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April 8, 2009

Mid-Century Menu – It’s Come to This: Hard Boiled Eggs in Cream of Mushroom Soup and Ketchup

ketchup001You know, I don’t consider myself to be the most orderly person. Or the most driven person. I have great ideas, but, like most people, a good majority of them never really pan out.  But here it is, only three weeks into my Mid-Century Menu project, and I have already met my goal of finding a ridiculous recipe that really shouldn’t be made. Mission accomplished.


This week’s recipe is from the slightly (slightly?!?) disturbing cookbook put out by Heinz Ketchup. Since I don’t personally own this one, these scans came out of that classic book, The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks. You should check out his website if you haven’t already.  It is hilarious.

This recipe is bad. Really, really bad. I wonder if I should even finish this post?  It is so horrible that it might disgust all you nice, innocent readers, who only came  out of curiosity to see what I made. It might cause you to never return again.  And then it might cause you to spread the news all over Twitter and Digg, and might cause everyone to recoil in horror if they even read the name of my blog, let alone go and visit it.

The recipe is that bad. Really.

Don’t believe me?  Well, here. Look for yourself. ketchup002

Eggs Oriental, huh?  You coulda fooled me.  It looks like Eggs in Cream of Mushroom Soup. With ketchup. They could have at least added some soy sauce!

But as always, Hubs was game, so off we went.eggs-oriental-008

Not so bad, right?  Nothing wrong with some prepped ingredients.  Except fooooooooor……


this bowl. Which is all the “seasoning” for this dish. Yum.eggs-oriental-012The mushrooms and green peppers, happily cooking in a quarter cup (!) of butter. This is a lot of butter. Half that would have sufficed for the small amount of veggies that needed to be cooked. eggs-oriental-014Far too much butter, browning in the pan.eggs-oriental-017All the “seasonings” added to the pan. At this point, the mixture started to give off the most noxious smell. If anyone has ever smelled cream of mushroom soup with ketchup in it, it is not a good mix. Not at all. eggs-oriental-020After adding the egg slices, I turned to Hubs and said, “The eggs better make this magically taste better. Otherwise this is going to be bad.”

Hubs was unusually silent during the cooking, except for an occasional burst of incredulous laughter.eggs-oriental-023Finished up and plated. All one can really say is….Eww.  I decided to serve it over noodles because…well, it seemed like a sin to serve it over rice. I was already wasting enough ingredients, I wasn’t about to waste some of our good brown rice.

eggs-oriental-024Being perversely enjoyed by Hubs. He couldn’t stop laughing throughout the whole meal. It was truly horrible. The smell was amazingly bad, and every time I took a bite I was shocked by the combination of ketchup and cream soup.  The eggs surprisingly did help, making it edible. But it was far from delicious.

The Verdict: Horrible

As I was sitting there, staring at and smelling this plate of food, I realized that serving bad food is a pretty new thing for me.  I was unhappy, even uncomfortable, with the idea that this was our dinner. That I had made….this thing that tasted horrible. It was a pretty new experience for me.   As an adventurous cook, I have made things in the past that hadn’t gone exactly as planned, but nothing had ever, EVER been this bad.  It was a strange feeling.  I was definitely out of my comfort zone. eggs-oriental-027

I made it through the serving on my plate, but it was a close one.  Hubs ate more, mostly because he had just gone for a long run and was really hungry.  But even he was eventually forced to stop by the smell. The rest hit the trash.

So guys, what do you think?  This has been the third week of mid-century recipes, so how about some feedback?  Do you like these? Not like them? Love them? Hate them?  Think they belong somewhere else?? I have been thinking maybe I should separate them from this blog and start a whole new blog that just deals with Mid-Century recipes. Let me know!!

This post has been submitted to Ann Kroeker’s Food on Fridays!  Hop over there and take a look at everyone else’s yummies. Happy Easter!

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14 Responses to Mid-Century Menu – It’s Come to This: Hard Boiled Eggs in Cream of Mushroom Soup and Ketchup

  1. hbic Reply

    April 8, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Oh this made me laugh! I have felt the same way about some of my concoctions, but so far I have stuck to gelatin desserts. I plan to venture into aspics next so I suspect more than a few will end up on the trash.

  2. Sara in AZ Reply

    April 8, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Oh Ruth, you are too funny!!! ‘Hubs’ is a very good sport, it would seem! What were they thinking putting Creme of Mushroom with Ketchup and eggs????? I REALLY give you props for trying this one out though, I don’t know that I could have done it. I once made my husband this really horrible receipe with a lot of mustard (and I HATE mustard) and cocktail onions and I cannot even remember what else it was so disgusting (rice and chicken maybe?). I have tried to erase that whole night from my mind 🙂 He was really great and ate some like your husband, but I knew he really did not like it. I am laughing even as I type this because your entry was so funny and it makes me remember my crazy night! I like your mid-century receipe entries. I guess this one was made tons funnier by the grossness of it all though. Would it be easier for you to start another blog to do the receipes on? Can you imagine the smell in your fridge if you had saved your leftovers…. 🙁

  3. Tikimama Reply

    April 8, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Soooo funny! Although this is basically the reaction I get from my family with my everyday cooking. *Sigh* I’m not into cooking, but I am so ready to try some vintage recipes – I’ve got tons.

    I think you should just keep your cooking experiments here – sounds like too much work to start up another blog!

    The little Oriental Eggs in the illustration are so cute (and un-p.c.), it’s too bad the actual food was so revolting! Have you ever had Tea Eggs? Those are true Asian eggs, and they are tasty.

  4. RetroRuth Reply

    April 8, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Hi hbic! Thanks for coming by, and thanks for the comment! Aspics, huh? Compared to that, the “Eggs Oriental” don’t seem that bad. 🙂 We should do a terrible recipe swap…ha ha ha….

    Hi Sara! Hubs truly is a freakin saint. That is awesome that yours is too! I don’t know many men who would have choked down that dinner with a smile. Your dinner sounds….interesting…as well. Mustard, rice and cocktail onions, huh? Blargh.

    Hi Tiki – you should try some vintage recipes and post them on your blog! Maybe we can get one of those link parties going. Something like Truly Terrible Tuesday….Oh, and thanks for clueing me in on what they were going for with “Eggs Oriental”. I was wracking my brain trying to think of just what in the heck inspired this terrible recipe. I bet it was Tea Eggs! And I have had them, and they are goooooooood.

  5. sablemable Reply

    April 9, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    LMAO, some of those recipes from the past need to stay in the past!!!!!!

    And the suffering our husbands endure when we experiment!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Tikimama Reply

    April 9, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    The recipes I want to try first are from my vintage Bisquick cookbooklet! I’ve got tons of others, too, so I’ll try to get going on this idea. I’d love to do a recipe link party!

  7. Ann Kroeker Reply

    April 10, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Oh, man, am I impressed that you made and sampled it! What great fun for today!

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  9. sablemable Reply

    April 10, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I was looking through some old Pillsbury Bake-Off booklets and saw the 1955 prize winner’s recipe for no-knead sweet rolls. The winner won $25,000, which was a lot of money back then. It doesn’t look too hard to make, unless you’re like me and am a jinx when it comes to making yeast dough.

  10. RetroRuth Reply

    April 10, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Go for it, guys! I would love to see pictures or posts of cooking from vintage recipes! Hmm…I have to think of a catchy name for a vintage recipe party for Weds. Any ideas?

    sablemable – I have some of those old Pilsbury cookoff books, and I love them. I would be so interested to see the recipe!

  11. sablemable Reply

    April 11, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Okee dokee, Ruth!

    BTW, I have that same Heinz cook booklet with that awful recipe. Most of the other recipes in it seem just as awful.

    The Pillsbury Bake-Off booklets from the Fifties and Sixties were my Mom’s.

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  13. Sarah Reply

    June 9, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Found you through the Flickr pool Mid-Century Supper Club. Oh em gee, that sounds awful. You and your husband are very brave! I love old cookbooks just because some of the recipes are so bizarre. Maybe I should start trying some of the more harmless sounding ones though. I have been reading through your blog and really enjoy it, thanks!

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