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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Food Trends That Won't Be Back

Food fashions come and go. There was a time in our not-so-distant past where making a recipe involving gelatin automatically meant it would be something special. Or “ah-inspiring” as one recipe promised.

Someone recently forwarded “Truly Upsetting Vintage Food” to me, and most of those recipes come from that frightening age. And they prove I’m not making this up.

I forwarded it to my mom, who said, “Perfection Salad was special.” (Perfection Salad: gelatin, apple juice, lemon juice, vinegar, carrot, celery,
green pepper, pimiento . . . !)

I sent it to my daughter, who said “It’s a wonder we made it out of the 50’s.” Her favorite: Spam and Limas.

One recipe that didn’t make that list, but made a lasting impression on me, was my grandmother’s straight-faced fond talk about a dessert called Prune Whip. My cousin Eric and I were pre-teens; need I say more?

“Prune Whip is good,” my grandmother insisted as we collapsed. My mother recently found the actual recipe for Prune Whip, complete with a picture of the molded confection, garnished with – what else – prunes. My mother: “I liked Prune Whip.”

My grandmother also made watermelon rind pickles and grapefruit rind candy, and she pickled carrots by marinating them in leftover pickle juice. It was an age of using absolutely everything. And being pretty creative. I never tried Prune Whip, but I liked all that other stuff.

Although I emphatically drew the line when my grandmother added the juice from canned fruit to KoolAid.

But she never, ever made “Liver Sausage Pineapple.”

-Elaine Jack, Assistant Editor, Today's Family magazine

Photo: McCall’s / Via


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