Out of Helen's kitchen - 1975


Helen Drysdale
The Neepawa Banner

With the ‘70s came funky clothes; platform shoes, leisure suits, hot pants, jump suits, maxi dresses with large bold prints made from polyester, to go along with long side burns, the “shag” haircut, Afros and the “The Farrah cut”. In 1974, women started being recruited to the RCMP and Margaret Laurence was publishing her new book, The Diviners. In 1975, seat belts were made mandatory, helping save lives. Canadian singers Anne Murray and Joni Mitchell were making their mark on the charts.

With more women working, the use of convenience foods increased greatly. The dangers of additives and preservatives was not recognised, but the thrill of instantaneous food was. Much less fruit and vegetables were being eaten. Everything from fish-fingers, Stove Top Stuffing, Carnation breakfast bars, Cup of Noodles and instant potatoes washed down with Coca-Cola as “It’s the real thing.” As a new bride in 1973, I remember feeding my hard working husband wieners sliced partway down the centre length wise and filled with instant mashed potatoes. Yum. The recipe came from one of the popular women’s magazines. Watergate salad and impossible pie were popular in the early 70s so I will share the recipes with you.

Watergate salad
1 large package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups thawed Cool Whip
Combine all the ingredients and chill 1 hour or more before serving.

Impossible pie
2 cups milk
1 cup coconut
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla flavouring
1/2 cups flour
6 Tbsp. margarine
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Place milk, coconut, eggs, vanilla, flour, margarine, and sugar in blender. Mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 10 inch pie plate. Sprinkle nutmeg on top. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until set in the middle.