Barbara S. Miller, a newspaper writer in Washington, Pa., with her odd Spam porcupine. (Scott Beveridge photo)
The story assignment about people turning to eating that cheap ham loaf known as Spam during America's great recession of 2009 was a bright spot amid the economic tsunami that gutted newsrooms.
And writer Barbara S. Miller provided the best laughs at the Observer-Reporter in Washington, Pa., with her version of the Spam Porcupine featured in the 2000 British recipe book, "Spam - The Cookbook," by Marguerite Patten. It includes a nostalgic look back at the canned Hormel produce that arrived from the United State to England in the dark days of food rationing during World War II.
The books recommends cutting the processed meat into cubes and threading it onto cocktail sticks with such ingredients as gherkins, ripe avocado dipped in lemon juice and baby white onions.
From the pages of the book:
Spam is sufficiently firm to allow the sticks to be pushed through the meat without breaking. It is also pleasantly moist and enhances the flavour of the other ingredients. Press the selection of miniature kebabs into a small red or green cabbage or a large grapefruit. The cabbage or grapefruit can be used afterwards.
Miller - the Martha Stewart of the O-R - selected chunks of cheddar cheese and pineapple and green and black olives and cherry tomatoes to accompany the Spam. She then poked the hors d'oeuvres into a savoy cabbage, whose texture and curly leaves made the thing all that more hysterical.