Mid-Century Menu – Voting for WORST Mid-Century Recipe!

Posted on Aug 18 2010 - 7:28am by RetroRuth

This is it!!!  And so begins the voting for the Worst Mid-Century Recipe Contest. To bring everyone up to speed, these are the recipes that were submitted by YOU, the readers, for the dubious honor of being crowned the Worst Mid-Century Recipe, and this stunning vintage prize pack:

*Note: Fabulous Conant-Ball Table not included! 🙂

There was a flood of responses.  Tom and I sat down with our laptop and a barf bag, and pared the entries down to a lean, disgusting four.

Finalist #1 – Summer Salad Pie From Kathrin (aka Miss Marwood)

Ummm…does this one even need an intro??

A cheese crust, tomato/lemon gelatin filling (of pure evil!), all topped off with tuna salad. Ack. 

This is what Miss Marwood had to say for herself:

After days of going through all my MC recipe booklets and books, I have made my choice for my entry: Betty Crocker’s Summer Salad Pie from her delightful book “Dinner in a Dish”, published 1963.
This book is brimming full with great contenders for your contest, but the Summer Salad Pie has everything going for it: a combination of ingredients to make your spine tingle, a picture to turn you green in two ways – the thought of actually having to eat it, yet full of envy because you so want that basket serving dish. It’s set in gelatine and does not miss its pimientos. It’s got tuna with lemonjelly in a cheesy shell. If that ain’t pretty I don’t know what is.
Hope you enjoy
Best wishes,
Holy hork.  Here is a picture of the final creation:
And Tom’s reaction to the first bite:
The Verdict:  Unnatural.  The cheese crust and the tuna salad was a great combo.  In fact, I would actually suggest making the crust and putting a tuna or chicken salad in it.  It was good together.  But the gelatin…BLARGH.  Way, way too sweet to be paired with olives. Gross. Gross. Gross.
To see the whole, gut-wrenching post, go HERE.
A glorious tribute to disgusting canned fish, this two-level, shimmering spectacle is set off by a truly repulsive selection of questionable side dishes. 
*Gak* Thankfully, the little disgusting bits around the side were NOT included in the recipe.  Much to Adriane’s disappointment and my joy. 🙂
Adriane said:
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!




Here is a photo of the finished “tower”:

And Tom’s reaction:

I think this was a disappointing one for everyone!

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!

To see the whole, gut-churning post, click HERE.

Finalist #3 – Creamed Eggs In Corned Beef Crust from Sharon (aka Charm and Poise)

This one is exciting because it is the only non-gelatin-based dish chosen as a finalist.  And it beat out other gelatin dishes, so you know it has to be gag-tacular.

Here is what Sharon had to say for herself:

I’ve gone a bit out of the box on this one.  It has no aspic in it nor is it made in a mold — two of the best features of a mid-century recipe!  However, this recipe benefits mostly from the photo which is such a clear example of someone being asleep at the cookbook recipe photo wheel that it seems impossible it actually was published.  This sad state of affairs additionally benefits from the fact that it came from Happy Living!  A Guidebook For Brides (1965, 1966, 1970) signaling the fact that some harried, newly married woman might’ve thought it a good idea to serve this to her husband.  And finally, it is a nonsensical recipe that calls for relatively normal ingredients to be combined in an abnormal way to make up a dish that is — from the photo at least — impossible to serve in a nice, neat way. 
For your pleasure, then, is Creamed Eggs in a Corned Beef Crust.
Sharon (Charm and Poise from Flickr)
Here is a picture of the finished “pie”:
And Tom’s reaction:

The Verdict:  Not bad.  Tom ate it.  If you don’t like cream of mushroom soup, don’t try this.  The eggs were totally stupid, but not gag-inducing.  I feel sorry for the poor bride who tried to serve this to company. Yeck.

To see the whole, ridiculous post, click HERE.

Finalist #4 – Jellied Tongues from Kelly (aka EarthaKitsch)

So, this is the entry that has caused the most controversy, from hard-core readers, casual readers, and even my friends and family. It turns out some of you REEEEEEALY like tongue. 🙂

But I have to tell all of you, a boiled tongue, before it has been skinned, looks disgusting. 

Here is the finished dish:


Here is Tom’s reaction:

The Verdict:  Tom claimed it was good.  That the tongue just tasted like beef and it was fine with him.  I just couldn’t get it down enough to even taste it, really.  It was chewy.  And that is all I am going to say.

To read the whole, controversial post, click HERE.

So, those are your finalists!!!!  Please vote for the recipe that you think is the WORST Mid-Century Recipe! Voting will close on August 24th at midnight, and the winner will be announced in the August 25th Mid-Century Menu post. Good luck to all of our finalists!

WordPress Author Box

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).

Like us on Facebook
on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter
Follow @MidCenturyMenu on Twitter

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

  1. Sara in AZ August 18, 2010 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Oh Ruth, you are not including your table in the giveaway!!! 🙂 Bummer! JK!

    This will be very hard to choose who to vote for, because they are all SOOOOOO gag-tacular as you said. ;)What fun though!

  2. twobarkingdogs August 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    I voted .. and if I can I’d vote again and again for my choice !!!

    Can’t wait to see which one of these awful recipes turns out to be “the worst”

  3. Eartha August 18, 2010 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Ooh! Exciting! Can people vote once a day or just once total?

    • RetroRuth August 19, 2010 at 9:26 am - Reply

      Thanks for voting, guys! I am excited to see who wins, too!

      Eartha – people can only vote once! I want the gut reaction here, so to speak! 🙂

  4. Kimberly Lindbergs August 24, 2010 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I voted but it sure was tough to pick only one!

  5. readycarlos August 6, 2012 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    The Creamed Egg recipe gets my vote because it already looks like it was regurgitated! I swear I saw something similar in the parking lot of a club in Hollywood that was notorious for serving extra strong drinks!

  6. nicksmom2007 November 24, 2013 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Oh poor u! However, prepared properly tongue, prettied up by calling it “lingua”, is actually a delicious part of really yummy Mexican food. See ma, 7 years of ancient language studies really pays off when u have to decipher weird ingredients.

  7. Laura August 24, 2014 at 12:55 am - Reply

    Oh my stars, I almost vomited a little bit with the tongue gelatin. Seriously – I’m impressed you even tried. I’d have MASSIVELY chickened out on that one!! Ha ha!! Props to you 😉

Leave A Response