Discontinued Food

that I really miss

These by-gone food products tug at my heartstrings whenever I think about them.  I can practically hear the theme from Brian's Song echoing in my head just by looking at this list.  O, how I miss thee!

But it's not all a bleak and desolate wasteland.  Some food products which I had thought had vanished from the Earth forever have come back from the grave.  Such as:

*) Noodles Romanoff:

As of early 2003, even the vaunted, seemingly-invincible Golden Grain corporation decided to pull out of the Noodles Romanoff business.  I could no longer find Pasta Roni® Romanoff anywhere.  They were the last of the last; when they shuffled off this mortal coil, the once magnificent species Noodlus Romanoffus In-a-boxus followed the mastodon and the dodo bird into extinction.

The ultimate loss of all forms of pre-packaged Noodles Romanoff was too much of an unbearable tragedy for me to bear.  The only way I could go on, the only way I could drag myself out of bed in the morning to face the next day, was to figure out how to make Noodles Romanoff without being at the mercy of some nameless soulless food-producing megacorporation's marketing whims.  I had to figure out how to make Noodles Romanoff without access to an actual box of Noodles Romanoff.

I poked around the Web for Noodles Romanoff recipies, and found one that sounded promising because it required neither onions nor cottage cheese, both of which I detest.  It tasted all right, but it wasn't the same.  I needed to capture the same flavor as the Betty Crocker® 2-step preparation Noodles Romanoff, or they would have won.  Armed with a few boxes of Pasta Roni® Romanoff I'd purchased before it was discontinued, I read the ingredients, and got an idea: don't use parmesan cheese, use the same kind of "cheddar cheese" powder they probably used in the sauce packet in the box.

I tried it, and it worked wonderfully!  The concoction tasted every bit like the Noodles Romanoff I remember from Betty Crocker growing up.  And not just any Betty Crocker Noodles Romanoff, either — the old-fashioned, traditional two-step preparation Noodles Romanoff!  The pure, unadulterated Original, before the Betty Crocker corporation had bowed to the pressures of convenience-mongering and sacrificed their product's hallowed flavor just so their customers could make it without having to drain the noodles.  (Pah!  Kraft® Macaroni & Cheese never had to stoop to a one-step preparation method, and their product is still the flagship brand of macaroni-&-cheese-in-a-box worldwide.  Betty Crocker should have followed their example, not the misguided example set by Golden Grain's Noodle Roni® (later renamed Pasta Roni®) line of tepid noodle-based bachelor chow.)

And so, now, as a service to all those other wayward souls out there who miss the flavor of Noodles-Romanoff-in-a-box as much as I do, I present my infallable recipe for

Noodles Romanoff that tastes like the old Betty Crocker® two-step preparation Noodles Romanoff in the box

Boil the noodles in the boiling, salted water until they're the same consistency you used to like when making Noodles Romanoff in a box.  Drain the noodles, keeping them in the same pot you cooked them in (that way you'll only have to wash one pot when you're done).  While the noodles are still hot, rub the butter or margarine around on them until all (or most) of it melts, then stir in the Kraft® day-glow-orange cheese powder, then dump all the other ingredients into the pot with the noodles and stir until the mixture is homogeneous.  (Except the chives won't be homogeneous, of course, because they don't dissolve.)

Add ground black pepper to taste.  I recommend super-finely-ground black pepper, not those coarse crunchy pepper chunks that seem to be so trendy nowadays.  If there's any left over when you're done eating, put the pot in the 'fridge; when you re-heat it later, add a dash of milk and put the pot on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.

If you don't want to do all that work, you could add some Kraft® Macaroni & Cheese cheese powder to Lipton® Sour Cream & Chives flavored noodles & sauce — except that this too has been discontinued!  Back when you could still get it, this combination tasted pretty much like the 1-step preparation Noodles Romanoff in a box, but it still failed to capture the grandeur and majesty of that first-generation 2-step-preparation Betty Crocker® Noodles Romanoff.

And if that isn't enough for you, here's my recipe for

Noodles Romanoff that tastes like the old Stouffer's® frozen Noodles Romanoff

Into a pot of boiling salted water, add

Cook the noodles until they are al dente.  While they're cooking, get out the smallest oven-friendly casserole dish you have.  (For complete authenticity, it should be a disposable oven-safe plastic dish, like the one that came in the old Stouffer's® package, but good luck finding something like that without a prescription.)  Grease up the bottom and inner side-walls of this casserole dish with When the noodles are done cooking, drain them, and put them in the casserole dish.  Then, set your oven for 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190°C) and put a cookie sheet or a layer of aluminum foil on the middle oven rack.  While the oven's heating up, to the noodles in the casserole dish add
Stir the contents of the casserole dish until it's nice and homogeneous, breaking up the larger chunks of cottage cheese as needed.  When you're finished, sprinkle some onto the top of the noodles.  Cover the casserole dish in a layer of aluminum foil.  (A see-through mylar cover with a hole slashed in it to vent would be more authentic, but I think private citizens need a special license to purchase that stuff or something.)  Place the foil-covered casserole dish onto the cookie sheet or layer of foil in your 375°F (190°C) oven.  Bake for approximately half an hour or until the contents sizzle.

I haven't experimented with variants of this recipe, but I'll bet it's possible to cut corners.  You might be able to get away with putting the noodles back into their pot after you drain them, and then adding the rest of the ingredients into the pot just like you were making Betty Crocker® 2-step preparation Noodles Romanoff from a box.  You could then heat it on the stove for 3-5 minutes and, theoretically, you'd get the same effect as baking it for half an hour.  Maybe.  I haven't tried this variation yet.  In any event, do not replace the onion powder with something less offensive like freeze-dried chives.  It won't taste like Stouffer's if you do.

Go back to my main page for more wondrous outpourings of my personal, ahem, creativity.

Send comments regarding this Web page to: Roger M. Wilcox.