A run of bad potluck.

Hidden between the pages of every cookbook are recipes that result in spectacular food failures. Sometimes it’s the cook’s fault for deviating from instructions or cutting corners or making unauthorized substitutions. Sometimes, it’s the recipe itself. Perhaps the instructions are unclear or incomplete, or maybe some ingredients should just never come together under any circumstances.

I’ve been scouring through my cookbooks lately looking for tasty treats, and particularly in my older books, I’ve come across some recipes that border on the truly bizarre. Most of them are full of weiners (Corn and Weiner Casserole is sure to be a gastronomic abomination). Maybe someday I’ll compile them all into a grand volume and call it 101 Ways With Weenies. Maybe I can find something better to do.

Thanks to the intertoobs, other curious people have preserved evidence of numerous culinary nightmares perfect for your next sideshow potluck.

  • Weight Watcher Recipe Cards: a wretched liver paté, scary Carrie chicken, and cult-quality Inspiration Soup, to name but a few. There’s even a Flickr group documenting actual attempts at recreating some of these inspiring frankenfoods. The crown roast of weiners is quite a centerpiece. This is clear evidence that dieting is very bad for your brain. P.S. There’s also a book available.
  • Gallery of Regrettable Food: James Lileks presents excerpts from a vast collection of peculiar old recipe booklets accompanied by witty commentary to offset the depressing torture of  decent food. There’s also a selection of quaint marketing ephemera. P.S. He has a book available, too.
  • Cate’s Garage Sale Finds: Cate says, “I love to cook. But I love cookbooks even more, especially if they’re old and filled with recipes for things I’d never want to eat.” That pretty much sums it up. She has an excellent section of gender-specific eating for men. From her main site, you have access to arcane knowledge, ugly crafts, and trashy romance in addition to her blog.

3 responses to “A run of bad potluck.

  1. Hilarious! A crown roast of weiners! Who’d a thunk it? I remember in the earliest days of my Weight Watching, I think I was 12, we had to make all sorts of stuff ourselves on WW, like our own ketchup (catsup?). And “cheesecake” made from cottage cheese and fake sweetener. No crust, of course. It was truly unsatisfying. But I tried!

  2. Whenever I am sad, those Weight Watcher’s cards make me laugh out loud. I keep them bookmarked for my depressed days. I, too, remember the swell Weight Watcher’s cottage cheese “cake”. It was a treat compared to everything else you were supposed to eat. You need to remember, in the mountians, canned tuna was the only seafood we had. You can’t count fish sticks because they were minced and breaded. Yum! You should have been around when your mother was a bonified “pinned” member of Weight Watchers!

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