The 70’s and 80’s were more than just the scene of fashion crimes. While I as much as anyone, treat a lot of old recipes with the reverence they deserve, representative as they are of the skill and thrift of our forebears, some of these recipes just leave me feeling plain old sorry for the people on whom the resultant meals were inflicted. The 70’s and 80’s were experimental and ground breaking times, no less so for our food fashionistas, but some of these meals deserved to stay deeply buried in the imaginations of those who dreamed them up:
1. Herring Hors D’Oeuvre
I adore eating seafood, there is no seafood I will not eat and I will eat herrings. Rollmops were one of my favourite treats as a child. So, I think that qualifies me to say that this recipe is absolutely horrible! Take 4 poor, unsuspecting herrings, grill them and chop them into pieces and then defile them as follows:
- Mix 1 herring with finely chopped onion, finely chopped apple and a little sherry
- Mix another with mayonnaise and curry powder
- Mix a third with tomato paste and yoghurt
- And last but not worst this one can be mixed with grated carrot, chopped onion and hard boiled egg.
Arrange the mixtures on a bed of lettuce and serve to your unsuspecting guests.
2. Steak Upside Down Pie
This is a savoury mince dish with an eggy scone dough on top which is cooked and inverted to serve. All the better for the dough to absorb all those soggy juices and be the consistency of wallpaper paste. Served with ‘creamed’ carrots (a.k.a. mashed..) and lyonnaise potatoes this dish looks about as appetising as a restaurant pig bucket.
3. Mexican Frankfurters
Is this Mexican? Maybe it’s the ‘dash of chilli sauce’ that makes it mexican. The tendency of cooks of this era to add pineapple, or fruit of some sort to savoury dishes is demonstrated in this dish where cooked pasta shapes, tomatoes and frankfurters are boiled in stock, (or ‘consommé’) with the flourish of pineapple and parsley to serve. I’m sure children would actually like this but I’m not so sure about its billing as a ‘light meal ideal for a light supper or when one is over-tired or has some digestive disorder.’
4. Stuffed Tomatoes
Raw tomatoes stuffed with cold cooked peas and cold cooked corn? No thanks, the thought of it couldn’t be less appetising. This is included in a section titled ‘Meals for Children’, I think mine would be a little more discerning.
5. Orange Conde (and others)
Citrus fruit featured large and loud in desserts in the 70’s whereas now we seem to use citrus in a more subtle manner back then it was right in your face whether it tasted good or not.
Orange Conde (far nicer with a foreign name of course) involved slicing peeled oranges, mashing some of the orange with a can of creamed rice and serving this with the remainder of the orange sliced on top.
To make Cherry Grapefruit Alaska you halve grapefruit, cut up the flesh then replace it in each half with the addition of some black cherries and top with icecream and meringue Baked Alaska style. It could be nice, but with grapefruit?
Hawaiian Nut Pudding takes 6 oranges and a can of the then ubiquitous pineapple rings. Peel the orange and stand it in a pineapple ring and casserole it in pineapple syup, orange juice and curaçao. Served covered with chopped nuts.
6. Liver Soufflé
Is it just because I don’t like livers or is this really awful? Add your minced livers to a white sauce, add salt, pepper and sugar, fold in your egg yolks and stiffly beaten egg whites to complete your soufflé ready for baking.
7. Kipper and Grapefruit Dip
Someone should be serving me this at drinks parties. It sounds so inedible it would certainly save me from the calories of the unnecessary but delicious pre dinner nibbles we serve today!
Fry off some bacon and onion and mix with freshly pulped grapefruit juice, cottage cheese, cream, flaked kipper fillets and parsley. Pop it back in the grapefruit cases garnished with pieces of bacon and kipper….of course!
8. Lamb in Jelly
Sometimes the total wrong-ness of something is spelt out by the image accompanying the recipe without you having to read any further, as is in evidence here. But for the fullness of explanation carrots, onions and mint are simmered to make a vegetable stock to which is added gelatine and the chopped lamb. Once the jelly is set you can serve it cold with new potatoes and sprinkle the all with mint.
9. Salad Sandwich Loaf
This definitely isn’t right. Slice your bread loaf up and fill it with savoury fillings (egg, salmon, cream cheese, tomato and lettuce) ‘Ice’ with cream cheese and decorate with salted peanuts on the side and top with anchovy fillets so it looks like a savoury gateau. How do you eat this? With a cake fork?
Do you have any other revolting recipes you’d care to share? I’d love to hear them – leave a comment! 🙂