Mid-Century Menu Contest Finalist #2 – Lemony Salmon Towers

Posted on Jul 28 2010 - 11:29am by RetroRuth

Ohhhhhh, baby.  Check this out! This week we have excitement, mayhem, craziness and canned salmon! In gelatin! Seriously!

The finalist for this week’s menu is really something else.  I got this horrifying recipe from Adriane L., who wrote:

I’m submitting the most disgusting mid-century recipe I have ever come across…  I LOVE the cook book it came from, which is literally crammed full of disgusting dishes involving gelatin and canned meat.  But this one is by far the worst.  This cookbook dates from the late 50’s and was re-printed in the early 60’s.  I included a scan of the cover.

I hope you find it as disgusting as I do!

Cheers to a fun blog contest!




Well, Cheers to you too, Adriane.  Also….dang.  And gag.  And some other disgusting reactions. You know, I hate two things quite a bit. Fish and gelatin.  And this dish some how magically brings them both together to be totally disgusting.

And for some reason, those cucumber slices look like eyes.  Does anyone else see that?

The innocent ingredients.

Holy bloomin’ gelatin, Batman!

Does anyone else think this looks like tinkle in a bowl?  Anyone?

“No, no, no, don’t worry. It’s lemon.”

Maaaaybe I shouldn’t have used my gel coloring on this. Whew.

The second round.

See??? Tinkle.

Also, I didn’t have an impressive enormous mold like they do, so we are going to have to settle for a shorter one.

The second layer.  Very….scummy.

Unmolded.  Oh dear God!

The unspeakable cross-section.


Down the hatch!!

“This tastes like a whole lot of nothing.”

I closed my eyes, and took a bite.  For a gut-wrenching moment, I waited for the terrible taste to register. And then I waited another moment. And another moment.  I cracked my eye open, and started to chew. Nothing.  It tasted like nothing, just like the brave man said it would.

Well, not nothing.  I mean, I could taste a canned pea, a bit of salmon, and some green pepper, but they just tasted like themselves. Another cautious bite yielded the same result. Whew!

The Verdict: Surprisingly tasteless.  For all the scary trappings of this thing, it wasn’t bad at all.  I mean, it wasn’t great, but we have totally eaten worse. Disaster averted!

Thanks, Adriane!  I am glad to report that this did not kill us!

Come back next week to see the next finalist in our Worst Recipe Contest.  It is going to be truly a terrible experience!

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

  1. Barbara July 28, 2010 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Fish and gelatin. Two things that never should meet. EVER.

  2. Lorie B July 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Dear HEAVENS!!! You are SO brave. I could have never gotten past the visual of that one. *shuddering* I think the pictures alone have made me a little ill. LOL
    You do realize I ADORE these posts. It’s kinda like watching a trainwreck. You don’t wanna look, but you just have to. LMBO….

  3. Inky July 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    seriously disgusting and hands down the best photo of Tom staring at food ever. His face says it all. you have no idea what kind of joy you bring me on Wednesdays. Which makes me feel sort of bad actually 😉

  4. Sharon July 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Once the chunks in gelatin cease being fruit and start being fish or vegetables or some other kind of chunky matter … well, things just get scary!

  5. Andrea July 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Man, those Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks really were a source of scary recipes, weren’t they?? There is a reason that my submission came from a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook as well, LOL.

  6. Annie B. July 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    This is the most laughably horrid concoction this side of tomato aspic.

  7. Miss Marwood July 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    WHY WHY WHY do I always look at your Menu just before I have dinner?!!?? God, this turned my stomach… either molded barf or something out of the CSI prop department. Jesus.
    Poor Tom looks almost sad when he contemplates his plate, he surely thought this would be his last supper. I think he deserves his favourite meal tomorrow, Ruth!!

  8. Kelly July 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    It DOES look like tinkle! 🙂

    It’s so hard to believe that this combination tasted like nothing because it had sure conjured up a taste in my mind. The color of it alone…blekk!

  9. Modern Suzie July 29, 2010 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Its hard to believe that something that look like that tastes like nothing. What’s the texture like on it? I imagine pretty odd, especially if you make it really tall like in the picture.

  10. blackberry July 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Bad girl.

  11. Adriane July 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    I’m so excited my icky recipe was a finalist!! I pored over 3 different Better Homes and Gardens books, but I knew it had to come from this one. Pages and pages of disgusting gelatin mess. But such pretty pictures! I’m bummed to hear that this wasn’t a meal that had to spit out out though. I was so hopeful! It’s fun to see it made in person, although I’m disappointed you didn’t get some of those yummy side dishes with it. Like anchovies and pickled beets… Seriously folks, make the picture bigger and read the caption right above the image. Also, the recipe across the page from this was almost my pick, but I finally decided these were more gross. And there was no photo with the other recipe, but just the name of the dish: “Lime-shrimp double-deckers” is enough to make me throw up in my mouth. Just like this one, but with lime gelatin and shrimp. Ugh.
    Love your blog!

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