Tomato Shrimp Salad

Posted on Oct 27 2010 - 7:04am by RetroRuth

Okay, this is finally it.  I FINALLY made the last entry for the Worst Recipe Contest. Finally!  This entry is from ModernSuzie, who I hope is still reading this blog after it took me so long to post her entry.  But the long wait is over! We finally did it!!

Anyway, ModernSuzie writes:

I love your blog, Mid-Centruy Menu posts are my favourite (you and your hisband must have iron stomachs)! I’m not sure if these two will count but I’ll send them just in case anyway. Last Christmas, my grandparents retirement home put together a cookbook called “Recipes from the Past: 1920 to 1960,” and guess what I recieved as a gift? Many of the recipes are odd but these two have to be among the worst. Like I said, I don’t know if these will count as they’re not from an original retro cookbook, so, if they don’t, thats okay but definately read them (they sound inedible)!

Modern Suzie

Wow, thanks Modern Suzie! And with that ringing endorsement, let’s check out the recipes.

Okay, that’s disgusting.

I….ummm…wow.  I don’t know what to even say about this.  Maybe he got confused and started ordering lunch instead of finishing his recipe submission.

Of course, we decided to make the Tomato Shrimp Salad. Of course.

It is amazing how a crazy pile of ingredients starts to look normal after a year and a half of the Mid-Century Menu.  What do you mean a jug of vinegar and lemon jello don’t go together?  Are you crazy?  You can’t have lemon jello without a jug of vinegar.

At this point Tom and I started having a discussion about what exactly lemon jello is used for in the current cooking culture.  I mean, are there any GOOD recipes out there that use lemon jello?  I vaguely recall a cheesecake recipe that used it, but does anyone have something better? Cause I couldn’t think of anything.

This picture is disgusting for so many reasons.

I actually had to whisk this to get the tomato soup mixed in properly. I can’t think of anything more disgusting that little beads of unmixed tomato soup in your gelatin.

Actually, in this dish you probably wouldn’t even notice.

Yeah, cause every good jello needs onions and celery. Every. Single. One.

Oh man.  These shots never fail to make me disgusted. Bleh.

Mmmm…pure deliciousness.

Good Lord.

There it is. Shiny. Red. Extra long.  That’s about as far as I can go.  This is a family blog.

This photo serves no other purpose that to laugh at my ineptness.  Yes, I have bigger plates.  No, I did not use them.  Now the salad is a Slip ‘N Slide.

We decided crackers were a good delivery system for this one.  I mean, could anything make it worse at this point?   

The brave warrior stares his opponent in the eye.  He does not flinch. He does not turn away.

Oh my God!  A look of disgust!!!  It was quick and involuntary, but there it is!!!

Wow.  Good job Modern Suzie!!! One of the few to crack the iron mask!

The Verdict:  Gross. The gelatin was sweet and tomato-ey.  Tom was disgusted and so was I.  I took one bite and then set my unfinished cracker down.  Tom ate maybe four more, and then he called it quits too. While I was making it, I was vaugely reminded of a shrimp cocktail, so this recipe might be salvagable with added horseradish. Maybe.

Thanks Modern Suzie, and everyone who submitted recipes for the Worst Recipe Contest!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit 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 (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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

  1. Eartha Kitsch October 27, 2010 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Way to go, Modern Suzie! You brought out disgust in Tom! Ruth, I really was starting to wonder if we’d ever see that look on his face. Thanks to you fast photography skills, we did!

  2. Modern Suzie October 27, 2010 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Yay! You got around to making it! It sounded gross, looks gross and judging by the picture is absolutely horrible.

  3. Annie B. October 27, 2010 at 10:26 am - Reply

    This is hilariously obscene. Those poor canned shrimp!
    This has got to be the stunt double for “The Blob”.

    Good use for lemon jello??? Hmmmmmm, Dippity Doo???

  4. Sylkozakur October 27, 2010 at 10:36 am - Reply

    My mom has a triple layer lemon pie that uses lemon jello, I think. My mom used to make the Miracle whip jello mold when I was a kid. Not as horrible as it sounds, but I didn’t know miracle whip was in it. I also never ate more than a few bites.

  5. Barbara October 27, 2010 at 11:41 am - Reply

    My goodness…I don’t ever think I’ve seen Tom react – so it must be HORRIBLE.

  6. Ron October 27, 2010 at 11:59 am - Reply

    This one didn’t immediately gross me out like many do. In my mind I think this could be salvaged. I had it in my head that the idea behind it was a molded shrimp cocktail. As such the lemon jello made since as I always squeeze a little lemon juice on my shrimp. I think the idea behind this is solid but the recipe needs some love. Now that being said, I would definitely need to put some cocktail or chilli sauce in the recipe as step one. Maybe as Ruth said horseradish would help.

    I might actually try the Waldorf salad mold. I really like Waldorf salad minus celery. Celery is the root of all evil in my world.

  7. Sara in AZ October 27, 2010 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Wow!!! Who would have thought tomato soup, gelatin, shrimp and vegetables would be Tom’s downfall! 🙂

    I thought surely it would have been the tongue recipe from Eartha, but this must be just hideous. Maybe you should have mixed some tongue into it! 🙂

  8. Maggie October 28, 2010 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Ohhhh, I think that long slimy pink thing just triggered some sort of repressed memory in me….

    (Instead of the plate you served it on, it should have been reclining on a big, limp lettuce leaf.)

  9. Jamie in Hollywood October 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Well, though you were disgusted by it I was reminded of an aspic salad. That grossed me out as a child when my Mom would make it but my parents loved it. I will make this for myself. On second thought, the look on the “Mighty Warrior’s” face is enough for me. I take your word for it! I am impressed by your love of mid century culture to do all this for us. Thank you. I think I’ll leave the food to you and concentrate on the design of the era.

  10. Andrea October 29, 2010 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    I think that is the look of disgust of horror! I can’t say I blame Tom, though, there is just no way that those ingredients could combine to make anything vaguely edible!

  11. Michelle November 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    This made me laugh! Reminded me of my husband’s first visit to my Dad’s family’s Christmas party. I told him to watch what I was putting on my plate in the buffet line, but he saw greenish jello and had to have it. 20 years later, he still talks about the horror of putting what should be a sweet treat in his mouth and finding it had onions and who knows what else and was not sweet at all. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  12. Miss RM March 21, 2011 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Ha! You had to know something was off when you used the term ‘delivery system’ in reference to your food!

    • RetroRuth March 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      Ha ha, Miss RM! You got me! 🙂

  13. Judy O'Neill September 21, 2014 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    OMG! Thank you! This is exactly the recipe I was looking for! My grandmother served it to us during one visit when I was little. My entire family mercilessly made fun of it, and no one would touch it. Now I plan to serve it at a scary food, Halloween party. I'll taste it this time though.

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