I collect old cooking pamphlets, and the 1950s appetizer publications are chock full of concoctions that read like a passage from de Sade as rewritten by William Burroughs. Naturally, I'm fascinated to know: are some of these woefully misbegotten ingredient combinations somehow alchemized in the mixing, into something scrumptious?
Case in point, Good Housekeeping's 1958 peanut-ham spread:
Those guests look cheerful enough, as they begin their delicate ravaging of the hors d'oeuvres table, don't they? Nothing seems particularly amiss, does it?
I laid out my ingredients, each individual food item much beloved:
I measured and observed, how the impending mixture might be so insulting to the senses as to induce existential nausea:
I mixed, and looked again. Aesthetically unthinkable:
Attempted to plate it, a heaping dose or two on wheat rounds:
Choked it down with the help of ice-cold Dr. Pepper:
THE VERDICT: If you can get past the texture, the taste is, remarkably, quite inoffensive. The appearance and feel of it are quite another matter. I can only use the adjective: malevolent.
I wouldn't serve this to guests, not even if I were to be transported back in time to the 1950s, when, I believe, enough hard liquor flowed at these events to render visitors helpless before the truth of a dubious repast.
However, luckily the same booklet offers some other options, including this:
p.s. a friend suggested Miracle Whip instead--I think I should have gone with that...