Thursday, January 8, 2009

Congealed Weapons

It was about time for a Bad Retro Recipe, really it was. And when I want one of those, I always check my beloved Holiday Inn International Cookbook from 1971. Full of odd things to eat, and touchingly overheated descriptions of the delights (mundane at best) awaiting one at various Holiday Inns.

Anyway, these young ladies look happy. The one nearest to us does, anyway. I suspect that she was the one who didn't order the Congealed Cucumber Salad. Get a load of the two sadsacks in the background though. Congealed is the perfect word for the looks on their faces.

I know, I know - "congealed" salad just meant that it was gelatin-based, which seems harmless enough. But in conjunction with the word "cucumber" - it just doesn't seem right.

You could have this salad if you were visiting the Holiday Inn at Greenville, Alabama. The cookbook notes that roast beef, fried chicken and homemade rolls are the "favorites" on the Greenville menu. They then follow that with the recipe for something that presumably is not a favorite:


1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 box lime gelatin
1 cup grated cucumber
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tb grated onion
salt to taste

Pour water over gelatin. Stir and let stand until it begins to set. Then sneak up on it and add the rest of that stuff. Mix it up and pour it into molds or something. Stuff it in the fridge. Then dump it onto some lettuce and blob mayonnaise on top. Put in front of four people, who probably ordered the roast beef or the fried chicken, and are waiting for those homemade rolls. Ha ha, that'll teach them to complain about the slow service.

Note: I jazzed up the instructions, but I guess you knew that. They would never write up a recipe like that! Can you imagine putting cucumbers into a Jell-O mold? Cucumbers are practically all water with a bit of green cellulose. Or something.

Bon app├ętit, girls!

Oh, and thank you to Telstar Logistics over at Flickr for the cool postcard image.


Speaking of thanks, I also want to thank my pal ettarose for the Kreativ Blogger and Lemonade awards. Please do go visit her over at Sanity On Edge, she is really funny and cool.


Things That Are Me said...

I remember my summer childhood vacations and staying at the Holiday Inn. I don't think I ever ate their cucumber jello, yuk!

Daughter said...

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Chat Blanc said...

"congealed" can make anything sound icky!!

Lidian said...

Things That Are Me - Well, that's good then, right? :)

Daughter - Yes, such is the power of the Bad Retro recipe.

Chat Blanc - It really is a terrible adjective, isn't it?

Tori Lennox said...

Gosh, I was wondering what to have for lunch!

Anonymous said...

I was born around the time that your cookbook was published.

How did my parents manage to feed themselves if "congealed salad" was even an acceptable concept?

Bill said...

Great post! And that's a doozy of a bad recipe. It sounds wretched.

We rarely stayed at Holiday Inns when I was little. We usually pulled in at a Howard Johnson's or a Travelodge. Wherever we stayed it had to have a AAA rating!

Lin said...

Yeah, the "congealed" part is really, really scary. Did you try it?

Amy said...

eeww congealed salad? my mother in law makes one that has tuna and gherkins in it.

ModernMommy said...

Love the bathing suit! Must be why she is so happy.
Honestly? That recipe sounds like a very bad idea. How did it ever make it into a recipe book?

Lidian said...

Tori - I am still wondering.

sinisterdan - They must have been using a different cookbook.

Bill - Oh, yes HoJo's was IT when we were on the road, too. I just thought it was amazingly fine. Never stayed there though, but we did have sandwiches there. And ice cream. Hot stuff.

Lin - Are you kidding? These recipes are never ever tested by me, too awful!

Amy - Oh my stars...

ModernMommy - Oh, you wouldn't believe the stuff that made it into cookbooks! :) Just you wait and see...

Anonymous said...

I remember that recipe...except you didn't shred the cucumbers...that had to be a hold over from the 50's - back in those days just about anything went into jell-o

Lori said...

mmm, nothing sounds yummier than eating anything "congealed".

Carol @SheLives said...

Yeah, what's with jello salads anyway. The seem to have gone the way of the black-n-white television. I have vague recollections from childhood, then...nothing.

Just as well.

Melanie said...

Congealed and cucumber in the same title-- you've left me speechless- and naseous.

ettarose said...

Lidina I swear to you I have apicture almost exactly like that of my Grandmother getting out of a pool. She could have posed for that picture. She never would have eaten congealed salad though, she was more into cow's tongue sandwiches. True!

Anne said...

Eeek. I am not sure anything should be "congealed." With or without the name, I have to say, the recipe sounds unappealing. Maybe I'll make it the next time the in-laws come to visit.

Lidian said...

Broadway Matron - Yes, I believe it was used as a culinary catch-all, watery things or not, in they went.

Lori - Yeah, it sounds fine. But I am strangely enough no longer hungry.

Carol - Jell-O is not what it used to be. In college we had Jell-O cubes in the dining hall. If you put them in Sprite they hop around the glass. I might write about this (wonder if there is a YouTube clip to use?)

Melanie - It was just lucky that there was no photo of it!

ettarose - Cow's tongue...maybe they served that at the Holiday Inn, too.

Anne - That could be interesting and fun! :)

JD at I Do Things said...

Oh, man, you could NEVER get away with calling anything "congealed" today, at least, nothing you were actually trying to get people to eat.

I think the "congealed" part bothers me more than the cucumbers. It's wrong. So wrong.

JD at I Do Things

Lidian said...

JD - The things they got away with in recipes are unspeakable...It really is a ghastly word any way you look at it. Never a positive, never a compliment! Never was, really.

~~louise~~ said...

Just playing catch-up. I haven't been here in it feels like ages. New look?

Thank you so much for adding some refreshing humor to my evening. I "grabbed" this link and added it to the Holiday Inn post I did on the 5th. Too funny that we both posted recipes from the same book, in the same month, in the same year, three days apart!

Thanks again, Lidian:)

Lidian said...

Louise - Thanks, that is funny that we were both writing about Holiday Inns! :)