Molded Sea-Food Salad – Glistening And Jiggly Finalist #3

Posted on Jun 20 2012 - 6:15am by RetroRuth

Congrats to Michelle, the third finalist for the Glistening and Jiggly Contest in the “Worst Gelatin” category! Michelle sent us this weird thing, which was both very exciting and very disgusting.

This is Molded Sea-Food Salad.


It is exciting for many reasons. One reason is that it came from a great-looking cookbook with an awesome cover.

Good Housekeeping Fish Cookbook

Another reason was Michelle’s great story behind the recipe!

Michelle writes:

So, I’ve attached my recipe for worst gelatin recipe. Recently, my mother-in-law  gave me her mother’s recipe box. I was pretty stoked! I hadn’t had the chance to look through it though, until I read about your contest (love the site). It’s a treasure trove of mid-century recipes and booklets.
I chose this recipe from a booklet called the Fish Cook Book from Good Housekeeping. It’s from 1952 and has all fish recipes. This particular recipe intrigued me for two reasons: it does NOT call for tuna, and the combo of sour cream in gelatin made me wonder exactly what on earth the texture would be. With the added vinegar and mustard, I almost wondered if it would taste like deviled eggs jello with fish. Yuck.
Again, love the site!

Michelle, you are a lucky, lucky girl. Hold on to that recipe box like the treasure that it is!!!

And the third reason it was so darn exciting is because it had a whole quarter cup of vinegar in it.

Molded Sea Food Salad

Wait…maybe the quarter cup of vinegar was the reason it was disgusting?

There is a lot of crazy stuff going on on this blog, and sometimes I get confused about what’s disgusting vs. what’s exciting.


But I know one thing that was definitely exciting. I got to use my West Bend copper crab mold! It didn’t come out as sharp as I would have liked it to, but if you look at it from the side, you can totally see the crab.

My assumption, and this is just an assumption mind you, was that it was for molded crab salads. But you never can tell with mid-century cooking. Maybe the crab was supposed to be filled with gumdrops. Or canned spaghetti.

You just…never…know!

This time, however, the mold was filled with pungent, creamy sea-food salad that smelled like rotten fish.

Which I happily served to Tom.


And then watched him struggle to get it down.


There it goes.

From the tasting notes:

Awful. Very rancid fish flavor with a strange texture. Lots of vinegar. Needed crackers to even get it down. Should not be a gelatin.

The Verdict: Gross.

Thanks for this great one, Michelle! It was fun AND disgusting!

Update! We have another great prize added to our stash for this contest!


A brand new copy of Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes by Adam Ried! I have to admit, I am a little envious of the winner who is going to get this bad boy. Besides having a retro-tastic cover, this thing is jam-packed with great recipes for one of my all-time favorites: Milkshakes! Yum.

If you want to take a sneak-peek at some of the recipes, there is going to be a milkshake blog party, The Great Shake 2012, where a bunch of bloggers will be making recipes from the book and reviewing them. I can’t wait to see what everyone whips up!

*Disclaimer:  This copy of Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes was provided by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. at no cost to me, and I did not receive any compensation for mentioning them!


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

  1. Yinzerella June 20, 2012 at 8:33 am - Reply

    “Bran-Bread Fingers” is officially on the short list for names for my imaginary band.

    • RetroRuth June 20, 2012 at 9:06 am - Reply

      Bran-Bread Fingers with the Molded Sea-Food Singers.

  2. veg-o-matic June 20, 2012 at 11:20 am - Reply

    I can say with certainty that I have read every single post on this blog. Never have I seen Tom’s face look like that.

    Keep up the good work!

    • RetroRuth June 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Veg! It really was pretty horrible!

  3. Michelle June 20, 2012 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Wow, this looks just as awesome and gross as I pictured it! Love the mold. My sincerest, deepest apologies for inflicting this recipe on you guys. That being said, can’t wait to see more recipes! =)

  4. Susie June 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    I think I may have just barfed in my mouth a little, hahahha.

  5. Mia June 21, 2012 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Tom must adore you to endure such gelatin abuse! I love this blog…

  6. Sidebandit August 14, 2013 at 8:20 am - Reply

    I follow this blog on facebook, which is a really enjoyable way to read it. However I had a stressful day at work, came home and instead of doing more work (as I was supposed to) just lay on the couch for four hours reading your blog. I particularly liked the ones you hated (like this one) because they made me laugh out loud. Though it was fun to read all the kinds in a more or less random order. So much cooking energy, amazing. Thanks!

    • RetroRuth August 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      Glad I could give you a little break! 🙂 And glad you like the blog.

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