I've been doling out some classic recipes from cookbooks I inherited, all of these promotional cookbooks from various food and drink cookbooks. We've so far enjoyed the wok cookbook, the Coke cookbook, the beer cookbook, the Waring Blendor cookbook, and Sue Swanson's cookbook from the days when Swanson was a major chicken company on its own.
Those days of the mighty C. A. Swanson & Sons were in the 50's; by the time the late 80's rolled around, Swanson was a small trademark owned by Campbell's, and the only Swanson products were canned poultry and broth, as now. (And the frozen dinners too, but they were on the way out.)
So the cookbooks in the late 80's were small, and sad.
The cover is not too bad, but the interior is all black print, no recipe pictures.
The labels on the Swanson stuff have not changed much, but we know roughly when this booklet came out. How?
Because the 20-cent coupon expired on October 31, 1990. Which was a Wednesday, BTW, in case you do your shopping on Friday.
Most of the recipes in the booklet are pretty typical, some chicken salads, soups, some more complicated meat dishes that required broth. Nothing inspiring, nothing too awful.
Except maybe these:
Yes, that is a recipe for Reuben sandwiches made with canned chicken instead of corned beef.
Whichever Reuben came up with the sandwich would be rolling over in his grave. Unless he was still alive in 1990, in which case maybe he was just rolling over. Oh, who knows.
I'm not a big fan of the Reuben sandwich, but I respect it. There is a possibility you might not mind these Swanson Reubens too much. The power of the sauerkraut and the Russian dressing might overwhelm the bland chicken and help you not miss the corned beef. But if you're going to all this trouble to get the cocktail rye and the sauerkraut and the shredded Swiss, why not go the extra yard and get the actual corned beef? Or if you must ruin it with canned meat, why not ruin it with canned corned beef?
Campbell's, as a company, may not be that bright even now. Certainly they've done nothing for their hometown of Camden, New Jersey, which is supposedly even worse than Newark and Paterson, and I've been lost in both of those. I may have to split my Campbell's expenditures on outfits like Progresso (General Mills), College Inn (Del Monte), and Valley Fresh (Hormel) until Campbell's gets it act together.
Reubens with canned chicken. Feh.