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.

10 of the Most Popular Portable Bluetooth Speakers on Amazon

Altech/Bose/JBL/Amazon
Altech/Bose/JBL/Amazon

As convenient as smartphones and tablets are, they don’t necessarily offer the best sound quality. But a well-built portable speaker can fill that need. And whether you’re looking for a speaker to use in the shower or a device to take on a long camping trip, these bestselling models from Amazon have you covered.

1. OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speaker; $26-$30 (4.4 stars)

Oontz portable bluetooth speaker
Cambridge Soundworks/Amazon

Of the 57,000-plus reviews that users have left for this speaker on Amazon, 72 percent of them are five stars. So it should come as no surprise that this is currently the best-selling portable Bluetooth speaker on the site. It comes in eight different colors and can play for up to 14 hours straight after a full charge. Plus, it’s splash proof, making it a perfect speaker for the shower, beach, or pool.

Buy it: Amazon

2. JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker; $110 (4.6 stars)

JBL portable bluetooth speaker
JBL/Amazon

This nifty speaker can connect with up to three devices at one time, so you and your friends can take turns sharing your favorite music. Its built-in battery can play music for up to 20 hours, and it can even charge smartphones and tablets via USB.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker; $25-$28 (4.6 stars)

Anker portable bluetooth speaker
Anker/Amazon

This speaker boasts 24-hour battery life and a strong Bluetooth connection within a 66-foot radius. It also comes with a built-in microphone so you can easily take calls over speakerphone.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker; $129 (4.4 stars)

Bose portable bluetooth speaker
Bose/Amazon

Bose is well-known for building user-friendly products that offer excellent sound quality. This portable speaker lets you connect to the Bose app, which makes it easier to switch between devices and personalize your settings. It’s also water-resistant, making it durable enough to handle a day at the pool or beach.

Buy it: Amazon

5. DOSS Soundbox Touch Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker; $28-$33 (4.4 stars)

DOSS portable bluetooth speaker
DOSS/Amazon

This portable speaker features an elegant system of touch controls that lets you easily switch between three methods of playing audio—Bluetooth, Micro SD, or auxiliary input. It can play for up to 20 hours after a full charge.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Altec Lansing Mini Wireless Bluetooth Speaker; $15-$20 (4.3 stars)

Altec Lansing portable bluetooth speaker
Altec Lansing/Amazon

This lightweight speaker is built for the outdoors. With its certified IP67 rating—meaning that it’s fully waterproof, shockproof, and dust proof—it’s durable enough to withstand harsh environments. Plus, it comes with a carabiner that can attach to a backpack or belt loop.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth Speaker; $33-$38 (4.6 stars)

Tribit portable bluetooth speaker
Tribit/Amazon

Tribit’s portable Bluetooth speaker weighs less than a pound and is fully waterproof and resistant to scratches and drops. It also comes with a tear-resistant strap for easy transportation, and the rechargeable battery can handle up to 24 hours of continuous use after a full charge. In 2020, it was Wirecutter's pick as the best budget portable Bluetooth speaker on the market.

Buy it: Amazon

8. VicTsing SoundHot C6 Portable Bluetooth Speaker; $18 (4.3 stars)

VicTsing portable bluetooth speaker
VicTsing/Amazon

The SoundHot portable Bluetooth speaker is designed for convenience wherever you go. It comes with a detachable suction cup and a carabiner so you can keep it secure while you’re showering, kayaking, or hiking, to name just a few.

Buy it: Amazon

9. AOMAIS Sport II Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker; $30 (4.4 stars)

AOMAIS portable bluetooth speaker
AOMAIS/Amazon

This portable speaker is certified to handle deep waters and harsh weather, making it perfect for your next big adventure. It can play for up to 15 hours on a full charge and offers a stable Bluetooth connection within a 100-foot radius.

Buy it: Amazon

10. XLEADER SoundAngel Touch Bluetooth Speaker; $19-$23 (4.4 stars)

XLeader portable bluetooth speaker
XLEADER/Amazon

This stylish device is available in black, silver, gold, and rose gold. Plus, it’s equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, a more powerful technology that can pair with devices up to 800 feet away. The SoundAngel speaker itself isn’t water-resistant, but it comes with a waterproof case for protection in less-than-ideal conditions.

Buy it: Amazon

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Why Are Decaf Coffee Pots Orange?

If you're looking for a caffeine fix, you know that orange pot isn't going to help.
If you're looking for a caffeine fix, you know that orange pot isn't going to help.
RonBailey/iStock via Getty Images

The orange spout and handle on a decaf coffee pot have saved many caffeine lovers from having a terrible morning. Like the orange on a traffic cone, the color has become a signal both to the people who drink coffee and the servers who pour it. But the shade wasn't merely chosen for its eye-catching qualities; orange is a piece of branding left over from the original purveyors of decaf java.

According to The Cubiclist, decaffeinated coffee first arrived in America via the German company Sanka. Sanka (a portmanteau of the words sans and caffeine) sold its coffee in stores in glass jars with orange labels. The bright packaging was the company's calling card, and because it was the first decaffeinated coffee brand to hit the market, consumers started looking for the color when shopping for decaf.

In 1932, General Foods, which has since merged with Kraft, purchased Sanka and got to work promoting it. To spread the word about decaf coffee, the company sent orange Sanka coffee pots to coffee shops and restaurants around the country. Even if the waitstaff wasn't used to serving two types of coffee, the distinct color of the pot made it easy to distinguish decaf from regular.

The plan was such a success that orange eventually became synonymous not just with Sanka, but all decaf coffee. Other coffeemakers began offering decaffeinated alternatives, and when marketing their products, they chose the color Sanka had already made popular.

The reason for the orange coffee pot is just one of decaf's not-so-mysterious mysteries. Here's some of the science behind how exactly coffee makers get the caffeine out of the beans.

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