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June 13, 2012

Pineapple Olive Salad – Glistening And Jiggly Finalist #2 on The Mid-Century Menu

By RetroRuth

Wow. I just…wow.

That’s really all I have to say about the next finalist. In my opinion, this is really the epitome of a bad gelatin salad. Is it possible to have a perfect worst gelatin salad? Do you say it’s “perfectly terrible”? Or that is the “perfect food storm”?

All I know is that this recipe was a pip.

And by “pip” I mean it was terrible.


Meet Pineapple Olive Salad. This jiggly abomination was sent to us by Angela, who writes:

Hello Ruth!

I have attached some photos from two of my grandmother’s old cookbooks that contain my entries for the gelatin contest. I could not choose between the two, so I’m leaving that up to you.
The first cookbook is entitled, “Maude’s Cook Book, 1939” and was compiled by The Council of Lincoln Terrace Christian Church in Oklahoma in 1939. The recipe I’ve chosen from this cookbook is called, “Pineapple and Olive Salad.”

Happy Cooking!

pineapple olive Salad

You know, the one good thing you can say about this salad is that it never pretends to be something it’s not. It’s pineapple and olives encased in lemon Jell-O. It’s not fancy, or really edible in any way you can imagine, but at least it’s easy to make.


Well, I guess there are two good things, because I also got to use a mold that I’ve had forever and have always wanted to make a little fun gelatin design in it.


Even if the design consisted of olives and lemon Jell-O.

Not so bad, right? Hey, it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever made.

At least there are no tongues in it.



So gross.


Only slightly less gross when unmolded. And the design mostly worked!!

Not, of course, that it makes it taste any better.


The look of complete disgust.

From the tasting notes:

Lemon. Olive. Pineapple. And it tastes like it.

Sweet, disgusting. Makes me want to gag. Gross in it’s simplicity.

The Verdict: Terrible.

Thank you, Angela, for sending us this horrible gelatin.

See? I told you it was a pip.

And by “pip” I mean, able to bring out Tom’s disgusted face.

Good job, Angela. Good job.

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16 Responses to Pineapple Olive Salad – Glistening And Jiggly Finalist #2 on The Mid-Century Menu

  1. Kate Reply

    June 13, 2012 at 11:42 am

    That looks positively revolting to eat, but nice job with selecting the best mold and using strategic olive placement to try to give it its best shot at looking appetizing….

    • RetroRuth Reply

      June 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks, Kate! I try to make it look good, even when it is a hideous thing that shouldn’t see the light of day…

  2. Roxy Reply

    June 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    It does look kinda pretty, but on the same note I know it has to be horrible tasting just by looking at it.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      June 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Yep. The olives are pretty much a dead giveaway. 🙂

  3. Shannon H. Reply

    June 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Aha! There’s a reason olives and pineapples originate in different parts of the globe. They’re not meant to be together! 😉

  4. Laura Reply

    June 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I have a community cookbook that belonged to my grandmother. It really hit in the midst of the gelatin salad craze, and has an entire chapter of recipes. The horror goes on forever, just like your pineapple olive creation. Ick!

    • RetroRuth Reply

      June 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      I have to admit that I absolutely love community cookbooks. A recipe can be CRAZY and then another can be absolutely delicious and both recipes are on the same page.

      Love it.

  5. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    June 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    It’s so pretty though. And I like how it kind of leaks across the plate. I also am really impressed by how you put the olives in the mold just so. That’s a flavor combination that I can’t imagine being good, bless it’s heart. So many of those recipes you just have a hard time figuring “Did they think it was good back then…. or did it suck then too?” I keep thinking that maybe since so many recipes contain green olives, maybe olives used to taste different back then. Maybe they were all infused with vodka or some kind of numbing agent that rendered taste buds useless.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you! It is nice knowing that I did a good job with presentation of something so terrible.

      Yes. Useless tastebuds is what we think, too! Tom’s theory is everyone smoked and they couldn’t taste anything. Several times during the gelatin tasting he would say things like, “I think to get the full impact I would have to have a cigarette hanging out of my mouth while I chewed this.”

      • FlyingTexan Reply

        June 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm

        Tears running down face from laughing. H-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s!

  6. Kristine Reply

    June 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    but..it looked so pretty! 😀

  7. Pat in PA Reply

    June 14, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Jello recipe…horrible…wouldn’t touch it!
    North Star plate it’s presented on…please send immediately! 🙂

  8. Sara In AZ Reply

    June 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I don’t even know how Tom ate one bite…..I just threw up a little looking at the pictures! 😉

  9. Pingback: Voting Begins For The Worst Gelatin Recipe From Our Glistening And Jiggly Contest! | No Pattern Required

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