Friday, November 19, 2010

Vintage Jello Recipes: A Tale of Horror

A little while ago, someone dared me to make a Jello mold with hot dogs shaped like octopi and carrots shaped like goldfish. So I did. Naturally, this only led to me wanting to make more horrible things. I've been collecting old Jello and Knox Gelatine cookbooks for a while now and there's plenty of horrible things for me to try.

Why? You may ask, your eyes widening in horror. Well, intellectually I figure it's only right to try out these recipes. After all, if I'm going to make fun of them, I should at least know whether they are as horrible as they seem or are actually quite good and I'm misplacing my disgust. It's also a bit of an art form. How many times do we have the same mediocre meals, week in and week out? Seeking out something truly revolting that's printed with authority as food is, well, artful.

Also, because I thought it would be hilariously cool.

My first recipe was Chicken Salad Surprise from the 1965 edition of Joys of Jello. It features chicken, pecans, celery, sour cream, garlic salt, pepper, wine vinegar, and grated onion suspended in lemon (or orange) Jello. Then cut into cubes and placed on a salad with olives and pineapple tidbits.

If you took the lemon Jello out of the equation, it wouldn't be so bad. Minus the olives. I hate olives. Something about the lemon flavor in the Jello makes this the most rancid thing on earth. Actually, it was the lemon Jello and garlic salt. That right there is one of the most revolting things I've ever smelled.

I set up my salad, took an obligatory bite, and promptly spit it out in the sink. Now I have a whole pan of this stuff that is too gross to eat and the cats won't even touch. Nor will spouse, who declared hearing about my experience was enough proof.

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