Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1970s foods: deliciousness optional

A year and a half ago on my old LiveJournal account, I mentioned a set of My Great Recipe cards that I got from mom's house after she died. These cards were either given out or sold by the Betty Crocker company, which becomes obvious once you realize every recipe calls for at least one pre-fab box of Betty Crocker product. Also, the cards say "The Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library." I'm all researchy like that.

Several cards were labeled as "Ways With..." and many used "'n" instead of "and". You know, to be hip and fun. This one uses both, which just drives me up the wall. Recipe scan here.

Mom's cards are apparently from 1971, with a few more added in 1984. We had the big custom made box that held all these cards, as well as the dividers and example menus. Mom even added a few other cards and her own recipes, and the numbers/letters written in the upper right hand corners were part of her own organizational system. The one that the cards came with just wasn't good enough for her, oh no.

My god, the things we ate in the '70s. These cards have an entire section devoted to fondues. That's plural, as in more than one fondue, which means great lengths were taken to create new and different fondue recipes:

A delicious, cheesy combination of ground up kitchens and teenagers.

Notice that the fondue is "Mock Fondue", meaning it's suitable for teens because doesn't have wine in it. Then they follow that recipe with a "Psychedelic Fondue" -- nothing says "acid trip" like melted cheese! Odd that the corporate minds of Betty Crocker felt a half cup of cooked wine in a teen dish was a bad idea, but the "psychedelic" drug reference was fine.

Another section was called "Men's Favorites". One of the salads in that section was an entire huge steak, sliced thin and placed on top of a single leaf of lettuce with a couple of rings of green pepper for garnish. The Man Salad looks delicious, but it is not a salad.

Speaking of Man Food:

This is a Man Drink. It is canned beef broth with horseradish and dill weed, heated and served in a glass. It is called "Pow!" It is to be paired with Rumaki, which I discovered today is chicken liver marinated in a soy-and-ketchup sauce:

As one would expect, these cards contained some really disgusting gelatin salads.

Jellied. Chicken. Two words that have no damn business being in the same sentence. Protip: Pink food is not appetizing. Scan of recipe here.

The funniest was this huge orange salad with carrots in it and slopped into an enormous rhinoceros mold. I stared at this picture for 5 fucking hours until I figured out what it was.

Seriously, how much pot must be consumed for someone to decide that what a standard molded Jell-O recipe really needs to make it fresh is a rhinoceros mold? Recipe here, but it's just Jell-O with carrots and pineapple in it. I hope no one paid for this "recipe."

And things just get weirder from there. For example, someone thought the name "Crusty Salmon Shortcakes" sounded good, and then went out into the world to find the worst professional food photographer in existence to illustrate the deliciousness:

It's pink, it's "crusty," it's got olives jammed into it. And it's paired with the weirdest fucking green nobbly shit I've ever seen in my life, I mean goddamn that's bizarre. Want to make dinner for someone you wish to emotionally destroy? Get your Crusty Salmon recipe here.


This has been Part I of a hard-hitting expose on food. Tune in tomorrow for Part II: Fun With Franks, Pun With Penises.


  1. They looked worse in real life, too.

    Ever hear of "Dream of the Rarebit Fiend"? An early comic strip by Winsor McCay, of "Little Nemo in Slumberland" fame, it was rather nightmarish and hallucinogenic, based on the well known affects of booze-laced melted cheese. Excellent strip.

  2. I have seen it! And the movie short from 1776 or whenever it was. Google says 1906. It might be lying.