Flickr Widget

Friday, November 2, 2012

Retro Cook-Off: Swedish Salad Mold

Donna at Hung Up On Retro and Kylie at Lucy Violet Vintage are co-hosting a Retro Cook-Off Saturday at noon...Melbourne, Australia time. To make up for the 20-hour time difference, I'm posting this at 8 o'clock on Friday night, rather than my usual midnight.

I found my recipe for Swedish Salad Mold on Joys of Jello, and I want to give blogger Theresa Rohrer all the blame credit for it! :) Her post is entitled "When Spam Meets Jello," and I think that just about says it all. Here is a picture of the finished dish from a 1952 edition of American Home Magazine.


joysofjello.blogspot.com


And here's the recipe, which conveniently has dotted lines around it so you can print it and cut it out for your collection in the event that this retro dish looks really tasty to you.

I will confess, however, that I made a few modifications to the original recipe. I bought an extra can of Spam...because, I mean, the more Spam the better, right? And I left out the black olives, because, to be honest, about halfway through the preparation of this dish, the smell of Spam was making me slightly nauseous, and I decided it would be nothing short of criminal to encase an innocent can of olives in a urine-colored gelatinous mass. With Spam. And pickles. After all, the olives were just sitting in the pantry minding their own business.


joysofjello.blogspot.com

This cook-off allowed me to test my limits in several areas, not the least of which involved my ability to manage my gag reflex. I also found out that being artsy and craftsy doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be good at sculpting pickles or decorating gelatin molds. In both areas, I found myself sadly limited. Maybe it was the nausea.

And don't let me forget to tell you about going to the refrigerator to see if the concoction was "slightly thickened" and sloshing it all over my kitchen floor. Suffice it to say that it was not even remotely thickened.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my entry of Swedish Salad Mold for the Retro Cook-Off. Don't even ask about the blob of white stuff. Trust me, you don't want to know.


Swedish Salad Mold

Swedish Salad Mold,
with apologies to anyone from Sweden,
anyone of Swedish descent
or anyone who has ever even considered a vacation in Sweden


If you're wondering about the two-tone appearance of my salad, I can explain. You see, even after adding the extra Spam, I didn't have enough of the gelatin mixture to fill the mold (which was really a Bundt cake pan, since I realized a long time ago how vile these recipes are and sold all my Jello molds). The only thing I had in my pantry that was even close to the color of the unflavored gelatin mixture was some orange sugar-free Jello, so there's a slightly runny layer of that at the bottom...and, if you're going to get technical about it, I suppose some seeped around the edges of the top layer and "blotchy" is a more accurate description, but "two-tone" sounded more mid-century. Hey, some people love sweet and savory!


It might be fair to say the orange layer was a  little more than runny.
Most of it fell off during slicing.

So let the competition begin! I think it may be difficult for anyone to top my dish in sheer ugliness, let alone hideous taste, and I fully expect to hear from angry Swedes denying any culpability for the recipe.

Check out Donna's and Kylie's blogs to see what the rest of the participants prepared.

61 comments:

  1. This is horrifying.

    Did you eat it? How long ago? Should someone check on you in 36 hours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, most of it went down the garbage disposal as soon as I finished taking the pictures...except for a little bite of Spam that my shih tzu ate. He's always had a cast iron stomach, but I'm watching him closely nonetheless. Can you believe that magazines printed such awful recipes in the 50s...and that people ate this stuff? ::gag::

      Delete
  2. That is truly one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen! I actually gasped in shock and had to cover my mouth when I first saw it!! Brilliantly Foul. I'm so impressed Dana. I wouldn't touch this dish with a barge pole. (And I absolutely agree - one can of Spam is never enough.) Thanks so much for joining in! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is high praise indeed! I took one look at that recipe and knew I had the foul angle covered. I'll be laughing about your comment for the rest of the night. This is so much fun!

      Delete
  3. Just a note to the squeamish: I'm sorry that the middle photo is so horrifyingly graphic. I know it looks like road kill, so you have my permission to avert your eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your the winner in my book, that is a truly hideous looking thing! So it seems spam was a worldwide phenomenon, and you can still get it-who actually eats this stuff?!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a feeling I had found a winner when I happened upon the recipe. Seriously, how much worse could a dish be?

      I was shocked to see all the different flavors you can get the stuff in on Amazon. How could it possibly be that popular? Honestly, I thought for a while that I was going to have to scrap the whole project because of the smell. Truly loathsome.

      Delete
  5. Wow, that looks amazing, but I think I might pas..haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What??? The sculpted pickles put you off? hahaha

      Delete
  6. I actually gagged when I saw your meal. Sorry.

    What's the white blob? Is it snow?

    There's so much to love about the Mid-Century (and Sweden), and now, so much to despise. Gelatin and Spam. Who's responsible for those? I'm truly laughing and shaking my head.

    I may have to take part in this series. Y'all look like you had fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I warned you not to ask about the white blob...but since you did, now you have to hear about it. It's hideous gravy, for lack of a better description, which contains flour, butter, pineapple and lemon juice, sugar, egg and heavy cream. Did I mention that the recipe said a "slightly beaten egg," so basically what you have is a sweet, pineappley, lemony, lumpy, floury, eggy gravy over Spam, pickles and unflavored gelatin. And orange Jello. Yum!

      What's not to gag about?

      Delete
    2. That's Sunday dinner sorted! White blob for everyone!

      Delete
    3. What won you over? The lumpy part or the eggy part? Poor, poor Solid Gold Dancers!

      Delete
    4. OMG, now I am going to gag. I was doing so well until you described the contents of the white stuff!! This gives a whole new meaning to Monty Python's "I hate spam."

      Delete
    5. Amazingly, the white blob has received a higher rating on the gag-o-meter than the Spam. I think the idea that the goop is served with Spam and pickles and gelatin plays a big part of that though. haha

      Delete
  7. Dear Dana, I too dabbled in spam...... but you have won the title of Spam-ess, royalty in the processed meat department!

    I can still smell the spam in my house :(=(

    Great work! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must say that your centerpiece deserves a special commendation, and I'll have to try the shakes out on my grandsons. No, wait. I love them...so maybe not.

      I thought I'd never get the smell of Spam off my hands. ::shudder::

      Great fun! I think I could become accustomed to being called Spam-ess Dana...or Your Spamesty.

      Delete
  8. Just the title of this post was enogh to make me start simultaneously gagging and clutching my stomach Dana! When I saw it pop up in my Reader List I knew it was going to be bad (and not in a Michael Jackson way) And your glorious technicolour pictures and descriptions did not disappoint either. On the gag-o-meter scale this is a ten! Well done for persevering and putting this 'thing' together. Ewwwww!
    What did those poor Swedes do to get lumped with this???

    Thanks for joining in Dana, you're the Queen of Spam (and Jello)!

    p.s. I hope you don't see a sharp decline in page views after posting this!
    p.p.s Did you have to share the details of that 'blob'? Too much information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure Swedes and their relatives worldwide are planning some sort of awful retribution for my besmirching their good names.

      And you can blame Carmel for the blob description. I gave ample warning about asking, but she just HAD to know...LOL

      Delete
  9. Dana... Dana... Dana. You are clearly wasting your talents writing about architects and furniture. You MUST write about retro disgusting food. This was the funniest thing I have ever read from you. The apology to the Swedes. The description of the nonsensical ingredients. The selling of the Jello molds. I laughed. I cried. You win for funniest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can hardly take credit for the humor in this post. The dish would have been hilarious if I had just posted a picture of it with no explanation at all. ;)

      Delete
  10. Oh my I have tears streaming down my cheeks, this is so funny! Thanks so much for the sacrificial making of this little delight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This cook-off was so much fun that I should be thanking all of you for letting me do it!

      Delete
  11. I came back for one more look. Still laughing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a trainwreck that you can't stop rubbernecking, isn't it? haha

      Delete
  12. as kids my 2 brothers and i had fun examining roadkill on long journeys through the australian countryside!, im tempted to email them these pics...for the love of nostalgia!
    I just cant stop starring!!...and laughing!
    Allison x
    ps yes my childhood was challenged!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have my suspicions that Spam is actually made of roadkill. Your brothers might actually recognize some of the pieces.

      Delete
  13. That is amazing - and that the recipe also includes pineapple AND jelly AND spam really elevates it to the heights of vileness. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those ingredients were bad enough...but smothering the whole thing under that disgusting gravy was the last straw.

      Delete
  14. Gave your dish a special mention when I posted the Retro Cook Off on the Facebook page. I can't stop looking at it. It's like my brain can't process that level of foul in food. Not coping.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a horror show on a plate, that's for sure! :)

      Delete
  15. My goodness me this is brilliantly disgusting - I love it... so so funny! Would be a great accompaniment to Pippa's Peachy SPAM fiesta for Christmas lunch!.

    x Tina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Pippa's dish was hideously Spammy too. She and I should collaborate on an official Monty Python Spam cookbook!

      This was so much fun, wasn't it?

      Delete
    2. LOL, so many centre pieces to make for that one1

      Delete
  16. The white blobs looked worse in the original recipe. Your white stuff is less ugly. Did anyone eat it. This is when you do need a labrador.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a fearless shih tzu who sat in the kitchen hoping for a bite the whole time I was making the dish, which confirms my opinion that Spam looks...and smells...like really cheap generic dog food. (I won't risk a lawsuit by saying it looks like Alpo.)

      Except for a small bite I finally gave to Mister Ming, the unholy concoction passed no lips. It was sacrificed to the garbage disposal before I even sat down to write this post.

      Delete
  17. Although I have a pretty good imagination, it totally failed me trying to get my head around how this might taste. It just shut down. Thank God you showed the olives some mercy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't imagine the taste either...and I thought it wiser to wonder than to have a memory that gave me night terrors for the rest of my life.

      Truly, the olives are indebted to me now.

      Delete
  18. Not everything about MId Century is wonderful:( I gotta say I remember a few of these "dishes" at church suppers. Love the post...as always:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terry, I remember a few at family dinners. My maternal grandmother was a notoriously bad cook and went in for all the latest trendy recipes, to make matters worse. She would come up with monstrosities like this from time to time. :)

      Delete
  19. Oh, that is beyond disgusting!!!! Absolutely wonderful, though!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Disgusting was my goal...wonderfully disgusting. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)

      Delete
  20. Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like it, dear SIL, because this is what I'm making for Thanksgiving. ;)

      Delete
    2. Hello Joe, this is just the beginning...we are all coming over to host a Retro Cook Off at Mid2Mod central...you being the chief taste tester! :)

      Delete
    3. HAHA. It is the best post ever.

      Delete
  21. I've read all the participants' posts now, and I have to say yours takes the crown. I will give most things a try - as evidenced by the cod in custard - but I'm not sure I could bring myself to put that in my mouth! It does look absolutely genius though. Such a fun challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I certainly didn't put it in my mouth...but I'm happy to report that my shih tzu seems to be just fine after eating some of it.

      This was really fun, and I hope we do it again.

      Delete
  22. Dana, I never thought I would ever tell you that one of your posts made me want to throw up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, y'know...I like to spread the nostalgia any way I can. :) This was a tribute to my maternal grandmother and all the Jello salads of my youth...the good, the bad and the very, very ugly.

      Delete
  23. Oh that just has to be one of the most hideous, disgusting dishes I have ever seen! I used to think the heart casserole I was once served was the worst dish in the world but this thing takes the biscuit! Why did people think that was sophisticated? Didn't they have eyes to see? It beggars belief.

    But anyway - bravo to you for making it. (Bet those olives are still thanking their lucky stars they escaped that fate. What a way to go!) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, I can't imagine how anyone in his right mind could come up with that combination of ingredients in the first place, but having given it a try, you'd think...as you indicated...that they could see how hideous it looked and nix the whole plan. It completely boggles the mind.

      Delete
  24. Oh my! Big effort! Well done. I hope your shih tzu is okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My shih tzu is okay, but I'm a little worried that this evil concoction ate away the blades of my garbage disposal. :)

      Delete
  25. Thank you for sparing the olives life!
    *heheh* Well as a art creation your salad looks lovely.... I don't know eating it though. I have never been a big fan of jelly with meats in it... or other food for that matter.
    Except my grandma makes a good jello marshmellow salad... but thats completely different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a few favorite Jello and fruit recipes from my mother and grandmothers...but anything with Spam in it, especially gelatin, makes me ill.

      Delete
  26. Oh noooooooo! Words fail me. They really do. xx

    ReplyDelete
  27. Growing up in Western Canada in the late '60s, I met a few of these jello salads. I survived.

    The recipe was printed with the dotted lines because you could just cut it out of the magazine and glue/paste it to a "recipe card". Basically, a paper card (think similar to old library catalogue cards in texture) that was that size. They are still in use in North America.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s and got married in 1967. I cut my share of recipes from magazines to glue to standard 3x5 index cards with old-school mucilage. My mother typed all her recipes on those cards, and I still have her recipe boxes (and some of my grandmother's) that were designed to hold them.

      Just the other day, I was thinking about all the things that have changed drastically in my adult life, and how I use recipes is one. Today I get them online and am about to buy an under-counter swing arm iPad mount, so I don't have to take my laptop into the kitchen.

      Delete