The Mid-Century Supper Club revives kooky recipes of yore


that cheese and olive pineapple looks fantastic, i could eat that entire thing after smoking a bowl.

anyone else here recall “jello pâtés”?
they were worse they you are imagining…


When next in the states, you should plan a visit around the street fest in my neck of the woods…


Many of these cookbooks were written specifically to encourage people to buy processed foods. That’s why so many of them contain cheap ingredients like hot dogs, or use gelatin to hold things together. The odd combinations were a result of the authors seeking novelty. Anyway, it’s this sort of food that broke a lot of families’ traditions of learning to cook from grandma -and it’s why most home cooks now have no idea how to make a simple cutlet with a pan sauce.


Thanks for the fabulous article and shout out, Rusty!!! It’s going to be a ghoulishly good time!


My grandmothers were both middling cooks. It’s maybe for the best that they imparted knitting and crocheting to me instead.


When P&G first came out with Crisco, it sold really poorly until they started distributing cookbooks around Jewish neighborhoods, written in both English and Hebrew, promoting Crisco as “kosher lard”. Jewish cooks and bakers spread the word and when it became popular, P&G started distributing free cookbooks to non-Jewish areas, promoting Crisco as the “modern, ultra-sanitary” alternative to lard.


It was a trap after all.


Nope nope nope nope nope.




Say what you will, getting jell-o to set with pineapple pieces in it is interesting scientifically in a mid century space age Hawaiian Tiki way.


Thankfully that didn’t happen with us. Our mom was a great cook when we were kids (aside from the fact that she bought mostly frozen vegetables) and my dad’s Italian side of the family never made horrifying stuff like this.
For Xmas, we had turkey and rib roast from my uncle’s dual Weber kettles, fresh vegetables and homemade ravioli. Lots and lots of perfect ravioli.


The image on the left is pretty much exactly the same text transliterated/translated into Yiddish.


Ah. So that was what the Cold War was really about.


Yes, when they started out, they distributed the same cookbook in both languages.

After gaining traction with Jewish bakers and cooks, this was their larger, hardcover cookbook for general audiences:


Sounds like a 1940s version of Arnold Palmer.


James Lilek’s Gallery of Regrettable Food:

Including a “food” that absolutely makes me squick: “Gel-Cookery.”

For the love of all things holy, I am so lucky to have survived my childhood.


Weird and wasteful. Or seems that way to me. Are people really eating the stuff they make for these supper club events?

There’s something very sad going on here. Gosh I wish we Americans weren’t so dang wasteful with food…


I’m sure that much of it does get eaten, or at least tasted to see if 70-year-old recipes are worthwhile.

The bigger issue here is that you’re using photos of the Dust Bowl to shame people for cooking food. Seriously?


Hi, I’m Karen, one of the hostesses for the event. We thought of that early on (the very first one, actually), and part of the admission to get in is a canned good/money donation for The Alameda County Food Bank. We have raised thousands of dollars for them over the years! However, this year we will be redirecting the donations to the Sonoma and Napa County Food Banks as they are supplying sustenance to the fire victims in these counties, as they are affecting so many and personally for many who attend.

Also, believe it or not, the food DOES get eaten and there is very little waste. Some of the dishes are actually quite tasty, even if they look inedible.

Thank you for bringing up a very important point, and one that has been addressed since the advent of the Potlucks. We have fun, but are incredibly conscientious as well.


Thanks Karen! I’ve been following the Supper Club events on Flickr for years and if I wasn’t on the other side of the country, would love to attend. It’s awesome to know that you support food banks. Having grown up with a mom whose recipe book was inherited from her mother, hardly a week went by without Jell-o salad, Spam, tuna casserole, vienna sausages, or other 50s-ish foods on the menu.