June’s Creation

A month ago I posted about the rice recipe that caused a woman to have a nervous breakdown.

Summary: In 1989, Bobbie June Griggs submitted her rice recipe to South Carolina Electric & Gas's annual rice cookoff. She didn't win, but they published her recipe in their cookbook anyway. So she sued them, claiming its publication had caused her to have a nervous breakdown. For good measure, her husband sued also claiming "loss of consortium." The case almost made it to the Supreme Court, but they decided not to hear it, thereby letting the previous decisions stand. Those decisions were that: a) you can't copyright a single recipe, and b) "copyright law does not cover infliction of emotional distress." So Bobbie June Griggs was out of luck.

A few of you asked, what was the recipe? Thanks to the magic of interlibrary loan, I finally managed to obtain a copy of it, courtesy of the Charleston County Library, which sent me a photocopy of it free of charge. So here it is — the rice recipe that caused a woman to have a nervous breakdown.

I haven't made it yet, but I plan to try it out sometime in the near future. If any of you make it, let us know how it is, and post a picture of it.

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 24, 2016
     Category: Food | Cookbooks | Lawsuits | 1990s

Would appreciate this more in text form, so it could be printed and used.
Posted by Duke of URL on 01/24/16 at 11:28 AM
OCR'ed it:

Cook 3 cups of rice by one of these methods: Cook the rice in a microwave by placing 1 cup of uncooked rice, 2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large microwave safe mixing bowl, stir and cover with a plate or other microwave safe cover. Microwave on HIGH 20 minutes or cook on top of the stove by adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to 2 cups water, stir and bring to a boil, add 1 cup uncooked rice to the boiling salted water, stir , cover, and simmer about 15 minutes. Both methods will yield 3 cups cooked rice.

3 cups of cooked rice
2 pounds of ground round steak or very lean ground beef 2 (10 3/4 ounce size) cans tomato soup
2 (16 ounce size) cans whole tomatoes
4 large green bell peppers
4 medium sized white onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Roll 2 pounds of ground round steak or very lean ground beef into walnut sized meatballs. Put these meatballs in a large pan and brown on both sides by turning once. Brown in an oven set at 350 F degrees. When meatballs have browned on both sides, remove from pan and drain on paper towels. In Teflon coated or large non-stick fry pan, pour in 2 regular cans (10 3/4 ounce size) of tomato soup. Next, pour in juice drained from 2 regular size cans of whole tomatoes, (16 ounce size) being careful not to crush the tomatoes as the tomatoes will be used as garnish. Set the whole canned tomatoes aside. Blend tomato soup and tomato juice in the fry pan, add the browned meatballs, salt and pepper to taste, cover and simmer at a low temperature. Wash and remove seeds from 4 large green bell peppers. Cut bell peppers into 1/4 inch wide rings and arrange in fry pan, simmer peppers in covered fry pan while preparing onions to add next. Wash and peel 4 medium sized white onions. Cut onions into 1/4 inch wide rings and add to simmering fry pan mixture. Be sure to simmer this mixture on a low temperature to ensure onions and pepper rings will remain intact. Cover fry pan mixture; when stirring is required, use a plastic spatula and lift onions and peppers with one hand and stir sauce with the other hand. When pepper and onion rings are tender, gently lay the whole drained canned tomatoes on top and heat through by simmering about 2 minutes. On a large platter make a bed of the 3 cups cooked rice with a lower large center indention. Spoon some sauce, meat balls, pepper and onion rings, and arrange the whole tomatoes into the rice bed center indention. Serves 6.

Ms. Griggs writes, "I am very proud of this recipe, I created it myself."
Serving suggestions: "GREAT! with cornbread muffins."
Posted by Alex on 01/24/16 at 11:50 AM
Thanks for finding it!

That said, however, it sounds particularly dull. Unseasoned meatballs in tomato soup pasta, using rice instead of penne.

I'm just enough of a cook to know you should always fry onions and peppers before adding them to anything -- the caramelization brings out their flavor. And using whole canned tomatoes as garnish? They're big red blobs, so unappealing visually they don't even show gussied-up pictures of them on the cans.
Posted by Phideaux on 01/24/16 at 11:52 AM
I'm with Phideaux. Very unimpressed.
Posted by ges on 01/24/16 at 11:56 AM
Me too, ges.

The thing that probably upset her most was being identified as "June Griggs" and "Ms. Griggs". For this to be a real Southern recipe, particularly from the Low Country, she should have been identified as "Mrs Peter Griggs". It wouldn't have hurt to spell it "receipt", either.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 01/24/16 at 01:27 PM
Especially since her name apparently was Bobbie June, not plain June.
Posted by ges on 01/24/16 at 02:25 PM
>>it sounds particularly dull.

Actually, that's what impresses me the most about the story, as weird news. She had a nervous breakdown and spent thousands of dollars in legal costs, all because of a bland recipe featuring unseasoned meatballs in tomato sauce over rice. (And she also said it took her 10 years to develop the recipe!)

If it had actually been a good recipe, I would have been disappointed.
Posted by Alex on 01/24/16 at 04:14 PM
That truly does elevate it to weird category. On a par with the woman who sued a government lottery because her neighbors won and she didn't because she didn't enter.

Now if you want good recipes -- get Gordon R. Nelson's cookbooks. He was an Alaskan State Trooper and collected recipes from all over the state. You have to love a recipe which starts: 1 pound ground moose. He also explains the difference between Lowbush Moose and Highbush Moose. His books are full of wonderful stories about life in Alaska back then, as well as some of the best recipes I've ever found.
Posted by Phideaux on 01/24/16 at 07:08 PM
Since Phi brought up cookbooks...

I picked up a copy of this in a junk shop for a buck or two years ago. Written by a Brigadier General, every recipe has where he discovered it and a bit of information about his life. Very interesting and made even more so by the fact that I believe every recipe in the book includes alcohol of some sort. Available cheap on Amazon.

Posted by Puptentacle on 01/24/16 at 08:37 PM
That's revolting. I wouldn't even feed that slop to the hogs. Not only is she a dolt, she's also a terrible cook.
Posted by A Nonny Mouse on 01/25/16 at 11:20 AM
Wow! To think that I could have written down all those nasty concoctions I made up as a bachelor and then sued someone for publishing them. Speaking of the treasured recipe, I bring out the canned food when the inlaws come around to visit -- I wouldn't want to advertise that fact in a recipe with my name on it, however.

Although to be fair to her, maybe the publisher didn't make it clear that the contest entries would appear in its book. Not much of an advertisement for the cookbook, mind you. Even if it is an "official cookbook".
Posted by Harvey on 01/30/16 at 05:00 PM
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