Pickle and Pineapple Salad – A Retro Gelatin Dare, or Knoxapocalypse II

Posted on Sep 2 2013 - 6:00am by RetroRuth

It’s finally here! Welcome to the Retro Gelatin Dare Part II, known more playfully as Knoxapocalypse II. I can’t believe I was up for this after the total and utter disaster that was Liver Pate En Masque from the first Gelatin Dare. It was a dark, dark day for gelatin dishes everywhere, let me tell you.

But, true to form, when I saw a tweet suggesting another gelatin dare, I couldn’t reply “yes” fast enough.

And then I got my assignment.


Pickle and Pineapple Salad.

And I started to really, really think about deleting my Twitter account.


4.5 from 2 reviews
Pickle and Pineapple Salad
  • 1 T gelatine (1 pkg unflavored gelatin)
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • ½ cup canned pineapple, chopped
  • ½ cup stuffed olives, sliced
  • ½ cup sliced sweet pickles
  • ¼ t salt
  • Green food coloring, "used with restraint"
  1. Soak gelatine in cold water for about five minutes: dissolve in boiling water and add lemon juice, sugar, salt and coloring.
  2. When this mixture begins to thicken, add remaining ingredients. Pickles should be sliced thin.Turn into wet individual molds.
  3. When firm, unmold on lettuce and serve with mayonnaise. Serves six.



If you are curious about the Retro Gelatin Dares, here is how they go:

Yinzerella from Dinner Is Served 1972 gets bored. So she sends a tweet to Mimi (1972: The Retro WW Experiment), Brian (Caker Cooking) and me saying that we all need to get together and make something scary with gelatin so she isn’t so bored anymore.


And immediately our collective good sense flies out the door, and we send crazy tweets back and forth to get up enough courage to say “count me in”. Once we all agree to the madness we get nervous, so we recruit other bloggers and force them to do it with us, just so we don’t seem so crazy. (Hi Jenny, Erica and Susie!)

Then we retreat into our stacks and stacks of vintage cookbooks to pull out a horrible gelatin recipe that we have been eyeballing for a while but have been too scared to make ourselves or are curious about how it tastes. Then everyone sends their entries to me and I pick numbers randomly to see who gets assigned what gelatinous horror.

I usually get one of the more gross ones. It is pretty much a rule, I think.

Then I make it. Then I set it in front of Tom.


And he looks at me.

“Really? What the heck is this? Is that mayo?”

“I promised a bunch of people you don’t know that I would force you to eat something gross. And yes, that is mayo.”

“Seriously? Is this another one of those things?”

“If by “those things” you mean a vintage recipe swap done between fellow bloggers for the purpose of research, then yes, this is one of those things.”

“You just like to take pictures of me eating disgusting gelatin.”

“That too.”

Tom TastesIMG_3081

“What is in this?”

“The usual crap. Olives, pineapple, pickles. I think there are some almonds in there.”

“Because this actually tastes…good. Somehow.”


“I swear. Taste it!”

“Jeez. You’re right.”

The Verdict: Good For An Unknown Reason

From The Testing Notes:

Against unbelievable odds, this thing actually tasted good. I have no idea how, because the last time we had gelatin with pineapple and olives it was disgusting. But the pickle and olive gelatin was a step up from that, so it might have been the sweet pickles (I bought a really good brand). It also might have been the fact that the lemon gelatin was made from scratch rather than using a box, thus eliminating the fake flavoring and loads of sugar. Either way, this WAS good. It lacked that horrible gag factor that usually comes when you put olives in gelatin. It was mind boggling. This proves that all gelatin recipes must be tested before being judged gross!


Dinner is Served 1972: Olive Wreath Mold

Retro Recipe Attempts: Betty Davis’s Mustard Ring

Caker Cooking: Maple Fluff

1972: The Retro WW Experiment: Molded Avocado and Tuna

Bittersweet Susie: Melon Mousse

Sliverscreen Suppers: Turkey In Aspic

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

  1. Jenny September 2, 2013 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Mmmmmmmmmm – that looks good! Sort of. A bit like William Holden’s Lime Gelatin with Cashew Nuts, Carrots and Stuffed Olives – also served with mayo. Weird but interesting…

    I really LOVED being part of the challenge. So pleased that Yinzerella’s boredom level is so low and that there is enough of us around who will make revolting things soley “for the purpose of research” – not to actually eat or anything… I’ve been begging to join in since the Church Lady Cookbook Challenge of 2012. I wonder if anyone would fancy a Vincent Price Cookalong?

    Life is GRAND – bring on the next challenge!

    Jenny at Silver Screen Suppers

    • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      I am SO up for a Vincent Price Cook-Along! Let the fun begin!

  2. Cristina September 2, 2013 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Strange that it tasted good!! Way to go!!

    • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      It is strange, isn’t it?? I am still puzzled!

  3. Amy September 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    O M G. hard to believe something green with pickles and pineapples in it would taste good. ugh.

    • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      I know, right?

  4. Eartha Kitsch September 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    I just knew it was going to be good somehow! Maybe it’s my love of pickles and olives that gave me faith. I’ve been bouncing all over the web, checking out the offerings. Oh, how I love you people. I need to get back to recreating recipes again. My husband was never as kind about it as Tom but surely he’s forgotten how bad he had it by now. Could be worth it! : )

    • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      Then you were better prepared than me! I was completely blindsided by this one! 🙂

      Yes! I can’t encourage people enough to cook from vintage cookbooks! Do it!

  5. Mimi September 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    So pretty! I think this is a winner! Thanks for being our organizer and recipe assigner. And as always, my apologies to Tom. XO

    • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      No problem, Mimi! And and as always, it was a pleasure. 🙂

  6. Tammy September 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for your creativity. I read all the blog posts and laughed so hard I cried. The melon mousse may be my favorite. Those pictures tell it all.

    • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it, Tammy!

  7. Kate H September 2, 2013 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    I have two other versions of this pineapple pickle combo. One has sweet pickles and pecans. I have made it three times and it goes really well with grilled chicken. The other version has vinegar and pimentos but no pecans. I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet. Kate H.

    • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      That sweet pickle and pecan version actually sounds pretty good! I kind of agree with you about the vinegar one, though. Those never really turn out!

  8. veg-o-matic September 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    No. I refuse to believe that this tasted good. Absolutely not. Uh-uh. No way.

    • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      I’ve got one of those puppies left. I could send it to you. I wonder how it would hold up in the mail??!?!?

  9. Susie September 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    IT TASTED GOOD?!?!? Do you think Tom has lost all feeling in his mouth from these challenges? Well done on this, and organizing such a fun exchange. I have enjoyed it so much. The molds you used for this are ADORABLE.

    • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      You know, it IS possible his mouth has gone completely out of whack. 🙂

      I will keep my eye out for some of those little molds for you. They are promotional Jell-O ones that turn up from time to time in my local thrift store!

  10. Buzz September 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    I am really surprised this was good. There was actually another gelatin dish in the same cookbook from Erica’s great-grandmother’s beach house (aside: I have discovered that I now immediately go searching for the old cookbooks in any older relative’s house I visit) that actually looked worse than this. I think it called for chipped cod, and it seemed too gross even for this project. Maybe we’ll send in that one next time.

    • Erica Retrochef September 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      There was one with chipped salt cod, and one with raw oysters. I passed them up as too cruel!

      I can’t wait to tell my grandmother that this was actually edible, she probably won’t believe me 😀

      • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm - Reply

        Yeah, thanks for not sending the salt cod one. That stuff is disgusting by itself, I can’t even imagine what it would taste like in gelatin. Blech!

        Also, I have found a food that we will not eat: raw oysters! Not such a smart thing to do when you live in Michigan. It is pretty much just asking to die of food poisoning. So thanks for not sending that one!

  11. amber September 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Oh my. I have such mad respect for Tom!

    • RetroRuth September 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks, amber! 🙂

  12. Caker Cooking September 7, 2013 at 7:33 am - Reply

    I appreciate the fact that the recipe says to use the green food colouring “with restraint.” If only I’d read that in some of the recipes I’ve made over the years, my innards wouldn’t look like an abstract painting. Great presentation, by the way. Tom is a brave man.

  13. Jenn Smith August 25, 2016 at 1:28 am - Reply

    This may sound hard to believe, but I’ve had this before! And I’m thrilled to find the recipe! During my childhood in the 80s my mother and I were invited by a neighbor to her churches Mother’s Day Luncheon and this was served. I liked it so much I went back for another helping. Every so often I’ve thought about this dish and wondered what it was, but have had no luck, until now, finding the recipe. Thank you for sharing all these odd but kind of wonderful old recipes!

  14. Katie Ewoldt November 16, 2016 at 11:53 am - Reply

    I LOVE this salad… I have been eating it since a kid in the 1960’s when my Mom made it…. always when she prepared turkey dinner. She changed it a bit, using English walnuts and omitting the olives (we did not like t hem as kids). I swear by this dish, and I love it—I served this to my and sister-in-law one Thanksgiving –she would not even try it. I always offer to bring it to family pot-luck dinners, she ALWAYS says NO. She will never know what she is missing.

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