I thought it made the coffee taste funny, but I was a kid so what did I know?

Carnation was THE brand in evaporated milk at our home, and I have recently become interested in their slogan that claimed it was from "Contented Cows." Where were these contented cows? What about the discontented cows? Why were they discontented, and where does their milk go? How can you make sure that you are only getting the contented cow milk? All burning questions that I feel certain have kept you up at night.

Of course, as a child, it never occurred to me that there might be discontented cows. All ruminants seemed pretty content to me, whether they were cows or just the old men with cheeks full of tobacco that lived in front of the corner store. I suppose the California Happy Cows of recent cheese commercials play in to that notion that cows are, on the whole, a very contented lot. They certainly seem a lot more chill than the Chick-fil-a cows, who spend their days finding new and deceptive ways to entice us to eat more chicken. Those are definitely not contented cows.

This ad contains a recipe for Ham and Noodle Casserole, which I want to share since this is, after all, Retro Casserole. Bring some contentment into your life.

Ham and Noodle Casserole

1 6oz. package of noodles, cooked
3/4 cup Carnation Evaporated Milk
3/4 cup water
3 TBL butter
3 Tbl flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced
Buttered bread crumbs

Drain noodles. Combine Carnation and water to make 1 1/2 cups rich whole milk. Melt butter in saucepan; blend in flour and seasonings; stir in 1/2 cup milk; add rest of milk; blend. Cook until thickened. Combine noodles, sauce, and ham. Pour into buttered 2 quart casserole. Top with crumbs. Bake in moderate oven (350°) 20 minutes. Serves 6-8.

Try the recipe, send us a picture, and we will post it in our RetroChef Gallery along with a link to your website or blog that is G Rated. After all, we don't want the cows to tip.

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