Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! Mid-Century Aficionados of All Ages!  Let me present to you the first Finalist for the Worst Mid-Century Menu Contest: Miss Marwood and her horrible Summer Salad Pie!

*Muted cheering. Some gagging*

I know, I know.  I said I wasn’t going to start the contest until August, but I got so excited by all of the horribly awesome entries we received, that Tom and I got right to it and picked the Four Finalists.  And since they were already picked, it was only natural that I would want to make the vile, wicked things as soon as possible.  To get them out of the way. And make Tom eat them.

So, here is the very first one! This disgusting little pie comes courtesy of Kathrin, aka Miss Marwood, who sent along this helpful little intro:

Dear Ruth,
After days of going through all my MC recipe booklets and books, I have made my choice for my entry: Betty Crocker’s Summer Salad Pie from her delightful book “Dinner in a Dish”, published 1963.
This book is brimming full with great contenders for your contest, but the Summer Salad Pie has everything going for it: a combination of ingredients to make your spine tingle, a picture to turn you green in two ways – the thought of actually having to eat it, yet full of envy because you so want that basket serving dish. It’s set in gelatine and does not miss its pimientos. It’s got tuna with lemonjelly in a cheesy shell. If that ain’t pretty I don’t know what is.
Hope you enjoy 🙂
Best wishes,
Really, Kathrin? Really??? After sending me this, you still wish for my well-being and happiness?  After looking at this unholy creation, I tend to doubt that! 🙂
Holy smokes, good gravy and god save me!  And any other non-offensive expletives I can think of!  And even some offensive ones!  This is a crazy, crazy thing.   A cheese crust with a tomato-lemon gelatin center (of pure evil!) and a tuna salad top.  The cheese crust and tuna salad are just fine with me, but that center.  Ohhh…gives me the shivers.  It is almost cartoonishly evil.
But, I asked for it, so here we go!
Since it was so hot outside, this crust ended up pretty wet.  I only added a small amount of additional water.
A crust-rolling secret courtesy of Alton Brown: Slit the sides of a large plastic bag and roll the crust out INSIDE of the bag.  You use less flour, and it is easier to get it into the pie pan without cracking!

Off to the oven!

Meanwhile, the scared veggies prepared to meet the evil filling:

Hmm…not too shabby! And it actually smelled good!


Ahh! No, stop!  It’s hideous!

Oh god! Please have mercy!

“Neva!”  *A lemon-tomato evil laugh*

*Sniff* Those poor, little veggies.  Never even had a chance!

It’s tuna-salad time!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Aaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha!

The tomato garnishes, to make it that much better.  You KNOW those are going to miraculously make it taste better. Somehow.

The first, gooey slice.

Wow, I am actually gagging a little bit while I am typing this.

Tom, The Man With The Iron Stomach.

“So…how awful is it? Really?”

“It’s pretty bizarre.  Not horrible, just really weird.”

I took a bite.  He was right.  It didn’t taste disgusting, but it definitely wasn’t right at all. The cheese crust was actually good, as was the tuna salad, but the gelatin was from a different planet.  If it wouldn’t have been sweet, it wouldn’t have actually been that bad of a dish.  But the sweetness of the jello just sliced through your mouth at the wrong time, making it taste completely inappropriate.  It kind of tasted like tuna salad on a cheese cracker that has been covered with ketchup.  Not nice.

I chewed thoughtfully.  “But I think this is the best tomato gelatin we have made yet.” More chewing. ” And I can’t believe I just said that sentence.”

Tom snorted. “Tell me about it.”

The Verdict:  Unnatural.  The cheese crust and the tuna salad was a great combo.  In fact, I would actually suggest making the crust and putting a tuna or chicken salad in it.  It was good together.  But the gelatin…BLARGH.  Way, way too sweet to be paired with olives. Gross. Gross. Gross.

Thanks, Miss Marwood!  Be sure to come back next week, when we will be featuring Finalist #2 in the Contest!