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Jan 19, 2014 10:26 PM

Fascinatingly horrific vintage recipes

We all know there were some weird experimentations and accidents in the 60s-70s. It sometimes gives me a weird pleasure to see things that *absolutely* does not work and I thought some of you might see some humour in it too.

I like to think of it as *anti-cooking*

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  1. OK... you just gave me some flash backs from my youth. I can't say Mom was making any of those recipes, but she she sure put many bizarre meals on the dinner table back then. It's making the hair on my body stand up just mentioning them. When my sister & I get together, we invariably compare memories about several of the horrid, inedible recipes Mom had found. Ewww... like the chopped hot dogs, beans, ketchup, mustard & relish all heated in one pot then lots of large diced, raw onion thrown in just before serving. Yuck... the canned ham she opened with a key & ground up along with an onion & bread, to be made into patties, coated with bread crumbs & fried. Good grief, it was the saltiest thing I've ever eaten in my entire life! But I will take with me to my grave, the memory of when she'd open a can of corned beef hash, slice it into hockey pucks, do the same with a tomato & also an onion. Then she'd layer it onto the bottoms of hamburger buns, topped with a thick slice of Velveeta cheese. She'd slide the stacks (everything raw) under the broiler till the cheese burned. To complete the meal the burger bun tops were nicely burned as well.

    1. Here is the thing. Were these horrific vintage recipes ever popular? I mean. Were they celebrated recipes that families ate? Or were they just some crappy recipes that someone dreamt of? If it is the former, then it is interesting because it shows how taste evolve over time. If it is the latter, then I won't think too much of it. There are always bad recipes in any time and age.

      I believe 5 years ago, Sandra Lee and her team dreamt up the Kwanzaa cake and Hanukkah cake. How will people from 2060 think of us when they saw these cake videos?

      Not only these cakes are "anti-cooking", they are culturally insensitive/ignorance.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I have no idea. I'm a baby boomer, and while I certainly cook differently from my mother, she NEVER made stuff like that, and thought it was disgusting when there were commercials for such mayonnaise-based cr*p.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          It depends on the familly I guess!

          I was born in the late 70's so I wasn't alive for most of this.

          I have an american friend whose familly classics include numerous weird aspic concoctions (she cooked a batch of things for us to try and, although she is a great cook, it was more of a social experiment than a gustative discovery.)

          I have a friend whose "working class" relatives doesn't like it when his mom cooks too "weird" (weird for them are apparently things like "foie gras"). To illustrate what they think is great cooking, said aunt brought the frosted ribbon leaf in a pot luck. The mother in question (a fantastic cook herself) was so insulted that she put everything in aspic at the next familly reunion (to the enjoyment of her familly, unfortunately). So I guess a few of these people exist!

        2. Oh ack! I couldn't get past #1 - Tuna and Jello Pie!

              1. re: sunshine842

                I have been enjoying that site for many years now and it never fails to leave me in tears from laughing. "10 p.m. Cookery" is one of my favorites. Glad to see there is finally some new content and more to come in February as well!

              2. re: ttoommyy

                You beat me to it by about 30 seconds. I was in stitches the entire time.

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  yes, Lileks has everyone beat on this topic.

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    I checked that out and the one on meat was the first i looked at. Much to my surprise it was the Better Homes & Garden Meat Cookbook. One of the first books I learned how to cook from. I made just about every recipe in that, and the other BH&G cookbooks. Many of them were very tasty.

                    1. re: JMF

                      The recipes are probsbly fine in many of those books; it's the running commentary on the horrible photography and dated presentation that is so hilarious. To each his own.

                  2. For the best compilation of recipes that look like they just beamed in from Jupiter, I highly recommend: