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The 1950s - When All Foods Were Colloids

Whether or not they started off as one.

I found a blog. It's a frightening blog. It's an awesome blog. It's a blog where a woman makes shit from 1950s cookbooks and then eats them. It's clear the 1950s were a sad, sad time where perfectly good food was ruined by the addition of such things as gelatin and...well, mostly gelatin.

See for yourself.

This is where things got off track. This is where things went wrong. This is where people got hurt after the fun and games. This is where I cooked up a bunch of liver and buttermilk and gelatin and put it in a blender. [and canned string beans! --min]

This is Liver Pate En Masque.


I probably should have blended it longer. There were chunks. I remember tears actually forming in my eyes as an especially large chunk glopped out of the blender and fell into the mold. I really, really didn't want to eat this.

And there are pictures! Oh, are there pictures. My favorite ones are the reaction photos of her husband as he tastes things like Tuna Pizza made with evaporated milk and ketchup. Mmmmm!

Why is she torturing food like this? We know better now. There's no reason at all to mix stuffed olives with pineapples and suspend them in lemon jello.

The pilgrims didn't just come across the water on the Mayflower with their heads stuffed full of Asian fusion cuisine. It was a long, painful and sometimes disgusting road that lead to our current national gourmand status. Most people like to forget about it. I think we should embrace it. Yeah, at one point it was the height of fashion to have sour cream mixed with powered french onion soup mix at your party. Let's acknowledge it and be proud.

The culture of post-war America was rife with enthusiasm for the new and improved, the do-everything gadget, and prepared foods in a can. This attitude invaded everything, and housewives were treated to something they had never had before: a short-cut for dinner. Some of these shortcuts worked, and some of them didn't. We all know about the ones that did. They are with us in the form of Bisquick pancakes, tuna noodle casserole and even the aforementioned French Onion dip. But what about the stuff that didn't work out? Ketchup as a quick sundae topping. A salad suspended in Jello. These are the things this blog seeks to acknowledge, and to drag out of our collective closets and into the bright light of day.

My one huge gripe about this experiment is that it's a huge waste of food. I think most of it ends up tossed because it's completely inedible. And it's not surprisingly inedible like "Oh man. It looked like it would be something good." She knows going in that it's going to be horrible and is occasionally pleasantly surprised when it's not. I hate wasting food. I will gorge myself to the point of illness to clean my plate. So, this is a problem for me, despite the amount of enjoyment i derive from the pictures of grossness.

I'm starting to think i need to get my hands on some of these cookbooks. Not to make any of it. I'm pretty sure vegan was not part of the mid-century cookbook vocabulary. Plus, it all seems pretty disgusting. I just want to look at pictures of overly decorated foodstuffs sealed in aspic.

And i think i need to stop mocking the Irish for their poor cuisine. Boiling your cabbage and meat until it all turns into a gray mass is loads better than whipped lime jello and tuna in a carved pineapple bowl.

By min | March 6, 2013, 8:03 AM | Ummm... Other?