This blog is being created to document the art and experiences of David Sollie. Mr. Sollie is a writer and visual artist whose work often documents the history of the Shackway corporation.
Shackway is a company that was started by Bruce Milburn (Mr. Sollie’s grandfather) in the years just after the Second World War. Here is a photograph of entrepreneur Bruce Milburn:
Shackway started out as a small import/export business, but as time went on the company evolved to become a large multinational organization involved in many different kinds of ventures in more than 50 countries. Here is one of the first products imported by Shackway:
This fine product was the main reason for the widespread popularity of Goulash on the half-shell in the late 1940’s, with each box of shells containing a recipe for the savory delicacy. I still have the recipe. Like all Shackway recipes it was presented as “Grandma Shackway’s Finest”.
The secret is that there never really was a “Grandma Shackway”. Most of the “Grandma Shackway” recipes were created by Mr. Sollie’s grandparents, entrepreneur Bruce Milburn and his charming wife Ann.
Here is the original recipe. Actually, this isn’t exactly the original recipe, because the original recipe contained a pound of hamburger and this recipe replaces that with mushrooms and beans. Let’s just say that it is in the spirit of the original recipe.
Grandma Shackway’s Finest Vegetarian Goulash
- Olive oil as needed
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2c chopped celery
- 2 big garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
- 2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped
- white wine as needed (maybe a Sauvignon Blanc)
- 2 big tomatoes chopped and seeded
- 1 1/2c chopped mushrooms
- 1 can Great Northern beans, drained
- a bunch of Thai basil
Coat the bottom of a large saucepan lightly with olive oil. Dump in the paprika and heat the oil so it is very warm, but not so much that it smokes. Add the celery, garlic, onion, peppers, and simmer for about five minutes or so. Splash in some white wine occasionally if things seem to be drying up too much. You could use red wine but white wine keeps the colors looking better, and is courteous to the other flavors. Add the Northern beans, tomato and mushrooms, lower the temp and and let simmer until the beans are almost warm inside. Add Thai basil and salt and pepper to taste, and let cool a bit.
Place portions on Shackway baking shells and wipe the edges clean. Put shells in a warm oven and everything will be idyllic when your guests arrive. There are many things you can put atop the goulash as a garnish but thinly shredded carrot will look pretty fetching, while adding a hint of sweetness. Best to avoid eating the shells, even though they would be a great source of calcium.
It’s just like one of the old company mottos once stated: ”Shackway: From our shack to yours!”