Top 10 Vintage Recipe Tests of 2013 – Spam, Vintage Cocktails and Tons of Gelatin!

Posted on Jan 13 2014 - 3:48am by RetroRuth

2013 was a pretty crazy year for Mid-Century Menu! We tested about 75 vintage recipes, most of them gelatin and not enough of them cocktails. We took about 3000 pictures of food, spent hundreds of hours editing and writing and in the end our blog tripled it’s viewership. Which is a pretty good year, I think. Oh, and we had a baby. Which, it turns out, can really throw you off your normal schedule. Who knew?

10. Wham Spam Pie – 1960’s

It was slimy. It was slippery. It was filled with Spam. It was Wham Spam Pie.


This pie had a bizarre texture that was caused by the unnecessary blending of half of the Spam into a liquid that was mixed with the eggs.

Tom didn’t approve.


The Verdict: It almost tastes like a quiche

9. Bacon Big Boys – 1968

Want to know what happens when you wrap about 10 slices of raw bacon around a hot dog and then bake it?

Things get a little crazy.


Even small babies are shocked by the result.


The Verdict: Greasy. And not in a good way.

8. Barbara or Russian Bear, 1977

Vintage Cocktail Friday debuted this year, and it has been a ton of fun making, and drinking, some vintage drinks.

Especially when they taste like chocolate milk.


The Verdict: Delicious

7. Pickle Olive Jell-O – 1950

And then, there were the gelatin dishes.




The Verdict: Very 1950’s

6. Double Pear Salad – 1934

This fun, and tasty, salad came from a rather spectacular church cookbook.


If you are wondering about the “second” pear, it is the avocado, or alligator pear.


The Verdict: Good

5. Scarlet O’Hara – 1941

Did I mention how much fun Vintage Cocktail Friday has been?

This much fun.



Even though Alex doesn’t look like she is having fun at all.

The Verdict: Refreshing

4. Sea Breeze Salad – 1968

This was actually a really interesting and fun salad to make. It combined lemon gelatin AND lemon pudding to make a huge salad that would be fun to take to a summer picnic or potluck.


Just don’t ask whether this thing is actually a salad or a dessert.


The Verdict: It’s A Dessert

3. The Twinkie Wiener Sandwich from UHF – 1980

Even though this wasn’t a mid-century recipe, it was one Tom had been wanting to make for a long time. So we did.


And it ended up pretty much like you’d think it would.


The Verdict: Not good, but not horrible

2. Vincent Price’s Un-Wealthy Wellington – 1972

This year we participated in an epically awesome Vincent Price Halloween Cookalong, and we were lucky enough to draw the meatloaf.


And because it was Vincent Price, it was very good!


The Verdict: Delish

1. Pickle And Pineapple Salad – 1940

I think that 2013 was the year of lessons for me. I really learned so much. I learned why new parents always look so tired. I learned that blogging can be done at two in the morning of you are motivated enough. I learned that it is possible to go without power for a few days if you have a gas fireplace and a gas water heater.

And I learned not to judge a gelatin salad until I’ve tried it, because sometimes even the most unlikely gelatin can be delicious.



The Verdict: Good For An Unknown Reason

Well, that just about wraps that year up! Hope you guys had a wonderful 2013 and enjoyed reading all of our crazy food fun. If you guys have any requests for 2014, leave them in the comments and Tom and I will try to do as many as we can. Thanks for reading, commenting and being a great group of folks!

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

  1. Celia January 13, 2014 at 8:55 am - Reply

    I would like to see more recipes using rationing points.

  2. Emily January 13, 2014 at 11:46 am - Reply

    What a great year for you! You made it through those tough newborn months, it only gets better as they get older. 🙂 I love this blog and I love vintage cocktail Fridays (even though I rarely drink cocktails, I like to imagine how fun it is to try them all)! Happy 2014 to you!

  3. Eartha Kitsch January 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    75 recipes! That’s wild!

  4. Julie January 13, 2014 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Yes more gelatin! 🙂

  5. Lisa B. January 13, 2014 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    You are doing GREAT. It does get easier (even if my Aunt Connie does say, “little children, little problems–big children big problems.”) Be very thankful you aren’t in my daughter’s place, having given birth the first week of the first semester of third year of pharmacy school.

    See? It’s all about perspective.

    You’re welcome. 😀

  6. Karen January 13, 2014 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Oh my god. I LOVE YOU GUYS! My husband found your blog and told me about it this morning– now I get to go back and read all the posts– thank you, thank you!
    (Beautiful baby btw

  7. Glamorous Glutton January 14, 2014 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Wow! and Wow! I’m so impressed you didn’t shy away from the clearly barking and you ate it! Thank you for a round up of fun dishes, I think I’ll be downing a cocktail or two. GG

  8. Lassie January 14, 2014 at 9:57 am - Reply

    How I LOVE reading your posts <3 so much! I made the almond paste Christmas cookies and they were beyond fabulous. They were everything I dreamed of in a dessert. Need I say I love the vintage cocktails, too? And the gelatin salads are always a treat. Thank you so much, I look forward to updates and pictures.

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