by Betty Homemaker


I have been sitting here, staring at the little blinking cursor, wondering how I can possibly begin this post. Surely there ought to be a pithy opening line of some sort…at the very least a salutation. But you guys – WORDS ARE FAILING ME. I have no way of wrapping my brain around the travesty that just occurred in my kitchen. My husband may never recover. He’s currently sprawled out on the couch, Alka Seltzer fizzing away in one hand, the other one draped across his sweaty brow. He looks…troubled. Traumatized. Confused at the misfortune that just befell him. He has the look of a man who is trying to make sense of a situation for which there is simply no logical explanation.

You guys. Shrimp Mold. That is a thing. It exists in this world and that is something that just shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be allowed. When this recipe skidded across the original test kitchen countertop, ready to be whipped up by a roomful of bright, young Home Ec Majors (one assumes), they ought to have buuuuurned it. Sent it back to the firey Hades from whence it came. I can only assume that this trio of recipes that Best Foods sponsored is the reason that they are no longer in existence.

“Everything Best Foods Touches Tastes So Good!” the ad featuring the three featured atrocities cheerfully proclaims. I have to assume that they were sued for false advertising and driven out of business, probably by distraught housewives whose husbands left them after they whipped up these little gems for dinner one tragic evening. Trust me, it was all I could do to pry The Hubs’ suitcase out his hands after this one. ***


*** It has been brought to my attention that Best Foods is, indeed, still in operation and have not, to date, been made to take responsibility for their crimes against humanity. I await the Hague’s statement pertaining to this matter. YOUR MOVE, INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE.

Here’s the original ad:



When The Hubs asked what was on the menu for the blog this week, I cheerfully told him and then read off the list of ingredients. He was intrigued – the man loves shrimp. So off to the grocery store I tripped, shopping list in hand, forcefully stuffing down the rising doubts about the tastiness of this dish. Did I say rising doubts? Make that “doubts that were clawing their way to the surface like a drowning man fighting for air.” But I figured it couldn’t be that bad, right? People tested these recipes professionally back in the day, right? People who cared and who know flavors, right?

WRONG. WRONG WRONG WRONG. WRONG. (See that?! This recipe made me go all capsy.)

First of all, this recipe calls for plain gelatin. I don’t know if you know this, but plain gelatin smells like Satan’s own hot breath rising up from the bowl in which you’re mixing. That, mixed with an abattoir. It is VILE. WHY DID PEOPLE DO THIS?!

Second, there was some…question…as to how to properly make the gelatin since The Hubs someone had thrown away the box that the little envelopes came in that had the instructions printed on it. So we guessed. And then we turned to the internet (because I’m a Millennial and I DON’T KNOW ANY BETTER). And then we guessed for a third time.




Meanwhile, the stench of the seventh circle of Hell was rising in evil-looking yellowish steam from the bowl that we were using and actually CAUSED THE DOG TO RUN OUT OF THE ROOM. For reference, this dog thinks that the cat box is a mysterious magic portal through which delicious crunchy treats appear.

I don’t blame her, since the whole time I was gagging and chanting, “It’s so bad…it’s so BAD…it’s SO BAD…WHY is it so BAD?!” like some twisted food mantra.

And then we read the directions on the actual recipe and…a-ha! Problem solved (who knew?).

So on we plunged, thinking that everything from now on would be fine and who knew? Maybe we had rediscovered some long-forgotten delicious treat! We imagined ourselves having a cocktail party, laughing gaily with our friends and gazing knowingly, lovingly at each other as our guests clamored for more of the unique and inviting treat that we had prepared. Cue credits!


What came out of my refrigerator was…well, it wasn’t that.


At the risk of getting the blog sued by Kraft, I’m sharing this photo. Ya see, I had to make a little nest for the mold in the door of my fridge because whoever it was that designed fish-shaped molds didn’t quite grasp how gravity works. I realized this after sloshing a good bit of it on the inside of my fridge. It may never be the same…


At first, I was exultant because it came out looking exactly like the photo. And then I was horrified because it came looking EXACTLY LIKE THE PHOTO.


Really? I can’t. IT HAS LIPS.


The experience of cutting into this was…well. It was like a horror movie. It felt like cutting into flesh and the pinky-flesh tone color really didn’t help. I thought you might like to look down the fish’s neck for a minute. IF WE DON’T LEARN FROM OTHER’S MISTAKES WE ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT THEM.


The Hubs, realizing that he’s going to have to EAT THIS. Like…put it in his mouth. HIS MOUTH, you guys! I have to think that, in this moment, he’s questioning every decision he made in his life that led up to our marriage. #regret


The Hubs had to take a moment to prepare himself. The photo is blurry due to the fact that I was recoiling in horror. Also, I gave him the head. Natch. (You guys – LIPS.)


He got ONE bite down (a full bite, mind you) and even that barely stayed down. I didn’t think I should push the issue since I already had to clean up the mess from MAKING the mold, I didn’t fancy cleaning up vomited up mold as well. Although…would I really have been able to tell the difference? Really?!

It was…I can’t even describe it. Not adequately. It was…IT WAS FANCY FEAST (dear Fancy Feast, please don’s sue me). Seriously. It was a shrimpy horror show. It immediately went straight into the outside trash. As I was bagging it up I just kept muttering, “I don’t even want it in my house.” Were this a different kind of neighborhood, we would have been inundated with stray cats. As it stands, I think we solved any worry of having raccoons et al digging through our trash. I imagine that there’s some sort of marking on our trash can now, warning other wildlife against rummaging there. Sort of like what hobos did during the Depression.