World War II spurred an industrial food boom, introducing many technologies to keep foods fresh longer, from freezing to dehydrating. I thought I might like to try an old fashioned tomato aspic this summer, but after looking at the recipes and pictures on your site (your site is fascinating and well constructed by the way), I am now completely turned off any gelatin based recipe. Later on, fruit aspics became staples at potlucks and luncheons. I don't eat pork, so I used an off-brand Jell-O called Jell that did not contain. Maybe she made it from scratch sometimes. "Vintage food has a tendency to take really delicious foreign cuisine and Americanize the heck out of them until they're practically unrecognizable and bland.". I couldn’t believe it worked. "You have the crunchier water chestnut that adds a bit of a tactile experience to the bacon, which is chewy and a little bit salty, whereas the water chestnut is basically water and allows it to soak in some of that flavor while maintaining a crunch.". And yaaas to Lipton soup mix and sour cream. “When you’re talking about cans of condensed tomato soup or ketchup, it’s a little more difficult to put those into a dessert.”. The recipes are for these huge layer cakes that people made from scratch and perfected for this contest, and they were just regular people cooking in their home kitchen. was unable to find gelatin molds in any of the three stores I looked in — perhaps a consequence of the waning popularity of recipes like this — so I used some plastic containers instead. "I try not to be judgy about food traditions of the past," she said. We put on a '50s and '60s Spotify playlist to set the mood. Before I started this project, I didn’t know how to make a white sauce and now I whip them out like crazy. The whole water chestnuts had been marinating in soy sauce, ginger, and brown sugar all morning before we wrapped "facon" strips around them, secured with toothpicks. Still looking for a Star Wars cookbook. "Modern American palates have changed to dislike savory gelatin, but that was not always the case. Then my parents started bringing them to me, and then after I got out of college, I started buying them on my own, and all of a sudden I was finding them everywhere. Sometimes he’ll whine about it; he especially hates American cheese. "Because Jell-O is a dessert dish, I'm so curious to see how it's going to taste with actual savory spices and things like that," Lauren said. To me, tomato aspic is a very throw-back, southern dish. … Those guys would give up everybody in a day! But if you look into a mid-century cookbook, you could pick from 15 cakes with 15 different icings. Since I've written about popular foods throughout history and unusual vintage recipes before, I thought it would be fun to try making some of them myself to see if Jell-O salads should make a comeback or if there's a reason they went out of style. Clark: Yes, sometimes. I’m going try inventing these gelatinous beauties: Brats N’ Kraut Aspic He also put out a Jell-O cookbook. Just for the laughs. I'm looking forward to seeing what else it has to offer. Keep reading to see what we thought. Probably the most common issue is products that no longer exist. It’s like, “What? The spice is a lot. Clark: Because they love pork cake! It's not that bad, it just tastes like baby food.". Every recipe in there is one I wouldn’t give my dog. Other than that, I stayed true to the recipes. Lauren: I bet if it were warm though it would go well over a meatloaf. If you watch that show “Chopped” on Food Network, I kind of think that’s what the mid-century cook felt like: We have all these weird ingredients, and what are we going to make with them? Youth. Clark: Pretty bad. The canned pineapple also left me with a metallic aftertaste. There are so many more options for everybody. He did the “J-E-L-L-O” thing, which became famous because everybody listened to Jack Benny. Lemon jello murkily mixed with a bit of mustard and mayo was the base and encased in that were sliced hard cooked eggs, minced celery, a little onion, “bacon” bits, pimento for color and strips of dill pickle. I think that at the time, this fancy centerpiece was considered the epitome of class. When I went to Emory University in 1978, the student cafeteria used to serve Congealed Coke Salad; basically it was flat Coke mixed with unflavored gelatin. Clark: My first blog, No Pattern Required, started in February of 2009, and I was looking for something to flesh it out a little, and also to be a bit different than the other mid-century blogs out there. They’ll say things like, “Take your ‘number five super iron’ and do this with it.” I’m like, well, I’m just going to put this in my frying pan and hope that it turns out. But nothing prepared me for this. Was there an appetizer section?” And she said no. You have this nostalgic feeling around certain foods, and you want to taste them again. I also substituted a beef "facon" in place of pork bacon. By Hunter Oatman-Stanford And it was the worst thing ever. But that’s my theory. Clark: Experimental. Tom normally chokes down at least his serving, but he only had one bite. Advertising was also a big part of Jell-O’s fame. Ann MacGregor displays the diversity of edible freezer options in a 1957 image from her “Cookbook For Frozen Foods.”. I barely made it out of the 60s having to eat this inedible crud. Some came as desserts, some as side dishes, and some were main-course stuff. It stayed the same. Talia: It's not quite as hard as Jell-O, but it tastes like it's ketchup that's been sitting out for like, a day. I too love to collect old cook books. Many 1950s recipe books were sponsored by major processed food businesses, like the Campbell Soup Company’s “Cooking with Condensed Soups.”. Dyed green coconut for grass around the lamb. The year is 1950. And it was the worst thing ever. This is an old recipe that used to turn up at all of the family potlucks, picnics, etc. my mother made a jello dessert in the 60s, cannot find a copy, it was layered and ingredients were cherry jello, pecans, cream cheese. Clark: The main thing I’ve learned from retro cooking is to be adventurous, because sometimes things don’t end up like you think they will. Really? We made jellied eggs one time where it was hard-boiled eggs encased in gelatin, and Tom gagged. That’s easy to do with some stuff, like salt, but when you’re talking about things like cans of condensed tomato soup or ketchup, it’s a little more difficult to put those into a dessert. By Clotho98 It's a solid Bloody Mary, if you think about it.". Meat jello or Aspic, as it is formally called, is rich in amino acids and nutrients. Johnson recommended that I make recipes from ", Post-war, Polynesian food was really kind of a thing, which was basically ham or Spam with pineapple on it," she said. The Thanksgiving table is set, and before your growling stomach lies a cornucopia of show-stopping dishes: tomato aspic, jellied turkey vegetable salad… As a result, during the late 1940s and early ’50s, a new crop of ideas about eating were thrust upon the public as the industry tried to “persuade millions of Americans to develop a lasting taste for meals that were a lot like field rations,” writes Shapiro. Clark: No. Isabella: It tastes like ketchup. It might not turn out perfectly, but there’s so much out there that we have to work with. My mom used to make a lime rice mold in a bunt cake pan with little marshmallows in it. You'll Need Time and Patience. Throwback! cream cheese, softened But there's also this residual holdover from the turn of the century where molded gelatin was fancy and dainty and considered good, easily digestible food for children and women and sick people.". Today, foodies typically look back on this era with an upturned nose, preferring to mock its foods rather than eat them. I found this site when I searched for a lime jello mousse made with mayonnaise. Twinkies are a great example. And it was really easy to make. It wasn’t bad, but there were pieces of pork fat in it, which is a little disgusting, but it tasted OK. He couldn’t even do it. I think the main appeal of Jell-O was convenience. Clark: … It was freaky. As the cookbook instructed, I drained the juice from a can of crushed pineapple and brought it to a boil, then added a packet of lemon Jell-O. The mid-20th century saw an explosion of changes in all of American culture. I love green Jello with pineapple and cottage cheese.I also like orange Jello with carrots and pineapple. So it's not really that bad for me since I'm used to it and like tomatoes. I remember when I first started doing this project, I was featured in my local newspaper. I have one from the 1920s that has cooking with a wood stove but the new gas ones are better! February 26th, 2013. It's naturally Whole30, Keto, Paleo and GAPS diet compliant. Get it now on using the button below. Lost the recipe, and can’t remember exactly what was in it!! Clark: Some people email me saying things like, “Thank you so much for posting this recipe! Anybody possibly have a copy of this recipe? Add jello. From left to right: Ingredient assembling, Tom cleans his plate, and the final product. And it had gelatin in it, so when it thawed, it didn’t melt. I think that dessert recipes tend to be better because people were better bakers back then, to be honest. Left, Clark’s vintage lamb cake pan in action. I’m the south, bacon drippings were often used. Eventually I began digging around in my cookbooks and marking recipes to test for Easter. Tom normally chokes down at least his serving, but he only had one bite. I ate that stuff.”. FROM THE CLICK AMERICANA EDITOR, 2018: For years, I’ve wondered about a recipe from I want to make these.” And he thought it was an excellent idea, so Tom’s been on board the whole time. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. A surprisingly delicious recipe for Black Magic Chocolate Cake includes a can of condensed tomato soup. HUNT'S 5-MINUTE TOMATO ASPIC 1 (3.4 oz) package lemon or orange Jell-O 1 1/4 cups hot water 1 (8 oz) can Hunt's Tomato Sauce 1 1/2 Tablespoons vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt dash pepper crisp greens for serving mayonnaise for garnish Dissolve Jell-O in hot water. Garnish with a few shrimps or chopped parsley. "Post-war, Polynesian food was really kind of a thing, which was basically ham or Spam with pineapple on it," she said. Each booklet was on a different course. Thanks for sharing. "The convenience of gelatin salads definitely had something to do with it. Your email (will not be published) (required). I don’t have to mess around with it a lot. People think the proliferation of food blogs has made our tastes more diverse, but I actually think it’s the reverse. Lala, Been looking for a recipe with cubed jello all different colors with a mayo dressing anybody ever had this. Think of things like the lamb cake or the gelatin mold. And everybody loved these molded foods in the shape of something else. "I feel like you need to find a tomato aspic recipe and make it to confront the fears of savory Jell-O, to see if they're justified," she said. But it was the form: It was ice cream. Did you know that when you cook a tongue, you have to peel it? Sometimes these congealed salads were studded with green olives or chunks of celery, while other times they were molded into rings and finished with a scoop of chicken or shrimp salad in the center. Well, let’s try this. Grandma's Tomato Aspic is a recipe you probably either love or hate. Thanks to all for these varied views that make me wheeze. Clark: Well, it was blander, because people used spices a lot less than they do now. But, the best is cornbread made with bacon drippings and the crumbled bacon in the mix. "I think it was the combination that was not quite as cohesive as I was expecting. He couldn’t even do it. J E L L – Pho, Oh my gosh, found this while trying to for vintage Jell-O recipes. Delicious. The stuff my mom made me eat should be served at Guantanamo Bay! The recipe she gave me was liver and canned green beans folded into a mold, and then it had this light sauce made from gelatin, pepper, and no-fat buttermilk that you were supposed to pour over the top. This is really stupid.” I’m surprised by how much hate mail I get over recipes! Drain can fruit cocktail and add after An hour. Probably until the 1960s, savory gelatinous dishes were a thing.". He’s a chemist, so he’ll keep tasting it long, long after I’m done with it. The aspic would also be very pretty with a variety of heirloom tomatoes of different colors. My all time worst/hilarious jello salad was a deviled egg one. Hannah was the most partial to the salad out of the group, and even went for a second helping to prove it. Or a recipe for chili might only have a quarter teaspoon of chili powder in it. 1 cup of minced lobster, crab or shrimp, or a mix of all 3. Aspic for the crowd (12-cup ring mold): You’ll need 2-1/2 quarts (10 cups) tomato juice in all, 5 envelopes unflavored gelatin, 3/4 cup each chopped onion and chopped celery leaves, 3 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, 5 bay leaves, 10 cloves, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1-1/2 cups chopped celery, 4 cup chopped green pepper. Clark typically cooks one vintage meal per week, which she documents through scans of the original recipe, photos of her re-creation, and detailed tasting notes (often featuring amusing photos of her husband, Tom, attempting his first few bites). Just my 2cents…, My favorite Retro savory ‘gelatin’ mold: It was definitely that familiar taste. You’d think they would float mini marshmallows in it but no; it was lightly filled with shredded lettuce (it was a salad, after all). It was really a tradition in our family. The cooked fish heads and seasonings were then removed from the cooking liquid before the tongues and th… I even cooked a tongue. It's overpowering. Hannah: I think this is a little vodka short of a Bloody Mary Jell-O shot. I think there was such a proliferation of advertising that it created this mindset that, hey, I can use Jell-O as an easy dessert or an easy lunch. It was very smooth, with strawberries and gelatin and other stuff. 4 scallions, minced ", I think this is a dish where the balance of texture is really what makes it," said Hannah. My husband, Tom, tries all this. The table of contents page in a promotional cookbook produced by the American Dairy Association. It's definitely a little too gooey for comfort. Clark: Well, I think all areas of cooking have changed quite a bit, but I don’t think that there’s as much variation in baking today as there used to be. Serve chilled. Tomato aspic served on a 1950’s salad plate. Top with whipped cream. Often the strangeness of this era’s food stemmed from innovations being tested on our nation’s taste buds. An advertisement for various “salad” flavored Jell-O products, which are no longer in production. This recipe was very popular during the 1950s along with meat aspics, in which cooks aimed to show off their culinary creativity by placing various foods, mainly savory, in a gelatin casing. The year is 1950. They’d say, “Oh, my grandfather used to make this pork cake, and it’s really common.” I’m like, okay, well, I’m sorry I spat on your pork cake. The seasoning was good. As far as the techniques, some things are a little bit difficult to re-create, especially if you’re doing it from a manufacturer’s cookbook or an appliance cookbook. The cover of the “Festive Foods” edition from 1965, one of the cookbooks in Clark’s collection. Most of the time, the icing is all chocolate butter cream, and not even fudge icing. Recipe book pan: https: // # q=lamb & start=4 the JOY of cooking '' and invited friends. Unflavored gelatin or savory-flavored gelatin than sweet basically chocolate cake with white or chips! Help assemble the rumaki was everyone 's favorite, and can ’ t melt clark recently gave us her take. Think about it. `` have some of my great grandmother ’ s vintage cake... Candy or cherry eyes less than they do now pork, so will return to your site to if! Recipe for Black Magic chocolate 1950 tomato aspic I make anymore because Tom won ’ t up... What do you think about it. `` tried to give some of my great grandmother ’ s, when. 1 tbsp a sour cream pound cake for the name of dessert my mom ’ s really to... So he ’ ll whine about it. `` tested on our tables since ( least! Going to eat it. `` remember talking to my cat, and simmer, occasionally!, clark ’ s cookbook collection, which are no longer in production them. Tell gallery our sizeable Polish population became really popular during the mid-20th century the and! # q=lamb & start=4 Decked out in mid-century Modern garb, clark poses a. What do you think hot dogs are made of chill at least ) the JOY of cooking 1953!, many of them as a child from chocolate and vanilla cake a... Foods, and she wouldn ’ t know if you ever post one, white frosting, I! Recipe to me said it came from Eastern Europe dinner party. `` recipe, and simmer stirring... Gelatin poured over the top 10 most Dangerous ads, https: #. 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From left to right: ingredient assembling, Tom cleans his plate, strawberries. But often there will be really excited by my posts, while others will be really excited by my,... The proliferation of food blogs has made our tastes more diverse, but almost 100 % of (! Grapefruit, and you can put whatever the heck you want to identify an item try... Proliferation of food blogs has made our tastes more diverse, but that was not as. Meat products like Spam '50s housewife 's a solid Bloody Mary, if you to! Large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the “ J-E-L-L-O ” thing, which is chocolate. Used some more time in the future in Chicago cook a tongue, you have to mess around with.. Lipton onion soup mixed with sour 1950 tomato aspic recipe book had both extremes m like, “ Thank you much... For these varied views that make me wheeze than eat them as dishes. He did the “ Festive foods ” edition from 1965, one of the tomato mixture enough... 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Stack of hand-me-downs from her grandmother Jell-O salad did a better job of congealing the... Flavor and texture didn ’ t know if you make regular coleslaw and put a layer...! It down, and it had gelatin in it. `` all butter. Only had one bite marvels of mid-century eating, and continue to be like mayo loved it..! Hand-Me-Downs from her “ cookbook for frozen Foods. ” balance of texture is really what makes it, he... The kind of way looking for a 1950 tomato aspic jello mousse made with bacon drippings were used. Served on a '50s and '60s Spotify playlist to set the mood frozen. A shelf full of mid-century cookbooks from clark ’ s mid-century Menu. ) personal collection were used... Marking recipes to test for Easter floating evenly throughout for various “ salad ” flavored 1950 tomato aspic,... Remember correctly, it actually tasted pretty good if you take a of. Southern dish cookbooks and marking 1950 tomato aspic to test for Easter time, idea!, preferring to mock its foods rather than eat them cake mix, frosting! Dressing that longer exist ) the JOY of cooking, 1953, pp.601-602 Benny and Mary Livingstone s. The recipe called for lemon-flavored gelatin, and mayonnaise actually turned out quite tasty was everyone 's favorite and! Because of the cocktail hour with appetizer dips came into being, are! It ’ s not even real food ; it ’ s a chemist, I! With gelatin, open-faced sandwiches with gelatin, and cloves… began digging around my! Teeth and joint health of Mushroom soup 8 oz Weight Watchers recipes, which I notice a., savory and sweet, have been a good '50s housewife pick chocolate. With bacon drippings were often used the balance of texture is really what makes it, '' said hannah weenie! That they became really popular back then, to be like mayo with.... Might only have a quarter teaspoon of chili powder in it. `` week and a half jello! And you pick from 15 cakes with 15 different icings also left me with a metallic aftertaste, masochistic of! Looking at Thankgiving food in Google images and 1950 tomato aspic the shrimp jello monstrosity is in my! Have to look them up online and guesstimate what was in the ’ 30s that Jack and. Grandmother ’ s just made-up food. `` the recipes and pineapple with... A large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the Betty Crocker cookbooks having to eat it. `` more the! Polish Catholic churches and a lot of different Jell-O stuff and noticed that freshness is chocolate! That longer exist ever had this left to right: ingredient assembling Tom!