What are some of your interesting cooking or food stories from parents, friends or relatives that were in the military?
A vacation to San Diego and a trip to the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum led us to my favorite place...the kitchen! We found an old fudgy brownie recipe while touring the kitchen of the USS Midway and you won't believe the puree used! (although after hearing my Dad's stories it does make a lot more sense to me).
the USS midway history
The USS Midway was the longest serving naval aircraft carrier during the 20th century. It sailed during the Cold War, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. It was in commission from 1945 to 1992. It has now become a museum and is housed near the current naval base in San Diego, California.
"don't always worry about what your next line is supposed to be. there is no script. live your life. be in this moment."--dick costolo
It was fun to just live the moment and time for a little bit aboard an aircraft carrier.
- My grandfather served in the Navy.
- My husband spent five years in the Navy aboard a naval aircraft carrier.
- My dad was an Army cook and told us lot's of stories of the kitchen, recipes and how meals were prepared.
Walking through the ship and seeing where my grandfather may have spent time was interesting. Hearing stories from my husband's time on the ship he was on and seeing him share those stories with my kids and having them ask questions made me happy to see them grow a connection with him. Seeing where, what and how my Dad made some of the meals he talked about making in the Army...made sense.
"what do we have in the fridge? random crap you say? there's no such thing as random crap. did you know what i got to eat in the military? this is fresh food and now it's your dinner!"---dad
My Dad growing up was a cook in the army reserves. You didn't throw food out at our house. Anything could be made into something. The combinations he would make were....awful. When we ran out of sausage for sausage and biscuits he used hot dogs. Broccoli and bananas? That was a combination....that I would recommend to nobody.
One time shortly after he stopped eating dairy he was craving cream of broccoli soup and he decided he would make cream of broccoli soup by using flour and water to make a 'cream' sauce. Without the milk or butter. So he made a weird flour sauce, steamed some broccoli and then blended it all together. Oh gross! It was so bad!! To this day I can't even stomach looking at cream of broccoli soup!!
the brownies with the interesting puree
As we toured further into the Midway, we hit the kitchen. I glanced at the sample menu of the recipes served. My husband, Dad and grandfather always said the food was gross. So I flipped through the menu to see why. I found a recipe for fudgy brownies on the USS Midway that had some interesting ingredients...including a weird puree. I've tried some weird purees over the years. Have you tried brownies with:
- Black beans?
But I have never heard of putting this ingredient into brownies. Have you?
It's one of the main ingredients in the brownie recipe we found in the kitchen recipe book of the USS Midway....yes PRUNE PUREE!!!
why in the world would you put prune puree in brownies??
One theory I have comes from my former job in the health field. Although not common, occasionally a patient would request some prune juice to help them out after surgery because:
- Prunes = natural laxative...keep the soldiers regular!
The other two theories make sense too:
- Inexpensive...prunes are pretty cheap!
- It makes the brownies healthier, keeps them moist, the prunes are tasteless, and you can decrease the amount of sugar and fat you use in the recipe (expensive ingredients and often sugar were rationed during war time).
Which theory do you believe the most?
other notable cooking moments from the military we heard on our tour
Another recipe we found was for chipped beef. It's also one of our family's favorites!