Here's another bit of proof---another booklet from Mom's recipe folder that she held on to for years. This one's not nearly as old as some of the previous exhibits I've posted, though, and if you're my age it may bring back memories.
Yes, those of you who are indeed my age are nodding. Mom bought the Great Wok of China. As seen on TV!
They really did move a lot of these woks. The father of a friend of mine got one and, like my mom, set forth to wok everything in sight. My buddy said, "Everything goes in the wok; beef, pork, fish, the cat..."
In time the novelty passed; our wok went in a cupboard, then in a more distant cupboard, then failed to come along when they sold the house. But Mom kept the book.
Normally I like to check these booklets for any horrible recipes, but this one is very basic, very simple, and as sloppily designed as it is, is not a bad introduction to popular Chinese restaurant dishes. Some are a little out there for the average American, like the hot & sour cabbage, but nothing is too weird. Maybe the sweet & sour meatballs:
Make your meatballs as tiny as possible, people. C'mon.
Pretty sure Mom never tried that one.
There's also this unhelpful illustration to show dumb Americans how to use chopsticks:
Trim your nails, Louise!
Dads all over the country were probably encouraged to use this illustration to try to learn to eat like a Chinese person, then went back to the fork, muttering, two minutes later.
Anyway, I remember we had fun with the wok, and it did introduce some new dishes to the rotation, at least for a while. Feeding whiny kids is no one's idea of a good time, unless for some reason you think M&M's for dinner is what they need. If the wok was also fun for Mom and got us to stop complaining about boring ol' dinnertime, then she got her money's worth, and God love her for it.