Credit where credit’s due — the image is originally from jbcurio’s Flickr set. There’s lots of crazy old stuff in there.
Venturing back into the realms of probably-horrible, this week I decided to try Pie Plate Salad. It’s a pretty typical-looking example of vegetables put into gelatin, and also seems to strongly support the theory that gelatin was just a way to flaunt the fact that you could afford a refrigerator. Why else would you want mixed vegetables and lemon Jell-O in the same dish?
When shopping for ingredients, I was taken aback to actually find Veg-All on the shelves. I’d never heard of it before seeing the ad, proving I’m not an expert in canned mixed vegetable brand names. (Nobody’s perfect.)
Making this is only slightly harder than making plain lemon Jell-O… so, really really (not) hard. Mix water with Jell-O and pour in vegetables… and wait.
If you get something that looks like the Jolly Green Giant sneezed on your plate, you’ve done it right.
The most surprising thing about this recipe was not that it was disgusting — I fully expected that. But it wasn’t the Jell-O that was bad. It tasted… well, edible, if you concentrated on the carrots and corn. Unfortunately, the Veg-All brand of mixed vegetables doesn’t stop with just carrots and corn; it also has peas, green beans, lima beans, potatoes, and celery, and possibly a few other vegetables that are too traumatic for me to remember. And lima beans, bad enough on their own, are incredibly revolting when paired with sweet citrus slime. Don’t even get me started on the mushy celery.
And that’s something about vintage recipe advertising that I never really understood. After making Pie Plate Salad, I will never, ever, under any circumstances, buy Veg-All mixed vegetables, even if I’m shopping for a food drive. Claiming that Pie Plate Salad is a great use of your product is a quick way to convince me you’re a liar and possibly also dangerously insane — is that really the image you want your product to have?