Try It! You Might Like It! ~ Pam Crooks

Did your mother ever tell you that very thing when she placed a plate of something unfamiliar and distasteful-looking in front of you?  Mine sure did, and oftentimes, she was right!

My sister filly, Julie Benson, had a super-fun blog on pumpkin spice raves and flops in her blog last week.  So many of you joined in and shared your favorites.  If you haven’t had a chance to read “Pumpkin Spice Everything? Maybe Not” and all the comments, just click here.

One pumpkin spice marketing ploy that received several mentions was Pumpkin Spice Spam.  Not a single one of you had tried it–or wanted to.  Ewww!  I recalled seeing it on my grocery store shelf, and I had the same impression.  Ewww!  But when I decided to write this blog, I searched numerous stores and couldn’t find a single can.

So that led me to my friend, Google.  I came across several interesting articles.  And lo and behold, the novelty–and taste!–of Pumpkin Spice Spam was so greatly loved that the Limited Edition meat product sold out online in hours, and alas, is no longer available.  Anywhere.  Well, except eBay if you want to pay THAT much for it.  Hormel claims it has no plans to bring it back anytime soon.

For those of us who never gave Pumpkin Spice Spam a chance, those who did claimed it tasted like breakfast sausage or a Christmas ham.   Cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg were added to the original Spam base, and nope, not a bit of pumpkin.

Who knew?

Hormel first introduced Spam on July 5, 1937, and derived its name from “spiced ham”.  Due to the difficulty of delivering fresh meat to the troops during World War II, Spam soared in popularity throughout the world.  It was the only canned meat that did not need refrigeration, was affordable, accessible and had a longer shelf life.  In the years since, literally billions of cans of Spam have been sold–and eaten.  Spam even boasts having its very own Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota, all 14,000 square feet of it.

So yep, I grew up on the stuff.  We loved it.  In fact, I’ll share a recipe my mother made for us more times than I can count.  We ate tons of these!  And oh, my mouth is watering as I write.

Spam Jobbies (family nickname – but really an open-faced sandwich)

1 can Spam

Velveeta cheese


Hamburger buns

Grate equal measures of Spam and cheese into a bowl. Hold it together with ketchup.  Add 1 Tb. grated onion, if desired.  Spread over split hamburger buns.  Arrange on oven rack or cookie sheet.  Broil until edges begin to turn brown.

All this talk about foods that get a bad rap is not so different than what my hero went through in A CATTLEMAN’S UNSUITABLE WIFE.  Anyone who reads westerns likely knows that cattlemen despised the sheepherder.  Sheep ate valuable grass the cattle needed, and no self-respecting cattleman would ever eat a bite of mutton.

Well, guess what my poor hero, Trey Wells, had to do, thanks to the heroine’s cleverness.  Zurina–the daughter of a sheepherder–made sure she knocked Trey down a peg or two, and well, to find out what happens next, you’ll need to read their story.

Book 1 in the Wells Cattle Company Trilogy!  

Zurina Vasco despises Trey Wells for the power he wields over her people and their beloved sheep. But when tragedy strikes, there is no one else she can turn to for help but him.

Trey doesn’t have room in his life for a beautiful woman like Zurina–until the night his father is murdered. Only she can help him find the truth and satisfy the revenge he craves.

Bound by the secrets that will tear them apart, they flee into the wilds of Montana Territory and find a love worthy of legends.


Available on Amazon

Did you eat Spam growing up?  How did you fix it?

What foods have you tried and you didn’t think you’d like, but did?

Let’s talk about foods that once made you go EWWW! and then made you go YUM!

A lucky person who comments will win a $5 Amazon Gift Card!



Website | + posts

Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at

57 thoughts on “Try It! You Might Like It! ~ Pam Crooks”

  1. Mom usually fixed it in the electric skillet by slicing it, frying, then topping with crushed pineapple and a maraschino cherry.

    She also made a “spam salad,” which was spam and hard boiled eggs mixed together and spread on bread for sandwiches or eaten with crackers.

    I don’t make it for my family.

    • Good morning, Denise! Hmm. Frying Spam in a skillet is jogging my memory. My mother did the same thing, I believe. And bologna! She fried bologna and split hot dogs. It was a cheap meal, and we loved it.

      I’ve never heard of the crushed pineapple and maraschino cherry – but the spam salad would taste just like a ham salad, which is delicious!

      And . . . your family might like Spam, you know. Ha!

  2. We don’t have Spam here, though there is a similar product available and mom did add it to some foods. I’ve never added it to any foods I make. Yuck!

    Now I have Monty Python’s Spam Song playing in my head…

  3. I too grew up with spam. Later, when I had my chidren they enjoyed it fried up on bread. Simple. Loved your recipe. Thanks for sharing. As for pumpkin spice spam ? Oh God no. Never lol.

    • Well, Carol, remember . . . no pumpkin. That’s what initially turned me off. Spam and pumpkin together just sounded wrong. Now the spices . . . yeah. I could handle that.

  4. Good morning. I grew up on spam, my mom would mash it up and add onions, pickle relish and mayo and we had “ham” sandwiches. They were delish!!
    I never liked apple pie growing up. One day about 12 years ago a co-worker and I were eating and he offered me 1/2 of his apple pie his wife made, I hated to be rude because he was so enthusiastic for me to try. One bite and I was in heaven. It was the best thing I’d ever ate. He Must of went home and told her, because a few days later she showed up at my home with a hot right out of the oven apple pie, plus her recipe. I have used her recipe ever since. Sadly last year she passed away from bone cancer. So every time I make her pie I think of the piece of heaven she left me.

    • A fun story, Tonya! Who doesn’t love apple pie? You must’ve had a piece by someone who wasn’t a good baker once, eh? But your co-worker’s wife was so kind to give you a warm pie, and it fostered a friendship between you. That’s what it’s all about.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • No, it doesn’t SOUND good, but try to think of it as Christmas ham. Or breakfast sausage! Maybe Spam should’ve come up with a different name.

      Although theirs sure didn’t hurt sales . . .

  5. Good morning! I’m still eewwwing over the pumpkin spice spam but it’s great to know it actually didn’t have pumpkin. The company that manufacturers Spam should make it for our troops that are deployed over the Holiday season so they can get that holiday ham flavor! Heck the homeless and the elderly that live alone would love it! Maybe they should rename it to Holiday Ham flavored Spam though.

    The only way I remember eating Spam growing up was fried Spam with eggs and other breakfast fare. I don’t recall ever eating spam when I was very young and my parents were still married. The breakfast spam came into my life with my step-mom. My Dad and mom (step-mom) like to eat spam, eggs and cheese but I do not ever eat cold spam. I can tolerate eating Spam but I would get Spam Light because it’s all the sodium that gets to me. I used to fix Spam for my first husband (may he rest in peace) because he always joked about Spam Enchiladas! He was Hispanic. He joked about Spam Enchiladas so much that one of his friends invited us over and his friends girlfriend had actually made Spam Enchiladas. They were the authentic red enchiladas not TexMex. Even though it was a huge joke they weren’t bad at all. She did use cheddar and asadero cheese since they were Spam Enchiladas (hamish) where as an Authentic Red Enchilada would only have white cheese. Now I’m wanting some authentic red Enchiladas! Yum

    Authentic Red Enchilada Sauce:

    3 cups water
    2 ounces dried guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded
    1 ounce dried New Mexico chiles stemmed and seeded
    1 cinnamon stick optional
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
    1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
    1 medium tomato seeded and chopped
    1 large garlic clove pressed or minced
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

    In a heavy saucepan, bring water, chiles and the cinnamon stick (if using) to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until chiles are tender. Drain the chiles, discard the cinnamon stick (if using) and reserve the cooking liquid in a measuring cup and set aside.
    Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato, garlic, salt, oregano, smoked paprika, and cumin and cook for about 5 minutes more.
    Transfer the mixture to a blender and add the chiles plus 2 cups of the cooking liquid and puree until smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine strainer and discard the pulp. Add more cooking liquid to thin the sauce to your liking.
    Heat the remaining oil in the same sauté pan over high heat. Slowly add the sauce being careful to avoid the splatters. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use or freeze flat in gallon freezer bags for up t 3 months. I’ve kept it longer! You can use this sauce in any enchilada recipe. If using Spam, shred it.

    To make Enchiladas:

    Lightly fry corn tortillas in oil and pay dry.Dip each tortilla in the red enchilada sauce, covering both sides completely. Fill each tortilla with prefered filling, I like just cheese and use Monterey Jack since I can’t find the same asadero cheese they used in El Paso. Add each enchilada to a baking dish, top with more cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes to melt cheese.

    • By the way I need to read this book and series! I am a Cattleman’s daughter. I grew up with my Dad being a cattle broker, Beef production feedlot owner or manager, salebarn manager and aound pasture cattle all my life! We lived in various places in New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas throughout my life and my Dad’s profession. We are Texans though. We dealt cattle in the U.S. and in Mexico back in the day.

    • Spam would’ve fit the bill – cheap and versatile. Sounds like it was a challenge for your mom in the kitchen to feed her children back then, but things are hopefully better for you now.

      Thanks for stopping by, Kim!

  6. I don’t remember eating it as a kid unless my mother tried to pass it off on us like it was ham like she did the time she made us eat frog legs telling us they were Mexican chicken legs (I didn’t fall for that on). But, I did eat Spam with eggs when I got older and was short on money.

    • Good morning, Vicki. Broccoli! Ah, that’s a good one. I never liked it, either, but now I love it. I even add it to the water when I’m boiling spaghetti to get some veggies in.

      I have come to believe that our taste buds are different when we are adults than when we were kids. Or maybe we just understand that some foods are really good for us, and we NEED to eat them, and that makes them more palatable.

  7. My Mom fried Spam. Intensely dislike it. I did not like Brussel sprouts. Noe I like them with cheese sauce.

    • Brussel sprouts is another good example, Estella, of how our taste buds (and attitudes? change as we mature. Cheese sauce is wonderful with them. Bacon, too. I wouldn’t say they are my favorite, though.

  8. Yes we had spam growing up and the best I can remember it was just fried. I can’t tell you weather I liked it or not because I can’t remember. I did buy a can a while back to fix just to see if I liked it or not I just haven’t tried to fix it since I bought the can. I guess I need to set it out so I can remember to fry it.

    • I hope you do try it, Quilt Lady. Our friends this morning are giving you lots of good ideas to make with it. Ham Salad? You can’t hardly go wrong with that idea!

  9. good ole spam, lol yes my family ate it growing up, my mom would make spam burgers, spam and mac and cheese casserole and spam and eggs. matter of fact my husband bought some a month or so ago and wanted a spam burger, lol i said to him, you know we can afford ground beef. but his family too ate it, spam and beans . now my husband doesn’t remember this and he is older than I am, it was a little blue can and it was called potted meat. and that was the best what ever it was on bread and mayo. i remember when we would go shopping with my mom and it was always next to a can of deviled ham, which was a little small can and had a red devil on it, since I have been on my own I have looked for the little blue can of potted meat and have not found it, they still make the vienna sausage in the can, which were good too.

    • Ah, Elaine! I totally remember the little can of deviled ham. If I’m not mistaken, it’s still available, but the potted meat? I don’t recall that, but I will totally look for it when I go to the store. I even know the aisle where I need to look!

      My dad loved vienna sausages. Oh, that brings back a memory!

      • I had to google it, armor makes it, I have not seen it in any store in chicagoland, but I remember this and the vienna sausage were always in our pantry,

  10. yes spam was fried as a child and served with eggs for breakfast – I still do not like any soupy soups – they have to be very thick (your spoon will stand)!

    • Interesting about your preference for thick soup, Teresa. That will eliminate many of them, wouldn’t it? I have a Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice soup recipe that is nice and thick. A black bean soup, too.

      Oh, on this cool and rainy day, both of them sound so good!

  11. Pam, what an interesting blog. I have two cans of Spam in my pantry, but haven’t used them yet. Like you, I grew up on Spam, and it’s a great substitute for ham. Your sandwiches sounds just like those we used to eat. Pumpkin Spam? Well, I have to admit, I’d likely pass over it in the grocery store, but certainly would have missed out on something good. Maybe, if enough people want it, Hormel will bring it back another holiday season…but likely not this one. I love Pumpkin! Thanks, sister Filly, for a great blog. Hope you have a wonderful day and a big hug coming your way.

    • Good morning, Phyliss! We both missed the Pumpkin Pie Spice Spam boat, and now I regret it! I need to be more adventurous, try more new things, and trust Spam/Hormel to come out with a good product. I read online that some ladies had the foresight to buy 4 – 6 cans at once and save a few for the holidays.

      A big hug back at ya, my dear! Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Yes I ate it growing up we pan fried it in a black cast iron skillet and made sandwiches out of it. I still get a taste for it on occasion although not very rarely. And had the pumpkin spice kind been available here I may would have even tried it. I love all things pumpkin spice

    • Howdy, Glenda! Yes, pumpkin spice is definitely loved, and I’m glad you focused on the spice part of the Limited Edition Spam, and not the pumpkin part. I sorta think that’s what turned so many people off. Pumpkin and Spam . . .

      My mother never fried food in anything but her cast iron skillet. I had one shortly after I was married, and about that time, Teflon came out. And then Calphalon. I quit using the cast iron skillet and never looked back.

  13. Pam, I too am thankful the Spam didn’t contain pumpkin. It doesn’t sound so ewww with just the spices. If it sold out so fast, I wonder why they haven’t brought it back?

    I grew up eating Spam. Because my mother grew up poor om a farm, she learned to make a lot of inexpensive dishes. Here’s how we ate Spam.

    Top Hat Supper
    Slice Spam into 5 or 6 slices.
    Make thick mashed potatoes. (We often used instant.)
    Saute onions and green pepper. To this add a can of Cream of Celery soup and a can of milk.Simmer.
    Add a heaping tablespoon of the sauce to potatoes. Top Spam slices with a mound of potatoes. Bake at 350 for 15 min. Serve with remaining soup sauce poured over potatoes.

    • Hey, Julie! Oh, your recipe sounds like the perfect comfort food on a cold night. I would totally have fixed this during my Spam days when the girls were all home. Heck, I still can, right? My husband would like this. Thanks for sharing!

      And good question – why wouldn’t Spam bring back their Limited Edition? ‘Cuz it’s Limited, I guess. A marketing strategy, no doubt!

  14. We did eat Spam some while I was growing up, but very often!! Daddy ate in in WWII, and didn’t really want to eat it once he was home!! The few times I remember, Mom fried it and fixed mashed potatoes to go with it, and probably green beans. I never like sweet potatoes growing up, but I’ll eat them now. They still aren’t a favorite, though! Also, I’ll eat a little okra and squash, though they still aren’t favorites, either! Your book sounds really good!

    • Hi, Trudy! Your dad would’ve been one of the first to eat Spam after it was introduced! That’s pretty cool, though I get that he probably OD’d on it and didn’t want it anymore after that. Maybe it brought back some bad memories, too.

      I have to say I’m not even sure I’ve ever had okra before – maybe in a soup, maybe breaded and fried as bar food? But it was never a vegetable we fixed for dinner. Squash is good – so versatile, and yes, sweet potatoes are good just cooked in the microwave and adding butter, salt and pepper.

      Hope you get a chance to read A CATTLEMAN’S UNSUITABLE WIFE. I enjoyed the sheepherder research!

      Thanks for stopping by, Trudy!

  15. Our grandson spent a month with us this summer and even though he had lived in Hawaii for five years he had never eaten Spam. Spam is very popular there and served many different ways. We bought a can of it and I broiled slices with a pineapple slice on top. It was okay but we decided we wouldn’t be buying it again. Growing up, my sister often made sandwiches for her school lunch using the little can with the red devil on it. I did not!

    • Alice, you’re right! Spam is very popular in Hawaii. Bummer that you all didn’t like it, but you’re the second one to mention serving Spam with pineapple, which I’ve never done.

      Maybe try it again as ham salad or fried with potatoes or alongside eggs. Who knows? That might make all the difference for you.

  16. I can imagine the pumpkin spice Spam a little better after your description. Still not sure if I want it, though. We never really had Spam when I was growing up, but somewhere along the line in married life I started putting it in my fried rice recipe so now we have “fried rice & Spam.” Seems not quite tasty enough without it but still don’t ever have it any other way. Strange now that I think of it.

    • I always make my fried rice with diced ham, Sally, so Spam in yours makes perfect sense to me. The ham/Spam brings a saltiness to the fried rice that I love. Maybe that’s what you’re missing when you don’t use Spam. 🙂

  17. Mom usually fried it and put it into sandwiches with a slice of cheese and mayo. I grew up on this stuff also. And yes so did our two kiddos. I would make them the same sandwiches, I would fry it and it would go along with veggies and a potato of some sort. I would fry it and cut it up and put it in baked macaroni and cheese. Once I thought I had hamburger, but didnt. I was making spagettii, so I used fried spam and everyone loved it. We would have it with our eggs for breakfast.
    When we moved to our farm, the lady before us had planted a huge section for asparagus. mom tried to cook is so many ways, but the five of us kids would not eat it. Now 45 years later my sister and I love it. We bake it with herbs, yummy.
    I would not eat mushrooms, they were fungus. LOL. Well my fiance ordered coated mushrooms as an appetizer, I had no idea, oh my goodness. We have been married now 36 years and I just love mushrooms in so many things.

    • Isn’t that funny? You just reinforced my conviction that our taste buds evolve as we grow older. My husband is a mushroom guy, too.

      Very innovative of you to put Spam in your spaghetti sauce! I would never have thought of that, but it makes perfect sense. The pork adds so much to sauce. I almost always put Italian sausage (alongside meatballs) into my sauce, and if I don’t use that, I’ll dice up some bacon for the pork flavor. My mother often added pork flatbones to her spaghetti sauce. Oh, my goodness, my dad and us kids inhaled her sauce that way. So good!

      Thanks for joining in, Lori!

  18. Hi, yes my mom would fix spam, she would dice potatoes add onion, and tomato to it and cook it together, it was pretty yummy. I also like to make spam sandwiches with melted cheese. You know my daughter for years would tell me to try fish tacos, and I would not , they just didn’t seem appetizing to me at all. So on a Mothers day about 4 years ago, they took me to a restaurant that served fish tacos, so I thought, well, I guess i can give them a try , and low and behold, they were delicious , I even told my daughter, and all these years, I have been not eating these delicious fish tacos, and Why!! Just too stubborn to try them, but I’m glad I finally did try them! 🙂

    • Ha! Funny! Yes, stubbornness might have had something to do with it (as with us all) but also a pre-conceived notion about how they’d taste, and usually for the worst!

      The first time I even heard of fish tacos was when I was visiting my brother out in Tacoma, WA. a good 15 years ago. He wanted me to try them, and I thought it was the most bizarre thing. Fish in tacos?? Who would even think? But yes, I tried them–like you–and they were absolutely delicious!!

      Good thing we gave them a go, eh, Alicia? Just think what we’d be missing now!

      Great to hear from you, as always.

  19. We had Spam occasionally when I was growing up. My mom just sliced it and fried it. I have tried it a time or two since, but don’t care for the flavor. Treet is about the same thing, just a different producer. I do like Treet and use it several ways. I will slice and fry it like my mom did. I usually dice it up, microwave it a bit to brown it and get rid of some of the fat. I then add it in to scrambled eggs with cheese and sometimes onion and green pepper to make an omelet or just scramble them all together. On occasion I will dice it and add to a salad if I have nothing else.
    I heard how popular Spam is in Hawaii and how many different varieties they have. I would like to try some of the variations to see if they are any better than the regular variety here. I am not a big fan of pumpkin spice everything, so I think I will pass on that one. Of course if it is just the spices and not the pumpkin, too, it might be worth giving it a try – next year if I can find it early.

    • Treet!! Ah, that’s a name from the past! I didn’t realize it was still available, but do recall seeing it on the shelves. My mother never used it, but yes, it sure sounds alot like Spam.

      I think we’ll all be a little wiser next year and maybe be a little more willing to give a Limited Edition Spam a try. And yes, we’ll need to grab it as soon as we see it.

      Thanks for stopping by, Patricia!

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