The rice-studded meatballs made to stretch meat farther.

Here’s an early example from the March 2, 1932 edition of The Circleville (Ohio) Herald:


1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup washed rice
1 can tomato soup

Mix beef, salt and rice and shape into medium-sized balls. Cover with boiling water and cook until the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Add can of soup and cook 5 minutes longer.

Both the old-fashioned creamy rice pudding and the modern glorified rice are desserts that will demand 2 second appearance in the family meal plans.

No, I don’t really understand why the last graf is there, either, but it’s placed as part of the recipe, so there it is.

I mentioned my own history with porcupines in the post for porcupines from Joplin, Missouri.

From the box of L.R. from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


1 lb. ground beef, lean
1/2 c. rice (raw)
1/2 c. evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. chopped, fine, onion
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
3/4 c. condensed tomato soup (1 can)
3/4 c. of water (1 can)

Set oven at 350 deg. Mix together the above.

Shape into 8 balls. Put in baking dish–not touching. Mix the soup and water and pour over balls. Cover and bake 1 hour or until grains of rice show plainly on outside of each meatball.

Serve sauce over balls if desired.


  1. Alison

    I just stumbled across your site and wanted to let you know I think it’s awesome! Old recipe boxes and cookbooks have been handed down in my family for generations, and I love snagging them at garage and estate sales. Its so lovely to know someone else sees the value in them. Thank you for workng so hard to preserve culinary history!

    • Thank you so much! And I’m glad you’re saving them, too–if enough of us work together we might actually preserve a significant amount of our otherwise abandoned culinary history! I won’t be posting until a little later tonight because I’m going to a Super Bowl party tonight hosted by a co-worker (actually J.K., who loaned me the cards from DC and the binder from Kent, Ohio) and the food is going to be from Yesterdish, so hopefully I’ll come back with some annotations, too.

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