1. Perfection Salad
Originally published in Knox Gelatine: Dainty Dishes for Dainty People, this pretty-as-a-picture recipe holds a few unexpected surprises. Fresh vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, and celery are tossed together in a bowl. Jello is separately prepared and flavored with vinegar, then poured over the salad and left to set in the fridge overnight. Appearing in kitchens as early as 1931, the name of this recipe is not nearly as misleading as my dreamy-eyed ex who had a perfect credit score, called his mother a bitch, and frequently bragged about the size of his bowel movements.
2. Bologna Cake
Simplistic, meaty, and aromatic, bologna cake features layers upon layers of everyone’s favorite mediocre refrigerator staple. Lacking the complexity and deliciousness of a traditional cake, it consists solely of bologna and mayonnaise. Despite its shortcomings, this cake still holds more visual appeal than “Swizzle,” my aspiring rapper ex who bathed in Axe body spray, had a chinstrap, and spent the majority of his free time trying to perfect the shirtless mirror selfie.
3. Fiesta Peach Spam Bake
Billed as “A Summery Feast for a Winter’s Day” this meat and fruit combination is a stick-to-your-ribs dish you won’t soon forget, no matter how hard you try! Pour plain old canned peaches over that notorious canned pork, juice and all, and arrange it in a baking dish. Bake these two unimpressive pantry staples in the oven until that warm, meaty, syrupy smell hangs the air, like the secondhand embarrassment I still experience when I think about my ex who used to yell at the waitstaff in restaurants.
4. Frosted Ribbon Loaf
Another multilayered fiasco! Lunchmeat, egg salad and pickle relish are set between slices of buttered bread, then smothered in a cream cheese frosting. A popular party food during the 60’s, this log shaped dish is still not as gross or embarrassing as my ex-boyfriend who proposed to me without a ring at the local bowling alley, pretended he got into a violent fight by covering himself with ketchup, and has recently voiced his disappointment on Facebook that the Gathering of the Juggalos was cancelled this year.
5. Monterey Souffle
Inexplicably named after California’s central coast city, this dubious concoction quickly went out of fashion as a party food when hosts realized their guests weren’t very eager to get this into their mouths. Tuna, olives, and lemon are combined in a bowl, then set overnight with plain gelatin. Heaped together in a quivering mound of fragility, this recipe has still been inside more women than my high school boyfriend, who used to ask why my father allowed my mother to drive a car, once yelled at me for laughing too loudly, and accidentally gave himself chemical burns by jerking off with toothpaste.
6. Ham and Banana Hollandaise
A positively wacky idea from the 70’s, this recipe features whole bananas entrapped within sliced deli ham and baked to stark, raving perfection under a blanket of hollandaise sauce. Combining 3 food items that have since grown far apart, this recipe is still not as batshit insane as the guy I dated who thought the spilled hair gel on my bathroom floor was another man’s semen, and was salty about it for a month.
7. Spaghettios and Wiener Ring
Spaghettios are mixed with gelatin, left to set overnight in a ring shape, while the center is then adorned with Vienna sausages for dipping. Doubling as both an appetizer and a main dish, this recipe harkens me back to the ex who was so self-conscious about his small penis that he stole my vibrator, threw it in the trash, and tried to convince me that I never owned one. A dish best prepared by gaslight.
Image: Hello, Tailor