HAM OR SPAM, LOVE IT OR HATE IT
DEAR MELBA: When I was growing up in Oklahoma City, my father took a job as a salesman with George A. Hormel Co., advancing to become the product manager over his division for many years until his retirement. As you may know, they produce Hormel vienna sausages, bacon, pork loins, potted meat products, Dinty-Moore beef stew, canned corn, beef hash, pickled pig's feet, Cure 81 hams and a host of other great products — the most famous being Spam. Hormel is celebrating Spam's 75th anniversary this year.
As a child, our family ate a lot of Hormel products. I always thought it was pretty good when sliced or cubed and skillet-fried, then served with scrambled eggs and toast or biscuits.
Recently, I was visiting with my parents when my father gave me the following recipe for Spam Chocolate Chip Cookies. It's possible the Hormel Co. had a National Spam Recipe Contest and someone came up with this recipe. ... So, I decided to make a batch and give them a try. The can sat on my kitchen counter for a month while I debated and finally made them. I shared them with co-workers, friends and others without telling them they had Spam as an ingredient and got good reactions. When I told them the cookies had Spam in them, they were amazed. I'll let readers judge.
SPAM CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 can (12 ounces) Spam luncheon meat
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small mixing bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Set aside.
Chop Spam coarsely and process in food processor or blender to a smooth paste. In large bowl of electric mixer, combine Spam with sugars and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gradually blend in flour mixture. Then stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop by tablespoon-size balls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown (don't burn bottoms). Cool on baking sheets on wire racks until completely cool. Recipe makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.
— MIKE EATON, Oklahoma City
DEAR READERS: I'm going to be helping judge the Spam contest at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Creative Arts Building at the State Fair. Come on out, you'll be surprised what you can do with Spam.
I was especially happy to get Mike's letter with the cookie recipe. I made them, and taking a page from Mike's book, I used the 2 cups chocolate chips but added 1/2-cup English toffee bits. The cookies were very good.
How much do you know about Spam? To begin with, in 1937, it wasn't even Spam. It was introduced as Hormel Spiced Ham. My question is: Should these cookies be refrigerated? They do have meat in them.
If you have a problem other readers might help solve or an idea you'd like to share, write to Melba's Swap Shop, Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Please include your name and address.