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Recipes You Won’t Believe People Ate

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I couldn’t resist posting this wonderful article by Beverly Jenkins , a humor and pop culture writer. She has published three web humor books and six calendars, including You Had One Job! and Photobombed. Yes, I recall a few of these rather unique dishes from the 60s.  I don’t suggest you search them out unless you’re looking for a nostalgic taste of history and adding a few pounds. Bon appétit, I think…

Old Fashioned Recipes You Won’t Believe People Actually Ate

By Beverly Jenkins

When discussing the times and how they’ve changed over the years, one thing is clear: There’s good retro, and there’s bad retro. Good retro is stuff like vintage dresses with nipped-in waist lines and swingy skirts. Perhaps a little cat eye eyeliner and a pin curl or two. That’s good retro. Bad retro is the sort of stuff that deserves to be put into the vault of history and avoided from here on out, like cigarette smoking… and gelatin molds.

What is it about the gelatin molds?

As the images below will demonstrate, food has apparently come a loooong way since the mid-20th Century! Back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, your average American housewife was seemingly trying her hardest to entomb entire three course meals in Jell-O, for some odd reason. They also ate a lot more parts of the animal than we do now, including organ meats and other (barf) goodies. They’d get creative with their commercial products, too; Spam was a perennial favorite, and it seems like they were pretty liberal with the mayonnaise usage, too.

The resulting recipes are rather troubling to look at for those of us who like our food to look like, well, food.

How bad can it be? You may ask. As it turns out; pretty bad. Take a look at these old fashioned recipes that your grandparents probably LOVED, but which make us feel just a tiny bit queasy.

Ham and Bananas Hollandaise

Ham and Bananas Hollandaise
Vintage Recipe Cards

No, your eyes do not deceive you. This is bananas, covered in ham slices, drenched in hollandaise sauce. Now that you know what it is, could someone please explain to us WHY you’d ever make/eat this concoction.

If you want to give it a try, knock yourself out: Here’s the recipe.

Bananas With Herring and…?

Bananas With Herring and... ?
Culinary Atrocities

If you saw that Ham and Bananas Hollandaise recipe and thought to yourself, “What this dish is missing is some nice herring filets,” then I hate to be the one to tell you that you are weird. It’s okay, we still like you; but it’s true. You’re weird. Get some help.

Weight Watcher’s Liver Pate

Weight Watcher's Liver Pate
Mid Century Menu

Some things never change, like good old Weight Watchers here. They make sure you lose weight by offering up such delectable recipes as this one: Liver Pate. Wonder what that extra creamy glaze on top is. On second thought, never mind — we don’t want to know!

Don’t worry, it doesn’t just taste like a pile of poo… it looks like one too!

Try the recipe

Spaghetti Os and Weiners

Spaghetti Os and Weiners

This ridiculous blob of preservatives was apparently pretty popular among kids back in the day, and it even had another brief resurgence in 2017 when the recipe was rediscovered and went viral online. The dish consists of two cans of Spaghetti Os mixed with plain gelatin, then chilled in a round mold until firm. Finish this baby off with some Vienna sausages and you’ve got yourself a (nauseating) treat that your guests will love!

Just kidding… no one wants this monstrosity to exist. NO ONE.

Bologna Cake

Bologna Cake

Who among us hasn’t looked at a cake and thought, “What this thing needs is more ranch dressing, cream cheese and Bologna?”

You can make it yourself using this recipe, but no, we wouldn’t care for a slice. No thank you.

Perfection Salad

Perfection Salad

Perfection? We don’t think you understand what that word means….

Why just eat a pile of vegetables when you can put all of those vegetables into a Jell-O mold? Why? Because everything must go in Jell-O!

Recipe here, if you dare.





Frozen Pork, Beans, and Ketchup Pops
David Faria/Pinterest

Frozen Pork, Beans, and Ketchup Pops

Hey kids, looking for a yummy ice pop on those hot summer days? Sure you are! Well get a load of this meat and ketchup popsicle.

Wait, kids! Come back — we were just kidding!






Simple Supper Mould and cartoon

Crown Roast of Frankfurters

Crown Roast of Frankfurters

Also known as the Tower of Wieners. Just say… no.

Meatloaf Jell-O

Meatloaf Jell-O and cartoon
Pinterest/Essay Jones

What meat do they use for this recipe? Fancy Feast?

Pork With Spaghetti Supper

Pork with Spaghetti and cartoon

Look what they did to a perfectly nice pork loin! They couldn’t just serve spaghetti on the side. Oh no. They had to cover it with noodles so it looks like your dinner has worms. HARD PASS.

Salmon Shortcake
Almonds in a Haystack


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One Comment

  1. Royvia

    September 13, 2019 at 7:15 am

    Great post.


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