Behold the Woodchuck!


This single dish may have been the one that started me on my obsession with vintage recipes.  This is the famous Woodchuck that my Mother-in-Law makes every Christmas morning at her yearly Christmas breakfast.  Okay, yes  – it does kind of look like someone threw up after drinking too much white zinfandel after a hard-boiled egg eating contest, but I promise you –  it really does taste wonderful.  It’s my favorite thing she makes on Christmas besides her cookies, but that’s for another day.

What is in this?  Actually, I don’t really know.  I have tried looking for a recipe for it and have never found anything called “woodchuck” that is even remotely close to this.  I know it has hard boiled eggs, green pepper, pimento, canned mushrooms, tomato soup and maybe butter or cream.  You pour it over store-bought toasted bread things that I have never seen any store I’ve ever been in, so I don’t know what the hell they are.  All I know is I love the damn woodchuck!

If anyone recognizes this dish, please let me know what is is in the comments as I am on a quest to find out where it is from.  My Mother-in-Law has been making it forever from a recipe jotted on an index card and can’t remember where she got it.


15 thoughts on “Behold the Woodchuck!

  1. Great. Now that we’ve cleared that up, could someone please tell me how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


  2. OMG, you eat that? Tiff, you of all people…..Miss Foodie, if there ever was one? Huh? I shall assume you were fall down drunk when you wrote the post. Oh, don’t act like it couldn’t happen!

  3. Here’s a response I received 2 years ago when I went looking for the elusive recipe:

    This recipe is in several of my old community church cookbooks, but every recipe is slightly different. They are usually in the “luncheon” category. These recipes were all basically either a white cream sauce or a cheese sauce and each recipe contained one or more of these vegetables; green peppers, pimentos, onion, corn or mushrooms. The vegetables were always sauteed in butter before adding to the sauce and then the sauce was either combined with sliced boiled eggs or poured over a layer of sliced eggs in a pan and run under the broiler until bubbly. Most recipes said to serve with toast or biscuits but a few say to serve over warmed Chinese noodles- the crunchy kind.
    Here’s a sample:
    Woodchuck serves 6 to 8

    2 green peppers
    , chopped
    1 pound mushrooms, sliced
    1/2 pound butter or margarine
    2 cups milk
    5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
    ½ pound mild Cheddar cheese, cut up
    1 (2 ounce ) jar of pimentos , cut up
    Salt to taste
    6 hard cooked eggs, sliced

    Sauté green peppers and mushrooms in butter, until tender. In a double boiler, cook and stir milk, flour and cheese to a thick white sauce consistency. Add sautéed vegetables and pimentos. Season.
    Fold in hard boiled eggs. Heat through.
    Serve over hot biscuits

  4. My mom made a version of this at least 40 years ago! I think she got it -or a version of it -from her grandmother, who owned a small restaurant around the time of the depression. Many of the recipes I have from her stemming from around the same period are pretty minimalist.

    It is amazingly similar to yours!

    Here is her recipe, exactly as written in her own hand:

    2 T butter
    4 T flour
    1/2 pound cheese
    1 can tomato soup
    6 hard boiled eggs
    1 pint milk

    Melt, butter, add flour, stir.
    Gradually add milk, cook until thick.
    Add other ingredients.

  5. There is a recipe in the 1962 edition of “The Joy of Cooking” called WOODCHUCK. It’s on the top right of page 251. This is also known as Rinktum Diddy. It’s basically a can of tomato soup with 8 oz. of melted cheese. And 3 Tbs. Water. It’s a type of rarebit and there are many variations.


  7. I am a 75 year old Norwegian. I grew up in South Dakota eating Woodchuck as an appetizer every single Christmas of my life! I have continued the tradition in my own family. People always have a hard time getting used to this menu item, but eventually (most of them) like it. We even have non Norwegian relatives who go back for seconds! This is how I make it: heat cans of crushed tomatoes, add extra sharp cheddar & heat to melt. Add an egg. Mix with an immersion blender to make it smooth. Stir in sliced pimento stuffed green olives. Save some sliced olives for garnish. Serve over soda crackers. This is seriously yummy!!!

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