9 Vintage Thanksgiving Side Dishes We Shouldn’t Bring Back

H. Armstrong Roberts/iStock via Getty Images
H. Armstrong Roberts/iStock via Getty Images

We all have that relative—the one who’s been bringing Miracle-Whip-bound pimiento-pea salad to Thanksgiving dinner since time immemorial. Although you may swear the recipe came straight from the devil, it turns out that lime Jell-O salads and their ilk were all the rage back in the day. Here are some more examples of vintage Thanksgiving recipes that should stay firmly in the past.

1. Cranberry-Mayo-Jell-O Candle Salad

Nothing complements the tart, refreshing flavor of cranberry sauce like gelatin mixed with salty, sulfurous mayo. This recipe also tells you to mold the mixture into cylinders, "garnish with real mayonnaise," and shove a real candle in there. Then, light it. Ostensibly, you’re supposed to eat around the melted wax, but we can’t be sure—maybe it’s considered a condiment.

2. Pork Cake

For bakers who are fresh out of eggs and butter on Thanksgiving morning, pork cake is just the ticket. Appearing in the November 1922 issue of Citrus Leaves, a magazine published by Mutual Orange Distributors of Redlands, California, the recipe calls for one cup each of brown sugar, molasses, ground lean salt pork, buttermilk, and raisins, plus flour, baking soda, and a bouquet of spices. Unfortunately, there are no directions for making the cake, but we can guess that it turns out pretty close to SPAM.

3. Creamed Onions

This once-popular Thanksgiving mainstay has been been shoved aside on Thanksgiving plates by sweet potatoes and other veggies. In some households, the idea was to pour creamed onions over the turkey, like gravy, to add a little moisture. This vintage recipe—calling for cream, cheddar cheese, and butter in addition to tiny onions—is definitely not what the cardiologist ordered.

4. Turkey Salad in a Festive Ring of Jell-O

This mid-century Jell-O ad suggests serving leftover Thanksgiving turkey not as a sandwich, but surrounded by a moat of wiggling cranberry gelatin. Surprisingly, this trend did not catch on.

5. Suet Pudding

England, a country that does not celebrate Thanksgiving, has nonetheless given Americans a tradition of savory puddings to be served at the celebratory meal. Suet pudding—yes, the titular ingredient is solid beef fat—was evidently popular at early 20th-century tables. This 1910 recipe published in The Delineator magazine calls for flour, spices, milk, and finely chopped suet, which should be blended and packed into a buttered mold for at least three hours before serving.

6. Giblet Gravy

Giblets is the charming euphemism for the edible offal of poultry: heart, gizzard, liver, and so on. But just because you can eat it doesn't mean you should [PDF]. If you choose not to stir up a gravy made with giblets, lard, and turkey neck, at least remember to take them out of the Thanksgiving bird before roasting it.

7. Hot Dr. Pepper

You gotta give the good folks at Dr. Pepper a few points for trying. In the 1960s, Dr. Pepper executives came up with a solution for slumping sales during colder months: hot soda. Served with a thin slice of lemon, the beverage resembled a non-alcoholic hot toddy-slash-cough syrup. According to this vintage ad, it's "deliciously different."

8. Jellied Turkey-Vegetable Salad

A mid-century salad that manages to contain no fresh produce, this frozen Frankenfood blends cooked turkey and frozen mixed vegetables with gelatin, condensed soup, and "salad dressing"—which, in mid-20th century recipes, meant Miracle Whip. There’s only one way to improve on this dish: serve it ice-cold.

9. Deviled Ham Stuffing

A 1912 Underwood Deviled Ham ad featured a recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing with its signature product. Along with the bread crumbs, celery, apples, and walnuts, cooks were told to add the "bewitching, insinuating" canned meat to make enough stuffing to fill a large turkey.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

McBroken: This Website Saves You a Trip to McDonald's By Telling You If Their Ice Cream Machine Is Down

McDonald's ice cream remains an elusive treat.
McDonald's ice cream remains an elusive treat.
Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Fast food is about indulgence, and there are few menu items that promote cravings more than the soft-serve ice cream cones and McFlurry treats at McDonald’s. These pseudo-dairy desserts have an ardent fan base despite the fact that the machines dispensing them are frequently out of service for maintenance or cleaning.

Now, a new website can inform customers when a McDonald’s ice cream machine may be down. It’s called McBroken, and The Verge reports it was created by 24-year-old software engineer Rashiq Zahid. The site maintains a map that displays in real time which restaurants are able to offer ice cream and which aren't.

How does Zahid gather this information? A program attempts to place a McSundae order at every McDonald’s location in the United States via their app. If it’s added to his cart, the location gets a green dot and is prepared to dispense ice cream. If not, a red dot indicates there will be no ice cream forthcoming.

McBroken also keeps a running tally of the percentage of all restaurants without a working machine. At last glance, it was at 10.93 percent.

According to The Verge, Zahid was inspired to create McBroken after failing to retrieve a McSundae while in Berlin, Germany, over the summer. His program, or bot, originally attempted to order a McSundae every minute, but the McDonald’s app declared the activity suspicious. Now, he has set it to attempt an order every 30 minutes. The system works, Zahid said, because he verified the results against locations he visited in Berlin in person.