I’d like to introduce you to my first installment of The Homicidal Homemaker’s TupperSCARE Party. Depending on who you are, that could be a good thing, or a bad thing. You never know.
As a huge fan and collector of mid-century modern and retro style/culture, The Homicidal Homemaker’s TupperSCARE Party is a collection of unfortunate-sounding, revolting-looking vintage recipes that I recreate and feed to my boyfriend and friends in attempts of finding the toxicity level of the recipe. I am The Homicidal Homemaker, after all!
For this edition of The Homicidal Homemaker’s TupperSCARE Party, I have recreated the “Ring Around the Tuna” recipe from my 1962 edition of “The Joys of JELL-O”. Described as ‘a beautiful, jewel-like entrée salad for your luncheon or buffet table’, I knew this was a winner for The Homicidal Homemaker’s TupperSCARE Party. When my eyes first skimmed across this recipe, ‘joyful’ would have been one of the least likely descriptions for a dish containing lime gelatin, white vinegar, salt, green olives, tuna, pimento, onion and celery.
Being that my boyfriend is not a huge fan of desserts in gelatinous form, I knew it was going to be difficult to get him to try SALAD in gelatinous form. I knew that I had to get rid of the rest of it, so for this experiment, I made “Toxicity Testers” out of the attendees of Central Valley Horror Club‘s monthly free horror movie night (we were showing “The Monster Squad”).
PREDICTED TOXICITY LEVEL: Deadly
Ring Around the Tuna (adapted from the 1962 “Joys of JELL-O)
- 1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Lime or Lemon-Lime Gelatin (I used lime)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (I used white vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons grated onion
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber (I added more)
- 1/2 cup diced celery (I added more)
- 2 tablespoons chopped pimento (I added the entire jar)
- 2 tablespoons sliced stuffed olives (I added more)
- 1 can (7 oz) tuna, drained and flaked (I could only find a 5 oz can)
Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin and salt in boiling water. Add cold water, vinegar, and onion. Chill until very thick. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into individual ring molds or a 1-quart ring mold (Personal Note: spray mold with non-stick cooking spray and wipe with a paper towel to leave a slight residue; this helps with unmolding). Chill until firm. Unmold onto crisp salad greens. If desired, serve with additional tuna and top salad with mayonnaise (I desperately wanted to add the mayo on top for additional gross-out factor, but refrained). Makes 3 2/3 cups, or about 4 entrée servings.
ACTUAL TOXICITY LEVEL: Tolerable
Wait…what?! Much to my surprise (and disappointment…), more attendees enjoyed the gelatin than disliked it. Yes, you read that correctly…ENJOYED. I took a bite, and while it wasn’t disgusting, it wasn’t something I’d get a craving for. I get the idea that the JELL-O test kitchen was going for – the lemon/lime gelatin with salt and vinegar is supposed to be similar to a citrus-vinaigrette base, and the rest of the ingredients were supposed to be like a crisp, fresh salad.
A few of the attendees even came back for seconds, and my boyfriend was actually the only person who flat-out hated the recipe. One bite, and he was done.
To view more photos from the event, including taste-testing of the “Ring Around the Tuna” visit the Central Valley Horror Club‘s Facebook album here. Thanks to my friend Head Shot for snapping photos at the event!