Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tomato Aspic, with Starbursts

















Something glorious happened in 1978.  Something... obscenely wonderful.  The M&M/Mars company put out a cookbook.  A cookbook filled with strange and exotic uses for their products, uses hitherto undreamed of.



My favorite chapter is called "Conversation Starters."  This is the main dish section.  Yes.  The main dish section... of the cookbook dedicated to candy.  It is aptly named, but I think a better title would be "Where Angels Fear to Tread."



Tomato Aspic
Try this shimmering tomato mold with tuna or chicken salad.

2 tablespoons (2 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
4 cups tomato juice
2 (1-11/16 oz.) pkgs. STARBURST Fruit Chews (22 candies)
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 drops hot pepper sauce
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup sliced green onion
Salad greens
Mayonnaise

Combine gelatin and water.  Let stand 3 to 4 minutes.  In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup tomato juice and candies.  Melt over low heat, stirring until smooth.  Add celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and gelatin mixture.  Stir until gelatin melts.  Blend in remaining tomato juice, green pepper and green onions.  Pour into an oiled 6-cup mold.  Chill until firm, 4 to 5 hours.  Serve on salad greens with mayonnaise dressing.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.  



Verdict:  This is awful.  Just awful.  It is like cold wobbly tomato soup... with Starbursts.  You may think, optimistically, that the two might somehow meld together.  No.  Not at all.  It is much like maple syrup on spaghetti, or frosting on broccoli.  

This is a landmark occasion in Time Travel Kitchen history, because husband was unable to eat even one bite.  He ran full tilt for the sink and spat again and again to remove the taste from his mouth.  I ate a bite, but it was not easy. 

Baby ate a bite without even pulling a face, but I have also found her eating her own poop.

I am excited to try the beef stew recipe from this book!



26 comments:

Kitty said...

That is terrifying in its nastiness. I'm impressed you managed to get a bite down and totally with your husband.

Unknown said...

Tomato Aspic...by it's very nature...was bound to be awful. The introduction of candy to it has to be an abomination. Back before hospitals allowed menu choices, I actually checked out of a hospital just hours after having a baby because tomato aspic was on the menu.

Jana said...

Don't worry, Kitty, it has been suitably disposed of. It can't hurt anyone anymore.

Unknown/mom: Maybe it was the hospital's way of making people want to leave in a timely manner?

nihil said...

WHYYY, oh god WHY??? I don't know what else to say about this recipe.

Thought, I am curious as to what happened to green Starburst?

Hazel said...

It does sound dreadful.

Beef stew? I guess they may be enough going on to lose a chopped up mars bar or two...

Lisa May said...

I do not even want to know which candy they will pair with roast beef. I am still laughing (and nauseated) at the thought of wobbly tomato soup with candy inside. I'm so impressed that you even made something this disgusting, let alone managed to keep down a bite of it. They cannot have actually tried this recipe out on real people.

Jana said...

I don't know! My "original" flavor bag of Starbursts didn't have any. Perhaps they are discontinued?

Jana said...

Hazel is right. It is chocolate bars. The 70's being what they were, perhaps the recipe creators and their test subjects were... Less than sober.

veg-o-matic said...

These recipes with bizarre ingredients always make me kind of suspicious. Like the Registered Home Economists just sat around thinking how little of the company's product they could shove into a standard recipe and not have people notice: Maple syrup in meatloaf? Wine in pancakes? Bran in fudge? As long as the housewife used *some* of the product in a recipe, Management was happy.
That being said, I think an M&M Omelet sounds awesome.

Jana said...

Very true. I have seen many such recipes. Every so often, though, just by virtue of the number of things tried, they come up with something amazing. All-Bran muffins, for instance. Or that recipe with Russian salad dressing, marmalade, and onion soup mix over chicken,

Hazel said...

I can cope with the thought of All-Bran muffins, but that chicken mixture...

I've just been watching a short series on food marketing/how what we eat has changed since the 50's on BBC TV (it may be available online- something like The men that made us fat) which has been very interesting. I think sitting around thinking up ways to add processed food into our diet is pretty much right.
The 70's was when marketing people realised they could persuade the public to eat more food than ever before- 'super-sizing' portions, eating in between meals, and putting sweets in tomato aspic. Yum.

Jana said...

Hazel. Hazel. Open your mind to the wonder of this recipe. Don't think about it. Just make it. You will be glad you did. Really. I promise. Don't worry about the HFCS content.

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
10 oz. jat apricot preserves
12 oz. bottle Russian salad dressing
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/2 onion, diced

Mix together preserves, dressing, and onion soup mix. Put chicken in 9x13 dish and sprinkle with onions. Dump goo on top. Bake at 350 F. for 1 hour. Serve over rice.

Also that series sounds super interesting. And I think you are dead right.

Jana said...

That is meant to say "jar." Sadly, the BBC restricts online viewing outside the U.K. This is annoying because Doctor Who/QI/Sherlock/Supersizers/Great British Food Revival/documentaries/those historical reality shows.

Wink said...

I once made (and blogged about, ahem) an apple pie recipe which called for ketchup. Because it was developed by Heinz, of course. It turned out to be surprisingly tasty. This, though. This. Heck, you earn credit simply for unwrapping 22 fiddly Starburst candies.

If you're curious, the Ketchup In Dessert post can be read at http://www.shoesandpie.com/2012/01/cookbook-challenge-doing-my-part/

Jana said...

Very nice! Ketchup. Why. The unwrapping was indeed annoying, especially knowing they were probably going to be wasted.

Nonna Beach said...

Aspic was enough for me to know it would be nasty...I am afraid of what havoc that cookbook will cause next...better to have Husband near the sink for tasting so he doesn't have to run next time !!!

Jana said...

Nonna, I keep coming across people contempory to tomato aspic, and they all hate it. Who WERE these people that kept making it, and loved it?? I think they are mythical.

Nonna Beach said...

All good questions...I'm with you...mythical !!!

Mary said...

I grew up in the sixties and seventies, and I never met anyone who ate tomato aspic nor did I ever see it served at school, church, or home.

Now I know why.

Jana said...

You were lucky, was why.

Naomi said...

I'm a big fan of these retro food blogs, and this may be the single GROSSEST recipe I've found to date. I wouldn't take a bite of this either. Congratulations. :)

Jana said...

Aw, thanks! And it didn't even have tuna. ;)

Sparkina said...

You mentioned maple syrup on pasta. Buddy The Elf's favorite dish! :-) But this tomato dish -- ooshk! My face is the color of a lime Starburst, and that may be a pretty color for candy but not for faces. Good thing I didn't toss my tostadas all over my keyboard

Jana said...

Maybe I can send the recipe to Buddy the Elf, via the Candy Cane forest and whatnot.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for this post. I came across it awhile back when I first found your blog and did a dig through the archives looking for recipes I felt I needed. Anyways, this post introduced me to this fantabulous cookbook, and I'm happy to say that it can be gotten from Amazon, and I'm currently awaiting my very own copy.

Jana said...

Great! I really hope you try the beef stew. ;)