Every Friday I send out this super-official report to my entire department. That’s around 150 people, some of which are scarily important within the company.

So of course when I write the email that goes with the report, I write completely irreverent things because I give zero fucks about how important the recipients are. The good news is that the important people all think I’m hilarious. They’ve admitted to me that they don’t usually bother reading the attached report, but they ALWAYS read my emails. (To which I usually respond by facepalming and saying “You know the reason I write those emails is to encourage you to read the report, right?”)

So one thing I do is report on the unofficial holidays coming up for the next week. On the 6th, I noted that Wednesday was Noodle Ring Day. This is how I mentioned it:

Popular during the mid-1900s, a noodle ring is a dish made of flat noodles or any other type of flat pasta baked in a ring mold or a bundt pan. I’d like to point out that a lot of other popular foods during the mid-1900s have ended up in the Gallery of Regrettable Food, like vegetable-based salads suspended in gelatin and things that my mother kept making into the 80s (much to my dismay). I have her old cookbooks. Even just the photos are terrifyingly gut-churning.


That said, I have nothing against baked pasta dishes. I just think it’s important to remember that some foods popular in the mid-1900s should be approached with caution.

On the 13th I followed up on that:

So after my comments about mid-century cooking last week, I actually came across one of the cookbooks and wanted to share the trauma.

The picture being in black and white is a huge improvement over the real thing. The recipe calls for water, gelatin, eggs, sugar, dry mustard, MSG, salt, vinegar, canned peas, grated carrot, celery, parsley, and curly endive. What it SHOULD call for, in my opinion, is an entire bottle of Pepto.


If you’re wondering why I kept that cookbook, it’s because it also has two pages full of dessert recipes that call for rum. Which probably explains the rest of the cookbook, come to think of it.


Incidentally, I also have a photo of the full-color center spread in the book. You can thank me later for not sharing that one. Given the over-saturated colors common in cookbooks of the time, the food looks worse than it should, if that’s possible.

I wasn’t joking about the two pages of rum-based dessert recipes, by the way. That’s seriously why I kept that particular cookbook.

But my hope is still that I never see another savory gelatin mold again in my life.

P.S. If you’re wondering how many responses I got telling me the email was hilarious, the answer is “a lot”.