Buttermilk Aspic Ring, 1965 – A Vintage Recipe Test

Posted on Feb 8 2017 - 4:03am by RetroRuth

I don’t even think I need an intro for this one. I think the title really speaks for itself.


This is – Buttermilk. Aspic. Ring.

Yeah, we went there.

Buttermilk Aspic Ring
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 Tablespoons (2 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion (or ¼ teaspoon onion powder)
  • 1 cup finely-chopped celery
  1. Soften gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes. Add boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved; cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine buttermilk, salt, lemon juice, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, catsup and onion. Add gelatin and whisk well. Chill until consistency of an unbeaten egg white; fold in celery.Pour into a 1.5 quart ring mold (about 3½ cups) and chill until firm.
  3. Unmold on plate; line center with lettuce and fill with chive cottage cheese or any desired fish, meat or chicken salad.

Workbasket July 1965 Buttermilk Aspic Ring001

Workbasket July 1965001

This week’s recipe comes from Workbasket Magazine. If you didn’t know this already, vintage Workbaskets have a fantastic themed recipe section in each issue. Sometimes they will even have two of them, including a reader submitted recipes that can be made and sold for profit, like cakes, pies and jams. In any case, the main recipe section in this magazine was themed around luncheon dishes. Next to this buttermilk aspic recipe was a rather spectacular creamed chicken aspic.


If your wondering about the book behind the bowl, that’s my mad-science lab notebook for 2017, also known as Mid-Century Menu’s Kitchen Scrapbook. I normally have a book where I jot down all my notes and impressions and keep all my scraps and things together, but this year I decided to make it a bit more fancy. If you want to see more of it, I’m going to be showing sneak peeks of upcoming recipes on Instagram!


This was before adding the gelatin. It was already pretty thick!


Alex insisted that she help stir in the “Jell-O part”.


I really wish Tom would have been home when I was making this, so I could have gotten a video of pouring this into the mold. It was gloriously disgusting. Slurping sounds and everything. And the smell was horrific.


Cross section. So you can appreciate the added celery.

And my plate! I got this lovely for Christmas this year. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

“That looks horrible. It looks like it’s going to crawl off that plate.”

“Oh, don’t start being a baby now. Just taste it.”



“What. The. Heck. Are you telling me you like it?”

“I’d eat this. I don’t know what’s in it, but it’s not bad. It’s kinda zesty. And tastes a little like a cheeseburger.”

The Verdict: Zesty

From The Tasting Notes –

To my utter shock, this was not terrible. In fact, it might even be upgraded to “not bad” status. I thought for sure that the stupid ketchup would ruin everything like it always does, but it actually only ended up tasting mildly sweet when combined with the lemon juice and buttermilk. It tasted like a tangy/sweet aspic with a crunch from the celery. The Worcestershire sauce gave it a hamburger aftertaste, which was a little freaky, but not too horrible. Even the chive cottage cheese complimented the flavor. Now, if I were going to make this again, I would probably sub tomato juice for the ketchup, since that seemed a bit too…ketchup-y…for my tastes. A mild tomato flavor would have been better. But overall it was edible bordering on not bad.

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

  1. matty February 8, 2017 at 9:54 am - Reply

    In my teenage crash dieting years I used to take cottage cheese and put ketchup on it (or a fat free dressing, it was the early 90s after all). It was…..surprisingly not bad at all, and this just gives me major flashbacks to that, just obviously much more fancy.

    • Kate from Iowa February 8, 2017 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      One of my cousins used to eat Spaghetti-Os mixed with cottage cheese right out of the can and carton. I still can’t understand how she could stand it, but if you’re right about cottage cheese and ketchup (because that’s all spaghetti-os taste like, unless you count the taste of can) I suppose it makes a kind of sense. *shudder*

  2. Melinda February 8, 2017 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    I feel like this might be a little like 1000 island dressing flavored jello. It’s the buttermilk and ketchup combo.

  3. Betsy February 8, 2017 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Would this be served with crackers? or were you supposed to take a bite of the cottage cheese and then a bite of the aspic?

    I want to try this, but due to my dairy allergy, I will have to make some substitutions, and I will probably put chicken salad in the middle.

  4. Mia February 8, 2017 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Oh, wow…

  5. Laura (Untwisted Vintage) February 8, 2017 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    You are very brave. My mother used to make a tomato aspic for Thanksgiving every year. It had shrimp and celery in it, and it was horrible. It may be why I still hate celery. I love your plate and jello mold!

  6. Freezy February 9, 2017 at 4:32 am - Reply

    Everyone here’s obsessed with the recipe, but I’m still caught up on how… unfortunate that child on the Workbasket cover looks. Those pants look like they’re giving him a fierce wedgie the photographer is just begging him not to pick in front of the camera, poor guy…

  7. Susan February 9, 2017 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Nicely done!

    I went to culinary school and spent and entire semester on “cold foods” a.k.a. Garde Manger. If I never seen Aspic again, it will be too soon.

    I tend to follow/comment on Mid-Century Sara’s posts but I just couldn’t help but comment on this.


  8. ElleElle February 10, 2017 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    With this recipe, I am convinced that your taste buds have been officially and permanently numbed. At least there are no olives…

  9. Goddess C February 11, 2017 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Back in the 80s I made an aspic made with chicken bouillon, shredded chicken, carrots, sliced cucumber and cottage cheese. My husband was absolutely horrified when he saw it. But y’all are very brave to try this. I love everything on MCM! Your blog and the subsequent comments are very, very entertaining!

  10. Minya, Warrior Seamstress February 13, 2017 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    I think I would be tempted to add horseradish to this, if I were likely to make it.

  11. J. Tavaris October 29, 2017 at 7:51 am - Reply

    This is basically a gelatin version of the “French dressing” my dad used to make. I’ll pass, thanks.

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