You heard me. I am breaking into the 1950’s gelatin salad craze, quite possibly one of the scariest ages in culinary history.
When Tom called me from work on Monday, I announced my intentions. After I asked how his day was going, and I told him the daily story of how a cat has destroyed something, or fell off something, or got stuck in something, I decided to spring it on him.
“So,” I said deceptively casual, “I have decided what I am making for the Mid-Century Menu this week.”
“Really? What is it? That noodle ring thing?”
“Nope, I am making Jellied Stuffed Eggs.”
“Tom, you still there?”
“Seriously? You are really making that?’
“Yep, I am going to the store in a few minutes to buy the stuff.”
“Uh. Why do we keep doing this?”
Anyway, Jellied Stuffed Eggs comes from 300 Ways to Serve Eggs, published by the Culinary Arts Institute in 1950. This book is completely about, you guessed it, eggs. 300 ways to make eggs, in fact.
And here are the eggs I choose.
The caption on the photo says “A rich and savory filling lies beneath the limpid exterior of these jellied molds.”
Ok. Not so bad, right? It is just chicken stock with a deviled egg inside it, right? It can’t be that bad, right? Right?
Thankfully, only a few ingredients in these babies.
The first thing I did was put the gelatin in cold water to “bloom” or soften. This is basically just a step when the gelatin absorbs extra water to ensure you get a smooth gelatin set.
The eggs all split open and ready to scoop. They were great hardboiled eggs – it felt like a waste to use them on stuffed eggs!
All the ingredients for the egg fillling together at last. This was a weird filling that had both green olives and pickles. Uh. But I tasted it and it wasn’t too offensive, so I was happy about that.
The filling all mixed up and ready to go. At this point, I had forgotten why I was so apprehensive about this recipe.
Oh wait, now I remember. The jellied chicken stock. Right.
The eggs all stuffed and ready to be crammed together.
Here they are, waiting like good little soldiers to get doused in gelatin. Poor guys.
Anyway, as you can see, I lined the cups I had with plastic wrap, because I wasn’t sure I would be able to get the blobs out without it!
Here they are! All jellied up and ready to hit the fridge. Horrifiying, isn’t it?
Unmolding the jellied eggs. And yes, they did look disturbingly like monster eyeballs. Hmmm…I think I will have to remember this recipe for Halloween.
Oh God! Here it is, ready to be eaten. I must not have set the gelatin enough, or maybe I added too much liquid, because that stuff just slid right off those eggs. Look at it pooling at the bottom of the plate!
The table, set for dinner. The side dish is also courtesy of 300 Ways, it is boiled celery, hardboiled egg s and thousand island dressing. Yum!
And now, drumroll please….
Tom taking his first bite of jellied egg.
I was actually squealing by now. “How is it? Is it awful?”
And now, a Mid-Century Menu first.
This is a picture of Tom gagging. Gagging!
After he finally struggled it down, he gasped, “This is vile. I think we have a new number one for the worst Mid-Century Menu.”
You can imagine how excited I was after that to try mine. I ate a small bit, and he was right, it was vile. It might have helped if it would have gelled a bit more so we could have chewed it instead of it sliding around like snot everywhere, but then again it might have been just as nasty. The stuffed eggs weren’t too bad, and Tom scraped off the jellied bits and ate them while I ate the plain eggs from the other platter.
The Verdict: Vile Beyond Imagining
Jellied Stuffed Eggs: Totally disgusting.
Egg and Celery “Salad”: Would have been just fine with raw celery, but was kind of gross with cooked celery. The thousand island dressing with the hardboiled eggs was good.
Tom “enjoying” his cooked celery.