Minute Steak Another shudder-inducer. My mother would buy super-thin rectangular steaks she would then fry up in some margarine, leaving them an unappealing gray inside and out. I could not get through a minute steak, not in 60 seconds, not in an hour. These would be served with frozen french fries, the highlight of the meal, and maybe a canned veg of some kind. I’ve mentioned my mother required a green vegetable at every dinner. Once a week or so, that veggie took the form of the lowest possible salad, to wit: icy white iceberg lettuce leaves with sugary bottled dressing. Bright orange Kraft “Catalina” was a favorite. It is still on the market, though one wonders why.
In those days, produce sections did not stock everything from butter lettuce to radicchio to arugula to baby kale to organic chard. The selection ran pretty much to cellophane-wrapped heads of iceberg. (It could be said today’s bagged greens are the iceberg lettuce of today.) I do remember one year we had delicious fresh lettuce from our garden, and what a revelation that was, but so fleeting. (After spending several hundred words harping on the bad SueG meals, I feel I should add that in later life, she had a gift with veggies and salads — and with most types of food.) Notice what is missing from her weeknight meals, whether good or bad: Pasta and rice (other than Rice-a-Roni). SueG did not like pasta or rice and her stated presumption was that no one else liked them, either. Protestations to the contrary fell on deaf ears.