Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World" was tops on the Billboard charts.
Richard Nixon was president.
And something more historic, at least for my family, happened: We attained the recipe for Broccoli Mold.
If this dish was half as bad as it sounds, it would have ended up with the recipe for the infamous Peanut Butter Loaf - a dry, leaden monstrosity my mom once served in lieu of turkey on Thanksgiving.
She keeps looking for that recipe. I have NO IDEA where it went.
Anyway, back to the Broccoli Mold: No Kjos (that's "choss," rhymes with "verbose") family gathering is complete without this dish. It's been modified only once, when manufacturers stopped producing those frozen bricks of broccoli that were the main ingredient. These days we use the frozen bagged variety.
(True food connoisseurs, stop reading right here. There's only one fresh item in this gem, and it's an onion.)
It was 1971. My dad was attending graduate school at the University of California-San Diego. He and his friends were hippies, or at least dressed like them. One of them stands out: Mike Baser, of the long hair (of course), holey jeans and this recipe, which he scrawled on a thick piece of typing paper.
One of the steps was to "dump the stuff (and he did not write 'stuff') in a greased baking dish."
"Broccoli Mold" may sound terrible, and it isn't appealing to the eye, but once you've tried it you just might be hooked. It's tasty hot, lukewarm and even cold, so it's a great potluck dish - if you can get folks to try it. Hey, eggs, cheese, onions? You could mix that with dirt and bake it and it would probably taste good.
Although this is called a "mold," you don't unmold it. You scoop it out of the baking dish with a serving spoon. And no, it's not moldy.
Don't forget one step, which is to fill with water a small, oven-proof dish - such as a cake pan - and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Keeps the concoction moist as it bakes into tender, crave-able deliciousness.
• Serves: 6
• 16-ounce bag frozen broccoli florets, cooked, chopped into bite-size pieces and drained
• 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
• 1 4 1/4-ounce can (about 2 tablespoons) chopped black olives
• 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 6 eggs
• Butter, margarine or cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs slightly with a fork. Cook broccoli per package directions in microwave (or if you boil it, drain it well; you don't want it to be too moist). Add cooked broccoli to the bowl, then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Grease a deep, two-quart baking dish and pour in mixture. Bake for 1 hour or until it's brown on top and a butter knife slipped in the middle comes out clean.
While cooking, place an ovenproof dish such as a cake pan full of water in the oven.
What's your fave?
Do you have a favorite family recipe you'd like to share? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to Tiffany Kjos, Arizona Daily Star, 4850 S. Park Ave., Tucson AZ 85714.
Tiffany Kjos is the Star's regional editor and food editor. This is the first in a series of monthly columns she'll be writing … until she runs out of recipes. Contact her at 807-7776 or email@example.com