I was a child during World War II. Like everyone else on the block, my family had a victory garden. We grew potatoes, carrots and lettuce. Our next door neighbors grew beans and corn. Food was scarce then, and all of the neighbors shared their crops.
Until I married my husband, I had never heard of Squaw Dish, and my mother never made it. Some may find the name offensive, but this dish still exists and by the same name. My husband told me how to make it and I did. This simple dish was tasty and satisfying — just right for our limited budget.
What is Squaw Dish? I looked on the Internet and was surprised to see a variety of recipes. Campers make the dish. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts make it. Effie M. Hudson of Muskegon County in Michigan, makes it and shares her recipe on the Farm Girl Cookbook Blog.
She found the recipe in an old coffee can that belonged to her great-grandmother. Apparently her great-grandmother stored recipes in the can. “Some of the recipes are handwritten,” she explains, “and many are torn from newspapers and magazines.” Effie thinks the recipe originated in the 1920s.
It’s hard to believe such simple ingredients — bacon, eggs, and creamed corn — could taste so good. Many depression era and World War II recipes made the most of a little food, in this case, a few strips of bacon. Bacon is cooked in a skillet until crisp and then removed. Scrambled eggs are added to the bacon fat. As soon as they start to set, a can of creamed corn is added to the mixture. Effie garnishes her eggs and corn with chopped green pepper.
Bob Wakeman posts his recipe on the Just a Pinch Recipes website. His recipe is basically the same as Effie’s, only Bob adds some diced onions for flavor. Another recipe calls for sour cream to make the dish even creamier. No doubt about it, this homey dish is budget-friendly and tastes good, too.
I updated the recipe to cut down on preparation time and the fat content. You may serve the dish with toast, corn muffins, or hard rolls. Add a tossed green salad and you have a whole meal. Worried about your grocery bills? Maybe it’s time to serve and updated version of Squaw Dish.
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 envelope pre-cooked bacon (recipe pieces or crumbled)
6-8 large eggs, room temperature
1 can cream-style corn
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the cooked bacon pieces and saute for a minute. Put eggs and corn in a bowl. Beat well with fork to blend. Add egg and corn mixture to skillet and cook until set. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon onto plates and garnish each serving with chopped green onions. Makes 4-5 servings.
Copyright 2012 by Harriet Hodgson