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November 3, 2020

Banana and Ham Hollandaise, From McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection, 1973

Never have bananas been so helpless as in this 1970s monstrosity. Originally published in McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection from 1973, this oddity finally marries bananas to ham, with a slathering of lemon juice, mustard and hollandaise sauce for a piping-hot, potassium-rich nightmare straight out of the oven.

Ham and Bananas Hollandaise is a dish perfectly attached to the era in which it was invented, as America was staring down its bicentennial and was feeling insecure thanks to the Vietnam War quagmire and ever-present gas shortages.

This dish and others during that same time like Crown Roast of Frankfurters, Hot Tuna and Egg Buns and Spaghetti-O Jello, was the culinary equivalent to mid-life crisis—super embarrassing for everyone except the poor soul locked in the deeply emotional turmoil of advancing age. Now, Ham and Bananas Hollandaise only resides in old, sticky recipe books and in the haunted memories of your grandparents as a misguided attempt to impress dinner party guests.

Here’s ingredients from Vintage Recipe Cards:
6 medium bananas
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 thin slices boiled ham (about 1/2 lb)
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 envelopes (1 1/4-oz size) hollandaise sauce mix
1/4 cup light cream
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly butter 2-quart, shallow baking dish.
2. Peel bananas; sprinkle each with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, to prevent darkening.
3. Spread ham slices with mustard. Wrap each banana in slice of ham. Arrange in single layer in casserole. Bake 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make sauce: In small saucepan, combine sauce mix with 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and cream. Heat, stirring, to boiling; pour over bananas. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until slightly golden. Nice with a green salad for brunch or lunch. Makes 6 servings.

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