Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cook and Tell Vintage Recipe Redux

When I read, on Serious Eats this week, about the Weekend Cook and Tell calling for vintage recipes from the 1960's I immediately thought of a book in my collection. It's a church cookbook, published in 1967, from my home town of Opelika, Alabama.

I have always been fascinated (and a little grossed out) by the salad section of this book--lots of congealed concoctions and aspics, lots of mayonnaise, odd combining of flavors. One recipe has lime jello, pickle relish, canned peach slices, and celery!

One very popular ingredient, in this salad chapter, is Durkee Sauce. I was vaguely aware of such an item but had never had it before and wasn't really sure it was still available. Was I ever surprised when I did an internet search. This stuff is alive and well! I saw it described in a Chow Hound article as, "An American Cult Classic since 1857".

If you can't find it locally, don't worry, there are plenty of copy-cat recipes available. Or you can order it by the case at Amazon.

My grocery store did have the "famous sauce" and I am reporting that I have now purchased my first and last jar.

The cook and tell retro challenge gave me a perfect excuse to try one of these oddball recipes. I chose a recipe called, Vegetable Salad. I really did have hope for it with its canned asparagus and canned peas, because it also had fresh green bell pepper, celery, onion, and cream cheese. The Durkee sauce has an odd mustardy flavor that ruined the recipe, in my opinion, as well as my husband's. In fact, he tried to warn me away from it before I even bought it. Sometimes I just won't listen!

I am not elaborating on the recipe because I really don't recommend that you try it. But if you really, really, want to and can't read the recipe above, just email me and I'll gladly send you the recipe. Along with the rest of the salad.

1967 Vegetable Salad


  1. Wow! That's... amazing? disguting? I salute your fortitude in first making it and then actually tasting it!

  2. The saddest part is the waste of food. . .

  3. Was hoping you discovered a vintage gem of a recipe. The salad looks so enticing, almost like candy... sweet nougat stuffed with red and green. I bet you could rescue the recipe, omit the famous sauce, make it more like a vegetable cheese spread for crackers...

  4. I am so completely facinated by retro food! I actually have started making updated recipes myself!

    Peas Love Carrots

  5. HAHAHA, it does look like those nougat candies. I collect retro cookbooks too,one of my favorites is a little beyond retro, 1926!

    "The Art of cooking and serving" by Sarah Field Splint. The forword consists of the first chapters being 'Table Service in the Servantless Home' then of course that is followed by 'Table Service in the House with a Servant'! Hilarious and gag inducing. Women have come a long way, thank God.