Break out the can opener

after work cook book

After Work Cook Book
Better Homes and Gardens

All your 1970s favorites are here for your after work cooking needs. Your Sweet and Sour Chicken Mold will obviously be a family favorite. The yellow/greenish color should brighten up any table. As I look at the recipe I am curious about the sour cream sauce mix. I don’t remember any kind of item like that. Any of my fellow old folks have any idea what this is? The only thing I can think of is a sour cream/onion dip mix. Since it is the first ingredient listed, I would hate to mess up this recipe.

As you can see, there are so many choices for your family. Break out the can opener and go crazy.


back cover

ham rice salad

main dishes

frank kraut dinner

after work recipes

main dishes


  1. You got me curious enough to google “sour cream sauce mix,” and Old El Paso actually makes/made one. It is something you add to your sour cream, though, not a substitute for it. So I guess that doesn’t help much.

  2. I suspect Sour Cream Sauce Mix may be roughly the equivalent of mixing French Onion soup mix into sour cream to make dip!

    1. I don’t think so. Were that the case, it would surely have onion in the name. And that dip is a classic — even teenagers likely knew about it.

      I think it is some obsolete packaged product. I can see why they might not have wanted to include brand names, but without that it is not easy to identify.

  3. The current PMG’s own Hell will be to neverendingly sort “Bread Envelopes” with barely readable addresses at the speed of the machines he took out of service, or eat them before they fall off the end of the conveyor.

    1. I like the cut of your jib.

      Make sure the eaten envelopes are filled with some kind of gelatinized horror. And no water available.

  4. I bet that mold tastes exactly as good as it looks. “Distinctive flavors” is a polite way of putting it.

    By the time you’ve seeded and quartered the veggies, isn’t it just as fast to keep cutting them up as opposed to getting them into and out of the blender?

    And just buy sour cream or more spices or whatever. Is this mysterious mix the equivalent of today’s ranch dressing mix?

    Also, who’s got time between getting home from work and when your family sits down at the table to chill a mold? Do you do this the night before, after the kids go to bed so they won’t make smart remarks as you make it?

    A lot of the dishes don’t seem particularly time-saving — look at the time for the Chicken Pilaf!

    And who’s got time (on weekends, I guess?) to make “Bread Envelopes”, which even in 1975 we knew were actually called pita bread.

    That frank-kraut dish is, umm… (barfing emoji) too.

    I say order a pizza or drive through McDonald’s — your husband and kids would be much happier. Or give them the franks minus the kraut. Heck, grab yourself some Swanson TV Dinners.

    Minus the canned green beans, I’d probably eat the Ham Grab Bags if they came with a different name.

    My kitchen skills often involve opening cans of stuff and mixing them together to make food, but I make sure the final dishes aren’t a color that looks like they’re already spoiled. And no gelatine!

  5. I would never in a million years actually make any of these recipes, but my quirky self LOVES these types of cookbooks. They make me laugh. The pictures seem to accompany the details and directions very well. I think when they are exceptionally “gross”, I get a kick out of those most. Don’t know why it amuses me so, but it does.
    Should they be weeded? Oh, yes, yes, yes. But I do enjoy these and even have a small collection of my own to laugh and wonder over. Cheers!

  6. That dish on the cover in the ten-o’clock position looks exactly like something I puked up one time. (Yes, I literally puked bright pink once.)

  7. The mysterious mix looks to be packets of sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, to be mixed with your sour cream.

    So I stand by my earlier statement that it’s probably cheaper and doesn’t take much more time to keep those ingredients in your cupboard rather than this mix. And you could customize it to your family’s taste.

    Google tells me it can be found at the Walmart near me. Or, y’know, I could just go to my cupboard where I have all those things.

  8. As a New Zealander I can tell you that powdered onion soup added to canned reduced cream (or sour cream if you’re fancy) is totally a thing here and has been since the 60’s

  9. Oh we also have flavoured sour cream dips for chips ect (best seller is chives) in pots by the hummus (which reached our isolated shores in 1998)

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