A lot can change in, say, 50 years. Just look at the car or communication industry. How we eat is no exception. And nothing shows it as vividly as the Facebook group Questionable Vintage Recipes.
As the name suggests, its members share funny and weird foods from back in the day: we're talking lamb chops, cranberry "candles", and crown roasts of frankfurters. You know, the good stuff.
Continue scrolling to check out some of the most ridiculous recipes the group has to offer. Just don't show them to Gordon Ramsay. He'd be fuming!
Currently, the group has 38,400 members and a 6-people admin and mod team looking after it. Luckily for us, they agreed to answer a few questions, introducing the online community from the inside.
"I started the group as a way to bond with my new mother-in-law," Katiaña, the founder of Questionable Vintage Recipes, told Bored Panda. "We both think wild vintage foods are really funny and I was afraid I wouldn't have anything else in common with her (thankfully I was wrong) so I made what I thought was just going to be the two of us and my roommate Yvonne sharing silly pictures of spamcakes and aspics. It blew up almost overnight."
Who Doesn’t Love A Little Whipped Cream With Their Angel Food?
Questionable Vintage Recipes
One of the admins, Kelly, said that even though a lot of different monstrosities get submitted, aspic and spam are definite favorites among the members.
Indeed, if you look through popular cookbooks of the 1950s and 1960s, you'll encounter a disheartening trend that has since faded into obscurity: dishes that were encased in savory molded gelatin or aspic.
An article in The Daily Meal says this could've been due to the fact that in the early 1950s refrigerators were still quite expensive, and since gelatin needs refrigeration in order to set, preparing a Jell-O mold was something of a status symbol.
Eventually, molds became so popular and ended up in so many cookbooks because home chefs (and publishers) simply accepted that they were a desirable thing to make. They also were relatively fun to prepare—cooks used to show off aesthetic skills by creating inventive aspics. Plus, the ingredient list was quite cheap if you were using canned goods and leftovers.
Tonight’s Dinner Sorted!
"I think viral cooking channels like [ours] have people excited about cooking again," another member of the team, Jennifer, added. "Being in this group has definitely had me and my mom reaching for my great-grandmother's hand-written cookbooks more often. I know early in the pandemic when supply chains were disrupted and we weren't sure when we'd get to the grocery store again, people were definitely putting together weird combinations from the pantry like our grandparents did."
And according to her colleague, Yvonne, that's probably the main reason why Questionable Vintage Recipes got so big. "I feel like what unites our group for a lot of its members is the memories we associate with food, even if it's an odd combination from a time mostly forgotten," she said.
"It's the memory of someone's mother making a ham aspic at a family bbq, or another generation making a dandelion salad when money and resources were tight."
A Personal Favorite, Conceptually. From That 70s Ww Recipe Deck
The admins and mods also put together a list of recipes to look out for if you choose to join the group. They're not necessarily group favorites, but team favorites:
- Jennifer: "Any dessert with mayonnaise, anything that involves turning food into a candle";
- Yvonne: "Anything with spam. I make spam macaroni and cheese every week";
- Kelly: "Savory banana dishes. I unironically want to try that banana hollandaise dish";
- Katiaña: "I love the gelatinized spaghettios as an idea but I don't know if I could stomach it in real life."
Where A Lot Of 'Salads' Got Their Jell-O From. Special Non Sweet Flavors
Anyone Have The Recipe For This One?
Kielbasa Legs! Ahh My Polish Grandmother Would Have Blown Her Cigarette Smoke On This In Absolute Delight
May I Present To You.... Shrimptree! Seemed To Be A Trend In 1965
I Don’t Think I’ve Ever Had A Stuffed Party Pickle Slice. Surprised They Didn’t Suggest Putting The Party Pickle Innards On A Saltine!!
I’m Going Through My Mom’s Recipe Box Since She Passed Away. I’ve Come Across Some Lovely Recipes (Heh) Including This Gem. I Hope It’s Okay For Me To Share A Few More Later
I Teach Culinary Arts. One Of My Fav Classes Is Garde Manger. My #1 Rule: Tread Carefully With Animals (Cucumber Sharks, Ugh) But Never Make Food Look Like Other Food. Below Is The First Slide In My What Not To Do Presentation
Campbell's Cream Of Mushroom Soup. Is There Anything It Can't Make More Delicious?
I Found This Recipe And I Just Had To Try It
It's called Frankaroni loaf. It calls for macaroni, bread crumbs, cheese, hot dogs, tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce) and stuffed olives. I had all ingredients on hand. Except I chose to make it with Spaghettios because it just made the whole thing campier (more campy?campier? Technically that's not a word but I'm a trailblazer) also the only olives I have are stuffed with blue cheese and are for Martinis (guess what wins here). So I reserved some of the Spaghettio juice (or whatever it's called), mixed all the ingredients and put the hot dogs in the middle. It called for 6 hot dogs in a loaf pan longer than the one I had so I needed to break hot dogs in pieces and arrange them to fit (which drove me nuts that I couldn't get into perfect rows). I had 1 left over that I just couldn't fit in and I was already stressed from the guilt of saving the stuffed olives for Martinis so I just left it out. I baked it then used the reserved Spaghettio juice to make that classy diagonal stripe. But alas, what do I do with the leftover hot dog? Well, since the lack of green olives left a gaping hole of despair in our culinary sensibilities I decided I would use the extra hot dog in the style of nouvelle cuisine. Nouvelle cuisine uses the presentation of the dish artistically. For example, you may have a salad that resembles a sunset over the ocean. And the chick pea, if placed perfectly, represents blissful departures with good fortune. So I placed the leftover hot dog along the diagonal stripe of Spaghettio juice to represent a hand hewn boat floating with tranquility across a placid fjord. And the tooth pick represents a flaming arrow shot by a viking setting his dead friend ablaze. Finally it was cool enough to try. I took my first bite and I must say this pretty much tasted like crap. Not spit it out and wash your out out with Scope bad. It just tasted like Spaghettios with bread crumbs. Maybe it will taste better tomorrow. That's OK. I'll just wash the taste out with this Martini...with olives
Anyone Fancy A Lamb Chop Tandoori With Mango Chutney- In A Glass?!! Taken From A Book Called Aphrodisiac Cuisine...
Jellied Bouillon With Frankfurters
think we (mostly) really like each other in this group. I don't know why we feel compelled to do this to one another. For the record, I'm REALLY ashamed of myself for posting this. Sigh.
Jellied Bouillon with Frankfurters
Directions: "Dissolve unflavored gelatin in hot beef broth. In a pretty gelatin mold, place diced celery, slices of hard-boiled eggs and hot dogs in an eye-pleasing design. Pour beef Jell-O into the mold. Chill until firm."