6 Gross Foods from a 50's Cookbook (That We Taste Tested)
Thanksgiving is around the corner, and large swaths of the United States are hunkering down for terrible dinners. But no matter how badly your harvest potluck ends up, trust that it will be nowhere as bad as the following meals prepared by Cracked writer/Martha Stewart of the damned Evan Symon.
With the season of culinary excess upon us, we asked Evan to once again subject his intestines to real (and disgusting) vintage recipes from the 1940s to the 1970s. Behold his toilet cornucopia!
Super Supper Salad Loaf
In the 1940s, the United States was rationing for the war effort, leaving the home front with a limited supply of foodstuffs to cobble together into recipes. Now, imagine you are a G.I. on Christmas leave. After island-hopping around the Pacific for the last year, you arrive home, only to have this waiting for you:
"I escaped a POW camp for this?"
One can't help but cynically assume that the Super Supper Salad Loaf was a conspiracy between Hellmann's and the U.S. government to get visiting service members so sick of home that they couldn't wait to go back and curb-stomp Hitler. To prepare a dish that will make one nostalgic for the horrors of war, I began by hollowing a long roll of bologna mostly unseen outside of Saturday-morning cartoons. (Seriously, it took 15 minutes of convincing my local butcher to sell me an uncut pound and a half of bologna.) Once I hollowed my meat tube, I needed to fill it:
[INSERT YOUR OWN INNUENDO HERE]
I turned to my old friends mayonnaise, gelatin, mashed peas, and minced onions, who congealed together to form a community of flavors inside the chilled bologna hole.
They're shaped like the two rolls of toilet paper you'll need after eating them.
It's not saying much, but this was the best recipe of the lot. Eating a mouthful of lunch meat, peas, and Jell-O didn't make me throw up, which is probably the kind of baseline Christmas miracle Hellmann's was shooting for. On the other hand, it was putrid enough to make me we want to start my own victory garden. I also did feel like the destroyer of worlds while making this, which leads one to believe this recipe was dreamed up by Oppenheimer's top men.
Snowy Chicken Confetti Salad
Ah, Snowy Chicken Confetti Salad. Will it taste like snow, chicken, confetti, salad, or bleached assholes? Let's find out!
If you freeze it, it turns into a Nerf ball.
I began by mixing chicken, mayo, green pepper, celery, pimiento, and lemon juice together. Then, I added Jell-O to chicken consomme to make some dead-bird Jell-O. I then mixed everything together to form something that can be described only as poultry shampoo:
Sadness. Sadness also works.
In theory, the vegetables were the confetti. And the snow? Heavy cream. The end product resembled a blustery day at a garbage dump outside of Pripyat:
But with an even longer half-life.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a Cobb salad diddled a marshmallow? When you sit down at Thanksgiving and reflect on your earthly concerns, be thankful you do not know the answer to that question.
Blue Cheese Mousse
In case you didn't know, here's a fun fact: back in the 1960s, the United States government forced chefs to add gelatin to absolutely every dish to prepare the population for the limited flavor palette of the scorched post-atomic wasteland. Judging from the photo, the Blue Cheese Mousse was scientifically designed to emulate the taste of fluorescent mud and unripe cockroach eggs:
At picnics, no one can hear you scream.
First, I mixed blue cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese with dissolved gelatin and chucked it all in a blender and chilled the curdy slurry:
You know it isn't going to end well when dish soap is the most appetizing thing in the picture.
Unsurprisingly, the mousse tasted like a Bath & Body Works seasonal soap for a Wisconsin dairy festival held inside a giant urinal. This dish's only saving grace was its cerulean tint, which is pretty fun until you remember that it's mold.
The number of slices also counts as the number of inches of functional colon you lose.
Beer and Kraut Fudge Cake
After suffering through so many shit vittles in the last few days, I treated myself to some dessert next: the Beer and Kraut Fudge Cake. A red flag went up when the cookbook I was using didn't have an image for it, but it's cake, and the words "beer" and "fudge" were being bandied about. Surely the "kraut" portion was just the author's lingering beef with the Central Powers, right?
It takes a lot for an old-timey slur to be the "good" outcome.
Ha ha ha, no, it was real-ass sauerkraut. Fuck you, tongue!
It started off as any other cake. I mixed sugar, margarine, and other cake ingredients together. Next, I poured a beer in the batter. The cake was now drunk and demanding the sauerkraut. I obliged because (as one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's less renowned films taught me) pastries plus booze equals violence.
"Cabbage and cocoa, together at last!" -no one
With the cake freshly en-krauted, I shoved it in the oven and gave it a half-hearted once-over with chocolate frosting, because, shit, I wasn't showing this to anyone except a few thousand strangers on the Internet. The final product smelled like chocolate ...
... but the interior eerily mirrored Munich's sewage system during Oktoberfest.
Yes, the sauerkraut and beer had collected at the bottom during the baking. It tasted like a big glop of caramel cabbage. If that sounds tolerable, think about why nobody eats pike Starbursts. Or tripe Oreos. Or ...
Fluffy Mackerel Pudding
Weight Watchers. What. You. Convenience fish. Fuck me:
"Fluffy" my life.
If you want to use your mouth as a time machine to go back to 1974, mix some mackerel with some veggies with some spices with some blabbidy-bloo and some whoopity-wee and throw it in the woozy-whatsit for scruntillion millidingdongs until Fahrenheit box makes bleep-bloop robot fart and you're left with iron poopie-pies.
It's what they clean out of RoboCop's inner waste receptacle.
It smelled like a New England dock. The taste? Weight Watchers couldn't market this for famine victims. Do grocery stores keep watchlists?
Here is a food equation. Can you eat a math? I will try.
Put meat in tin along with potassium tube. Extra K+ ions meet cow peptides for powerful good times. Lift many things with anti-starvation loaf. Use newfound strength to rebuild the food pyramid. Rebuild it in God's image. God is a laughing spider.
Atlach-Nacha ... I can hear you.
Put rectangle of nutritious farce -- sinew and starch are not geometry! -- in the machine that hates bacteria. If this were a poem, it would be 40 minutes of screams. Have you ever met a banshee? A BANANA banshee? Bananashee. He howls for fiber. He lives in this loaf.
It is time. So says the kitchen golem. He is fuming, fuming mad that he is not me. His mouth is 350 degrees. My mouth is 98 degrees, but I have legs. He cannot steal my life, but I must appease him. Show him we are brothers. I will apply myself out of solidarity. I will become the appliance.
RISE, RISE, RISE!
HAVE YOU EVER SMELLED A MIRACLE? HAVE YOU EVER TASTED A SACRAMENT? WHO AMONG US WILL NOT WHIP THE FOOD CHAIN INTO A FRENZY? I AM OMNIVOROUS. I AM OMNIPRESENT. I SEE ALL THANKSGIVINGS, PAST AND FUTURE. I HAVE WITNESSED THE BIRTH OF THE FIRST CRANBERRY. I MET A TYRANNOSAUR, HE WAS PURITAN. 5,145,304 NOVEMBERS FROM NOW, IN AN S22-CLASS NEBULA CLIPPER SKIMMING KEMBLE'S CASCADE, AN EAR OF NANO-MAIZE WILL LISTLESSLY FORNICATE WITH A NEUTRON YAM. THERE IS A MACY'S DAY PARADE AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE. EVERY ATOM IS A SNOOPY BALLOON. EWGFDAS3211M,EDSF][09(
For more taste sensations/abominations, check out Cracked's prior installment of this article, 7 Gross Foods That Your Grandparents Ate (Taste Tested).
Do you have a vintage recipe you'd like to make Evan eat? Email him here.
Check out Robert Evans' A Brief History of Vice: How Bad Behavior Built Civilization, a celebration of the brave, drunken pioneers who built our civilization one seemingly bad decision at a time.