Frozen and Gelatinous Wonders from the 1950s Fridge

Marvelous salmon salad, jellied consommé, soda fountain fare, and more recipes for fans of midcentury cookery:

So Cool and Refreshing

Originally published in The Country Gentleman, July 1, 1953

Here are 10 good ways to beat the heat — tempting salads, drinks, and desserts, all frosty cold from your freezer or refrigerator.

Jellied Consommé or Madrilène


It’s the ideal way to begin supper on a hot summer day. And what could be easier to prepare! Just chill the canned consommé or madrilène in the refrigerator for at least four hours until firm. Open cans and serve, cold and shimmery, in chilled bowls or cups. We’ve garnished the soup with slices of avocado for color accent. Lemon wedges bring out the flavor. For an extra illusion of frostiness, it’s fun to serve your jellied soups in crystal bowls surrounded by lots of crushed ice.



Chocolate Sundae Cups


The idea for this good party dessert came from Mrs. Glenn Lesan of Mount Ayr, Iowa. To make chocolate cups, melt one 6-ounce package of semisweet chocolate pieces and 3 tablespoons of butter in the top of a double boiler over hot water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir until of a good spreading consistency. Swirl the chocolate mixture on the inside of paper baking cups. Place the chocolate-lined cups in cold muffin tins and chill. To serve, remove paper and fill with your favorite flavor of ice cream. Makes 6 sundae cups.



Orange Sherbet Punch


Try this creamy cold punch on a hot afternoon and see how truly refreshing it is. If you don’t have a punch bowl, serve the punch in a soup tureen, one of your pretty mixing bowls, or even a large flower bowl.

Combine 3 cups of canned grapefruit juice and 1/4 cup of lemon juice in the bowl. Add 1 quart of orange sherbet by scoopfuls. Then pour 2 quarts of ginger ale over the juices and sherbet. Stir lightly and serve. Makes 4 quarts.



Banana-Marshmallow Cream


Use your prettiest mold for this luscious, rich refrigerator dessert. Melt 1/2 pound of marshmallows in 1/2 cup of light cream over boiling water. Stir occasionally until smooth. Combine 1/2 cup of chopped nut meats, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of grated lemon rind, and 1 cup of finely diced bananas (2 small bananas). Add to the marshmallow mixture and cool. Beat 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream until stiff. Fold into the cooled banana mixture. Pour into a 1 1/2-quart greased mold and chill until firm. Makes 8 servings.


Marvelous Salmon Salad


Drain a 1-pound can of salmon, saving the liquid. Remove skin and bones. Soften 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup of cold water. Add enough water to salmon liquid to make 3/4 cup of liquid, and add to salmon. Bring to a boil and add softened gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Combine with 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons of pickle relish, 1/2 cup of chopped cucumber, 3/4 cup of chopped celery, 2 tablespoons of chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Fill a 1-quart mold. Chill until firm. Serves 8.


Frosted Honeydew Salad


This one is impressive enough for a party, and takes only minutes to prepare. Pare a honeydew melon, cut a slice from one end, and remove seeds. Dissolve 1 package of raspberry gelatin in 1 1/2 cups of hot water. Chill until partly thick; then mix with 2 cups of raspberries. Fill melon and chill until firm. Whip an 8-ounce package of cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of cream until fluffy. Frost outside of melon. Slice and serve.


Tomato Aspic Mold


This pretty salad is made from a new product, canned tomato aspic, that holds its shape at room temperature (a big help during warm weather). The aspic can be served right from the can, or it can be melted down and combined with other seasonings or foods — hard-cooked eggs, chicken, tuna, celery — and then regelled in just a few minutes into any shape mold.

We’ve arranged halves of hard-cooked eggs in the bottom of an oiled star-shaped mold, then poured the melted aspic over the eggs, and allowed the aspic to become firm.



Soda Fountain Fare


To make “Tahiti Turnbuckle,” mash half a banana and a scoop of vanilla ice cream together in a tall glass. Stir in 1/3 cup of pineapple juice. Add 2 more scoops of ice cream, then fill with ginger ale.

To make “Cocajav,” mash a scoop of chocolate ice cream in 1/2 cup of strong coffee. Add another scoop of ice cream, then fill with cola.

To make “Green Destroyer,” bruise mint in glass. Add 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Fill with lemon-lime carbonated beverage.



Dutch Potato Salad and Cold Cuts


A perfect combination for the Fourth of July: To make salad, cut 2 pounds of potatoes, cooked and drained, into cubes. Fry1/2 pound of diced bacon until brown. Add 2 medium onions, sliced, and 1/4 cup of chopped green pepper, and fry until onions are golden. Combine 1/4 cup each of vinegar and water, 1 tablespoon each of flour and sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon each of celery seed and caraway seed, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Add to bacon mixture and cook until thickened. Pour over potatoes and mix lightly. Serves 6.


Tropical Freeze


This is one of the most delightful frozen desserts we’ve ever published, and it can be made in just a matter of minutes. Combine 3/4 cup of orange juice, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, 1 teaspoon of grated orange rind, and 1 cup of sugar. Whip 1 cup of whipping cream until stiff. Fold juice mixture into whipped cream. Pour into a freezer tray and freeze, stirring once when half frozen. Serve in sherbet dishes, garnished with sliced orange. Makes 1 quart.


Cartoons: Employee Appreciation

The first Friday of every March is Employee Appreciation Day. The Post would like to show its love for all employees out there today! Here are some cartoons featuring employees in odd situations.


“Better take this up first, Harry — looks like we’re getting low on vanilla ice cream again.”
Tom Henderson
March 23, 1946



“A man from Detroit gave the doctor the idea.”
Colin Allen
January 20, 1945



“Are you interested in our regular or deluxe edition?”
March 30, 1946



“Hey, you guys, hurry up with that net.”
Bill King
March 23, 1946



“He started it!”
Colin Allen
July 28, 1945


News of the Week: New Apple Products, Noir Alley, and National Black Cow Day

Here’s the HomePod

This week Apple unveiled their new tech toys in front of a crowd of screaming fans. I don’t know if they announced anything that will blow away the casual user of Apple products, but they made some interesting updates and announcements that will please regular users, including new additions to their line of desktops and laptops, iOS 11, a bigger iPad, and their product to compete with Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, the HomePod. All that stuff is fun and much needed and I’m sure I’ll be buying one of the new laptops and an iPad at some point. I don’t know if it will be before they announced their next new lineup of new things, but I’ll be buying them.

They also announced a lot of things that only developers or hardcore pro users will care about, including a new SDK called MusicKit and a new iMac Pro that has 8-, 10-, or 18-core Xeon processors, dual FMAs, 2x wider AVX instructions, and 22 teraflops. If you know what any of that means, you’re either a computer expert or a robot from the future.

I think teraflop refers to the new Baywatch movie.

Noir Alley


Have you been watching Turner Classic Movies’ new weekly show,Noir Alley? It’s been on for a couple of months and it has quickly become one of my favorite shows. TCM often airs film noir, but it’s good to have a weekly show where we’re guaranteed to see two hours of dolls, fedoras, guns, and shadowy city streets.

The show is hosted by film noir expert and Film Noir Foundation founder Eddie Muller. He introduces each movie with behind-the-scenes info and trivia and often has a guest, too. (Last weekend, he had Robert Mitchum’s son Chris on to talk about Out of the Past.) This week’s movie is Phantom Lady from 1944, starring Franchot Tone and Ella Raines, about a secretary who tries to prove her boss didn’t kill his wife.

Noir Alley airs every Sunday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Grab a cup of Joe and plant yourself in front of the tube, pal.

RIP Jimmy Piersall, Bill Walsh, Roger Smith, Elena Verdugo, Peter Sallis, and Wendell Burton

I never saw Boston Red Sox outfielder Jimmy Piersall play, but I feel like I did because the movie Fear Strikes Out made such an impression on me. It starred Anthony Perkins as Piersall and depicted his battles with mental illness and pressure from his father. He was a good ball player too. Piersall died Saturday at the age of 87.

Bill Walsh was copy editor at The Washington Post for 20 years and probably best known for three fantastic books on grammar and usage, Lapsing Into a Comma, The Elephants of Style, and Yes, I Could Care Less. If you write or you’re just a grammar geek, they’re must-reads. I didn’t realize that Walsh died back in March but I wanted to mention it. He was 55.

Roger Smith was an actor, writer, and producer who starred on 77 Sunset Strip, Mister Roberts, and many other shows and movies. He was also married to Ann-Margret. He passed away Sunday at the age of 84.

Elena Verdugo received an Emmy nomination for her role as Nurse Consuelo Lopez on Marcus Welby, M.D. She also appeared on radio and TV in Meet Millie and appeared in movies like House of Frankenstein and Little Giant. She died last week at the age of 92.

Peter Sallis was an actor who provided the voice of Wallace in the Wallace and Gromit movies and appeared in the long-running British sitcom Last of the Summer Wine. He died last Friday at the age of 96.

Actor Wendell Burton appeared with Liza Minnelli in The Sterile Cuckoo and played Charlie Brown in the 1973 live-action TV movie You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He died last week at the age of 69.

In happier obit news, if there is such a thing, a new documentary premiered on HBO this week, If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast. It’s about people who are in their 90s but continue to work, including Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, Betty White, Norman Lear, Mel Brooks, Tony Bennett, and others. Jerry Seinfeld isn’t over 90 yet but he’s in it, too.

The title comes from Reiner, who says that every morning he reads the obituary section of the newspaper. If he’s not in it, he has breakfast. Here’s the trailer:

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Hey Moe

George Clooney and his wife Amal welcomed twins this week. They named the boy Alexander and the girl Ella. I think we can all agree that whatever else happens to the kids, they are going to be two freakishly good-looking human beings.

Those are fairly basic names, right? Unlike other celebrity couples, they didn’t name the kids North (Kanye West and Kim Kardashian), Apple (Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin), or Blanket (Michael Jackson). But there are other rather interesting names that aren’t being used by anyone. This new list from Nameberry shows the names that nobody got in the entire year of 2016. The list includes Bluebell, Jericho, Moe, Frostine, Kermit, Osgood, Fenno, Lucasta, Falconer, and Land. Nobody is using Humphrey either. It’s funny how that name was (and still is) associated with one of the coolest actors in the world but just isn’t popular any longer.

I’d love to see more Moes. A couple could make a plan with other couples to name their kids Moe, Larry, and Curly. Maybe throw in a Shemp too. They could all hang out with each other and get into trouble and have pie fights.

Who Will Replace Scott Pelley?

You’ve probably heard that CBS made the decision to replace Scott Pelley on The CBS Evening News. They announced it while he was on assignment overseas, and it took many by surprise. But Pelley is back on the show this week. His last airdate will be June 16, when Anthony Mason will take over as temporary host until the network chooses a replacement. Pelley will continue his work as a correspondent, now full-time, on 60 Minutes.

So who will replace him? It wasn’t Pelley’s fault that his show was in third place. The show has been in third place for many years. There’s a common wisdom that with cable news and the internet, people don’t watch the nightly network news shows anymore. I still do. I’d rather watch a daily summary of the news than the crazy, exhausting, pundit-filled coverage you get on cable. And 6 to 8 million other people agree with me every night, so the shows are still important.

I loved when Bob Schiffer did the show, but that’s not going to happen again, and it won’t be Anderson Cooper or Katie Couric again either. Charlie Rose? He fills in sometimes, but he has two other shows to do. Could Anthony Mason take over permanently, or will weekend anchor Elaine Quijano take over? We’ll find out in the next couple of months.

This Week in History

D-Day (June 6, 1944)

Here’s Post Archive Director Jeff Nilsson on what happened that day in Normandy, France, and why it was the century’s best-kept secret.

Dean Martin Born (June 7, 1917)

This would have been Dino’s 100th birthday. He was a great singer, able to bring a casual charm to everything he sang. Since today is Cole Porter’s birthday, here’s Martin singing one of Porter’s songs, “True Love”:

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Watering Father (June 4, 1955)

Son waters father, asleep on lawn, with sprinkling can
Watering Father
Richard Sargent
June 4, 1955

It’s been unseasonably cool so far this June, mostly in the 60s, with the past couple of days being even cooler and rainy. I don’t want that to stop, but I know the horrible, uncomfortable heat and humidity is just days away. Like the guy in this cover by Richard Sargent, I’d want to be regularly watered by someone on days like that. But you’ll never find me sitting out on the lawn with the sun broiling me, so I’ll never need someone to do that anyway.

​National Black Cow Day

There are several soda fountain “cow” drinks. There’s a Brown Cow, which is made with cola, and a White Cow, which is made with vanilla ice cream and vanilla syrup. But tomorrow is National Black Cow Day, so let’s concentrate on that.

Here’s how you make it, from Drink Studio. It’s basically a root beer float (vanilla ice cream, root beer, whipped cream if you want) only with the addition of chocolate syrup.

By the way, I haven’t been to a soda fountain in almost 40 years but I’d love to visit one again. Country Living has a great list of some classic places.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

French Open Finals (June 10 and 11)​

The women’s final is tomorrow at 9 a.m. Eastern on NBC, while the men’s final is on Sunday at the same time and place.

Flag Day (June 14)​

Jeff Nilsson has a great feature on Flag Day and why our flag is more than just a flag.

Ina Garten’s Tri-Berry Crumbles

“There’s something wonderful about having your own dessert, so I made these crumbles in the small dishes that I usually use for crèmes brûlées. It’s the perfect combination of warm, juicy berries and crunchy oatmeal topping,” says world-class chef Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa), whose make-ahead recipes and tips are featured in our May/June 2015 issue.

berry crumble desserts in creme brulee dishes on oven sheet
Ina Garten’s Tri-Berry Crumbles (Photo by Quentin Bacon)

Tri-Berry Crumbles

(Makes 6 servings)


2 cups fresh blueberries (12 ounces)
2½ cups fresh raspberries (18 ounces)
2 cups fresh strawberries, halved, or quartered if large
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice for the crumble
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup old-fashioned oats, such as Quaker
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
Vanilla ice cream, for serving


Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 6 crème brûlée dishes on sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

In large bowl, toss together blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, ½ cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

Divide mixture evenly among crème brûlée dishes, including any juices that collect.

For crumble, combine flour, ¾ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter and mix it on low speed until mixture is crumbly. Pinch it with your fingers until it makes large crumbles and distribute it on berries (it will not cover them entirely).

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until juices are bubbly and topping is browned. Serve warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Make It Ahead

Assemble the crumbles, refrigerate for up to 4 hours, and bake before serving.

Nutritional Info

Per Serving (with ¼ cup vanilla ice cream)

Recipe reprinted from Make It Ahead by Ina Garten. Copyright ©2014 by Ina Garten. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

It’s My Birthday!

This magazine will land on your doorstep sometime in early January, which should give you ample time to get me a present for my 54th birthday on February 5. Often, as people age, they tell their family and friends not to bother with their birthday, that gifts aren’t necessary, that they shouldn’t make a fuss. I’m not one of those people. I love being fussed over and given gifts. In fact, I’ve set aside the entire day so people will have ample opportunity to do nice things for me. Since you asked, let me suggest a few of the things you could do to improve my special day.

I wake up each morning around 5. That isn’t my preference, but our dog stands at our bedroom door and whines to be taken outside to pee. For some reason, that job has fallen to me. If you’re having a hard time thinking of what to get me, you can come take our dog out at 4:55 a.m., before it has scratched on our bedroom door. We don’t lock our house, so come in the back door, whistle for the dog — very quietly so as not to waken me — and walk it up to the empty lot.

If it’s raining, you’ll have to bring your own umbrella, since I left mine on an airplane. It was made in England, and I’d had it nearly 25 years. When you come to let our dog out, you can bring me a new umbrella. Not one of those cheap ones you get at CVS or Walmart, but a nice one, a gentleman’s walking umbrella, made in England by James Ince & Sons Ltd., maker of fine umbrellas since 1805. I won’t lie to you; they’re not cheap. It’ll set you back a couple of hundred dollars, but I think our friendship is worth it, don’t you? If you order it today, it should get here in plenty of time for my birthday. Even if it’s a day or two late, I understand and won’t hold it against you.

If dogs and umbrellas aren’t your thing, I’ve been needing my garage cleaned for some time. It has dirty slush on the floor, mixed in with sawdust left over from a summer project. When our younger son moved out last year, he left a lot of stuff behind in the garage and no longer seems interested in it. It depresses me to look at it; so if you could haul it away, I’d be grateful. There are some half-empty paint cans out there, dried into solid chunks. You can take those away, too. If some of the paint is still good, maybe you could touch up the house, as long as you’re here.

About 10 years ago, I bought two nice bikes for my wife and me. They’re out in the garage too. We haven’t ridden them in five years, so the tires are flat and they’re covered with dust. I don’t like admitting it, but we’ll never ride them again. Getting rid of them feels like an admission of failure, a recognition that we’re fat, lazy, and stupid, and not likely to change; so there they sit, taking up valuable space. If, for my birthday, you want to buy them from me for $200 apiece, that would be a nice present.

Since my birthday is in mid-winter, gifts of firewood are always welcome. My supply is running thin by February, since I start burning wood early, usually the first cold night in early October. Five ricks of wood for my birthday would see me through to spring. Don’t be cheap about it, or try to pawn off four ricks as five, like a typical sneaky firewood seller. A rick of wood should measure 8 feet long, 4 feet high, and roughly 16 inches wide. I’ll be measuring it, so don’t try to cheat me on my birthday.

By early February, I’m getting tired of Indiana’s cold and snow, so if any of you have a place in the Caribbean and want to let me borrow it for the month of February, that would be especially considerate. I would prefer it came with a maid. There’s nothing worse than having to do your own laundry the month of your birthday.

Now let’s talk about cake. I have diabetes, so my wife isn’t likely to bake me one. I like chocolate cake with chocolate icing, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. I don’t need an entire cake, just one smallish, diabetes-friendly piece. You can give the rest of it to someone else or eat it yourself. That will be my gift to you, which I hope helps you appreciate how doing something nice for my birthday helps both of us.