Mid-Century Menu Recipe Contest – Send Us The Worst Mid-Century Recipe!

Posted on Jun 30 2010 - 6:58am by RetroRuth

Well, I think this contest has been inevitable, don’t you?  Only a matter of time until we sent out this request: Tom and I want to hear from you guys, and we want the most creative, bizzare, weird, nasty, ugly, retch-inducing recipe you have.

In short, we are looking for the Worst Mid-Century Recipe.

And what will we give you for all your searching and questing?  Why, a vintage Pyrex casserole dish overflowing with goodies, that’s what!

Pretty slick, huh?  The grand prize winner of this fab contest with receive a vintage, covered Pyrex dish, a smocked yellow gingham apron, a kick-butt oven mitt,  three vintage cookbooks used on the Mid-Century Menu AND a vintage Tupperware cake and pie server.  All to help you make the best Mid-Century Cook you can be!


So, what are the rules to this contest??? Very simple: Send us your weirdest Mid-Century Recipes!  We are looking for things that just aren’t right, combinations that make you go, “What the…?”, and just the all out gross-out factor.  Hideous, wrong pictures of dishes are a bonus, but not required. Gelatin dishes are especially welcome.

The recipes should be from the time frame of 1930-1980, and scans of recipes are preferred, but clear photos will do in a pinch. Email them to ruth@nopatternrequired.com by July 15th at midnight. Tom and I will choose the craziest four and actually make them, choking them down and rating them as best we can.  But the actual results will be up to you, brave readers! You will then vote for the one out of the four recipes that deserves the title of Worst Mid-Century Recipe!


I hope Tom’s stomach is excited, because I know I am! Once again, submit your recipe to ruth@nopatternrequired.com by July 15th at Midnight.  And pimp this contest out to your friends, family, FB followers and blog readers.  I want everyone to know about this baby, because I want to find the WORST that’s out there.

Can’t wait to see what you guys have got for us!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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18 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Kristen June 30, 2010 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I don’t know if I can come up with anything worse than that ham, mustard, cheese and banana hellishness you made, but for this awesome prize package, I will most definitely try. 🙂

  2. Kelly June 30, 2010 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Ooh! I’m in! You two are brave…and I love it! I’m going to search my recipes for something truly shudder-worthy.

  3. Annie B. June 30, 2010 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Ah, yes! This contest is a meant-to-be. It tugs at the most bizarre of my heart strings. Can’t wait to see the submissions.

    But……can anything really beat Perfection Salad? (I’m afraid something can, and Ruth and Tom will have to eat it.) Stock up on Pepto, now!

  4. Kelly June 30, 2010 at 9:20 am - Reply

    I forgot to ask – are there any ingredients that you refuse to cook with?

  5. KDA June 30, 2010 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Well, this isn’t a recipe, but it is the strangest meal I’ve ever eaten. It was served to me when I was an exchange student in Denmark. Here goes:
    pickled herring topped w/ chopped raw apple and one raw egg. Served in a dessert glass.

  6. RetroRuth June 30, 2010 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Glad you guys are excited. I am super-pumped about this!

    Kristen – Yes, that one was particularly disgusting. The bar has been set pretty high! 🙂

    Annie – Perfection Salad scares the hell out of me. That is one I have been meaning to try but haven’t gotten the guts to. Yet.

    Kelly – No ingredient is forbidden. The only thing is that I won’t feed Tom anything raw that needs to be cooked. Otherwise, everything is fair game. I might not be able to stomach it, but Tom will eat almost anything. (Remember the chocolate-liver shake?)

    KDA – Good Lord!! Did you eat it??? Gross!

  7. Annie B. June 30, 2010 at 10:02 am - Reply


    That Danish meal you (?) ate sounds like a version of Sillsallad which is pickled herring, shredded apple, beets topped with other unmentionalbes. I’ve actually been tempted to make it.


    While in the pickled herring mood, (if there is such a thing), I can certify that pickled herring topped with blue cheese sitting upon a Wheat Thin cracker was truly a Mid Mod appetizer…..my parents served it with drinks in the late 1950’s and I loved it the herring and cheese combination. Stange, but true. This might even qualify as a contest entry!!

    • RetroRuth June 30, 2010 at 10:48 am - Reply

      Annie –

      I didn’t think that Sillsallad had raw egg on it!!! Shocking. And, my Dad actually still eats the herring app. We have it at New Years, but I usually say, “No thanks!”

  8. Sharon June 30, 2010 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Hi there! I’m the creator and adminstrator of Gee, That Food Looks Terrible! over on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/groups/789063@N20/) and my obsession is horrible looking vintage food. I’d be happy to place a notice on the group page about your contest, if you’d like. I might’ve already nailed down my candidate for submission!

    • RetroRuth June 30, 2010 at 11:12 am - Reply

      Hi Sharon!

      I LOVE your Flickr group and would be honored if you would place a notice about the contest! I am excited to see your submission, because some of the stuff I have seen on your group is truly terrible! 🙂

  9. Sharon June 30, 2010 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Consider it done! I’m going to spend some quality time with my recipes and find juuuuuust the right one for you!

  10. Andrea June 30, 2010 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Oooh, I have been coveting a Pyrex casserole dish in that pattern for so long now! I have a recipe in mind to submit, better get scanning it!

  11. Miss Marwood June 30, 2010 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    WONDERFUL! What a fantastic exciting idea! Oh this Pyrex dish sets my heart aflutter, that’s got to be the prettiest casserole-hamper I have ever seen! 🙂 So beautiful!

    What a shame I already told you about Cantaloupe-Pie! But I am not scared, my collection of cookery leaflets is brimming with deliciacies I am too scared to try!

    Hope I get that wretched scanner to work…

  12. Amber Dusick June 30, 2010 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    Oh boy, I will dig through my books and see what I’ve got!!

  13. KDA July 1, 2010 at 9:41 am - Reply

    I did eat it b/c I didn’t want to insult the host. I actually like pickled herring, though not w/ raw egg!

  14. Annie B. July 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm - Reply


    Your manners are impeccable. I wonder how many of my own guests have eaten something truly terrible at our house just because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings!!?? It is kinda hard to fork away soupy raw egg to get to the herring, I’m sure. I sincerely love pickled herring. Ruth, maybe one day you will share the love!

    This will be one of the best posts ever when it’s all put together. Thanks for the fun!!

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