Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Let's Make An Aspic. ("An As-what?")

 If we haven't been friends a long time, then you might not know that I don't always get bored, but when I do,

I like to bust out the awesome 60's Betty cookbook I stole from my mom, and cook something fun.

Man, this book is so badical.  It has things like cream puffs, fondue, aspics, ("an as-what??"), and escargot in it.  Recipes that my current Betty cookbook doesn't have.

And why not?  I ask you?  Escargot is an American family dinner table staple!

Where would you even get the snails from?  Seriously.


these books by James Lileks:

(pssst: this one's called "Gastroanomalies: Questionable Culinary Creations from the Golden Age of American Cookery".  It's a gas.)

Oh man-- they make fun of 50's and 60's culinary creations and their poor photographs, and I laugh so hard tears roll down my face and I punch my pillow  Which is a lot.

And you know-- the Betty cookbook I stole is no different.

I am totally making this Pate Salad Loaf the next time I bust this thing out!  And I'm inviting you over!

And the Continental Cheese Ring With Ham you see to the right is next.  Gelatin and cheese?  With ham? 

How could one go wrong?

And I don't even know what to say about these Gingerbread Hipsters who are about to be drawn and quartered,

except that everything about this picture wins. 

Also, I don't know why, but the boy on the bottom right reminds me of Hitler, every time.


If you haven't read about making Petals 'N Pickles the first time we busted out this book,

you haven't lived.

And then, we made this dessert I like to call, "Worms Writhing In Sand",

and to my everlasting surpreese, it ended up being delicious.  A delicious dessert for birds.

Who else would go to the trouble of cooking, baking, and wasting perfectly good ingredients, just for the sake of some mild amusement, except for me?  I ASK YOU?!

And today--

today, we need, nay, we must, make an Aspic.  Indeed, life won't be complete until I do.

Say you know what an aspic is.  Say it.

This was back in the day where everything was gelatinized.

One might also call them "Savory Jell-o".

And this was popular.  This was "neat", and "smart", and everyone was jealous of your housekeeping skills, just because of your aspic.

Let's rock this B.

"Tangy Tomato Aspic".  Oh yes.  This is happening. 

Note: the recipe calls for onion juice.  That's a first for me.  Do you like, pick up onion juice at the store?  Got onion salt.  Onion powder.  Onion flakes.  Real onion. Not juice.  Would one, like, run an onion through the juicer for this?

We're leaving out the onion juice.

And behold the ingredients!

Actually, the recipe calls for lemon jell-o, and all I have is lime. Somehow, I don't think this is going to matter in the end. Also, I've always been under the impression that acid breaks up gelatin somewhat-- so I'm a tad confused how this whole vinegar/hot sauce/tomato sauce thing is gonna work out.

Aw, there I am working away in my kitchen.


let's mix this mess.  Vinegar, salt, tomato sauce, jell-o, a pinch of cloves. . .

this was the point where I was giggling like a lunatic.  "This is so wrong, it's right. . ."

Let it thicken slightly, then add the diced celery:

An important note here: the book states that "Tangy Tomato Aspic" can be made as a "Gourmet Aspic", if one omits the celery, and doubles the ingredients. 

BAM.  Gourmet Aspic.

Oh boy!  Here it comes!  Get ready to tuck in!

Before you see what I've done here, just know that I am a pro at all things gelatinous.  Jell-o, jigglers, Jell-o salads, you name it.  This is Utah and we like our Jell-o!

I totally followed the directions to unmold my mold, but this happened.

But that shouldn't stop us.  You know-- I'm good.  I just ate.  You can try it.

Here comes the airplane.

It says top with salad dressing and olives, by the way.  But why would I do that to the olives?


Elisha Albretsen @ Pneumatic Addict Furniture said...

I have the EXACT same cookbook from my mom! Mine's falling a part and barely held together with some packing tape though. I love when the recipes call for "salad oil". Olive oil I'm guessing?

Jackie said...

Oh, my gosh. :)

julie - eab designs said...

This is too funny!! I always hear the term aspic when watching Top Chef and now I know what it is! Funny thing is my husband still talks about some gelatin thing his mom used to make and he loved it.

Megan said...

I think I just threw up a little. That looks so terrible!

Did it taste as bad as it looks?!

I love my nana's cookbooks from the 60's. And yep, I've totally mastered cream puffs. And *those* are delicious.

Alisha B said...

My Mom has this cookbook too, I don't remember ever eating this, but will have to tell her to try it.

Abby Scorsonelli said...

I commend you for being so BRAVE! Aspic. Eww ewww EWWWW.

Side note, I watched a DVR'd epi of Trisha's Southern Kitchen (Do you watch?? Love it.) and she liquified onions using a blender. Perchance "onion juice"??

carter said...

Oh my gosh! My grandmother - who is 95 - was JUST saying the other day how she wishes her retirement home would make salmon in lemon jello. I was so confused and thought she meant a lemon glaze, but no. She definitely meant jello. *shudders* Suffice it to say I was pretty amused to see this on my blogfeed!

pbrenner said...

That is some bad-as-pic , lol! I have that exact same cookbook - it was a gift for my 'hope chest' when I was a young girl, lol. I also have my mom's BC cookbook from the early 1950's. And Lileks' website (the Gallery of Unfortunate Food!) is awesome!


Mana said...

Oh man, I always thought my ma'am was just trying to gross us kids out when she said they used to put green jello with chunks of ham and pineapple in it on top of a slice of lettuce and top it with mayo and that was your salad to go with dinner. That was in the 40's and 50's by the way. She also talks about the ice delivery man for the refrigerator

Fashion and Happy Things

Anonymous said...

I was just curious if others have tried recreating this. I found an aspic lollipop on Pinterest. Could totally make them for kids. I just can't wrap my head around jello with salad or ham in it.

-Lisa said...

This post deserves an award! I am lying in bed reading it and laughing so hard that my stomach muscles hurt I tell you!! I have this exact same cookbook that was my Mom's and I absolutely love it for the photos and the hysterical names of the dishes. It is actually my go to book for quiche, pie crust and mac n cheese!

You rock Mandi. Thanks for sharing your culinary delights with us.

Mallorie Forbes said...

Oh my gosh I almost peed my pants laughing so hard. I love reading all your posts...but I think this is my favorite!

DressUpNotDown said...

Wait, whoa, whoa, can't leave us hanging like this. How'd it taste? Did you hurl???? :o)

stephaniegiese said...

I am in love with you. I just thought you should know.

You are hilarious and I can't believe you actually went through with making the entire thing.

Can you please, please make a facebook page for your blog because I need more of you on the daily?

Jeannine said...

OMG What the #%€£ is that?? But thank you so much for making it, because this post is killing me! HILARIOUS!!!

Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage

Brittney said...

HAhaha, I am laughing so hard right now!!! I cannot believe you made aspic! My grandma always makes tomato aspic on Thanksgiving but it is never touched. The whole concept is revolting but I suspect that using yellow jello instead of green would make it look less like something that came out of satan's @*$hole...but where's the fun in that? It might as well look as bad as it tastes. Oh how I love you.

The Russian teacakes and candy cane cookies in that book are two of my favorite cookies. And I don't know how I never noticed the hitler gingerbread man!

Mrs. H said...

You are too funny! So what did your kids say?
I wonder, though, in 60 or 70 years, what people will say about our food. They will probably scratch their heads over our obsession with Nutella and serving food out of canning jars!

Anonymous said...

Love it! I have never made aspic, but my artist training (all those university bucks were worth it!) tells me that red plus green equals brown, so if you EVER wanted to try again, the lemon jell-o would probably make a difference, at least to the colour. But the brown that you achieved is such an excellent colour of failed hope. Yours truly, Truly Scrumptious

Suzy H said...

If you want to try a recipe from this cookbook that actually is amazing, try the chicken pot pie recipe. In my family we double the sauce and add potatoes but its good as written too.

Kim Conner said...

Ew ew ewwwwwww! This whole post made me laugh... and vomit a bit in my mouth! :)

Lori said...

My husbands grandma makes a Tomato Aspec EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR at Thanksgiving. SICK. She is the only one that eats it. Occasionally we can trick a dare a little cousin to take a bite. GRODY!

RachelK said...

Laughed the whole way through that, thanks! My mother still has her Betty Crocker cookbook, though it's duct-taped together. I had no idea there were so many good recipes in there! Trying something out tonight. Just a question, would you serve Savory Jell-O as a desert or a main course?

Suesan Kennard said...

I commend you, friend, on your culinary bravery. Was it as "delicious" as it looked, even without the onion juice?

Michelle Johnnie said...

That makes me want to puke!!!! Those jello creations wouldn't make it in my mouth! Yuck!

Beth McHale said...

Wow...just wow. I saw that Vintage Revivals had a link on FB and the picture with the pants down drew me in! My mom still has her Good Housekeeping Cook Book from the 60's...think she's planning on leaving it for me in her will!
You had my son & I cracking up. You have a new faithful follower! Can't wait to dig deeper into your blog!

Burb Happy said...

I once had to eat a tomato aspic my grandmother made in honor of our visit. just typing that made me nauseous!

pootersnoots said...

My mom used to make those "savory aspics" when I was a kid. If I came home from school and saw her in the kitchen with tomato juice and jello, or ketchup and jello I'd be like OH HELL NO!!!!!! Those things are nastiness personified. Gross to the max. Just imagine....cold peas, corn and other veggies in a cold, jello-y tomato base. Need I go on? I think NOT. Run away, run away NOW!!!!!!!

Kelly O. said...

onion juice refers to the juices in a bottle of those mini hor d'heurve onions (disgusting--yes I know!).... in the photo they are using a jello mould not a bundt pan... the jello mould is a shorter pan so by using a bundt pan it had a long way to fall, hence the breaking up of your gelatin... good effort ;)

Lauras Crafty Life said...

This post totally reminded me of Julie and Julia. I remember reading about and aspic, and thought, what the heck is that? As she describes it I just thought that has to be the grossest thing ever! Please tell me you did not actually eat that!

Kristy Broussard said...

I think I'm scarred for life and I may never ever rid the taste of bile from my mouth again! :p :P

~ Laura said...

Hahaha!!! I love those old 60s cookbooks!! I have a few and couple from the 50s. You are so much braver then me!! I only make stuff that I know like candy!! :) One question I have for the 60s is "celery? really??"

Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

Thanks for the invite but I'm kind of full...maybe next time ;/

I can't believe you made it

Anonymous said...

Just wow.

What's next said...

did I miss the part where you described how this tasted?
We have discussed before that I have the same cookbook of my moms. Guess I need to get it out and make something new and crazy since my kids already think I'm a "pilgram" because I like to make jelly, butter, etc. when I'm bored.
love it!

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

No you didn't!!!! You made it? And ate it???? Oh my gosh I was howling at the gelatinous thing with the egg and ham and everything floating in it!! Seriously - who thought that whole thing was appetizing? I have the heeby jeebies just looking at the airplane coming at me, not gonna lie. You impress me with your culinary skillz MT!!

Bethany @ A Fish Who Likes Flowers said...

First of all, this post is hilarious! I don't usually dig cooking/baking posts so much because it's not something I do on the regular since I don't have a kitchen, but this was just awesome.
And two, I gotta know! How did it taste?
And three, you're my hero because I don't know if I would have been able to take a bite. I have a tendency to be brave only if I don't know what I'm eating. I have a friend who finds it his new game - lets see what I can get Bethany to eat next. So far the results have been... interesting.

jenny said...

LOL See you should have used the onion juice. Actually, use a couple of teaspoon of lemon juice, and enough gelatin to replace 2 packs of jello, and it should turn out pretty good. Serve as a condiment with cold meat, and it's actually quite nice ocassionally.

Dyan Condry said...

Mandi it's your Oklahoma "friend" Dyan. As my first blog experience you have set the bar (track meet high)for ALL the others! You make me smile and laff!

Dyan Condry said...

And I have that very cookbook!It's in pretty good condition since I never use it! You have given me inspiration tho!!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are cracking up over this and we're dying to know: how did it taste? Gross? Grosser than gross? It looks like snot on a fork (no offense), but I'm impressed that you dared to stick it in your mouth.