Unfortunate Kids Try Weird Vintage Recipes

Many decades ago, families gathered and both adults and kids enjoyed some really odd meals. Thanks to increased knowledge on eating healthy, we now recognize that maybe the main ingredients in our meals shouldn’t always be Wonder Bread, Jell-O, or meat that comes from a can. However, I wanted to a couple of cute kids try weird vintage recipes to see if these odd creations would still appeal to some of the world’s pickiest eaters.

Here are the kids who were lucky enough to be chosen to participate. I hoped there would still big smiles after I made these kids try weird vintage recipes.

Egg Creams

An egg cream is a beverage that originates from around the 1890s. Despite the name, it doesn't actually contain egg or cream. It is made with flavored syrup, whole milk, and seltzer water. I used chocolate and strawberry sauces. Out of the three dishes I was having these poor kids try, I figured it would be their favorite since all of them say they love chocolate and strawberry milk. Egg creams are basically chocolate or strawberry (or whatever flavor you find a syrup for) milk with a bit of carbonation.

Strawberry Egg Cream Reviews 

The general consensus was that the strawberry egg cream was just okay. One of the kids described it as “watered down strawberry milk.” A couple of them described it as “sour water.” However, they all thought it was better after a second taste.

Chocolate Egg Cream Reviews 

The kids liked the chocolate egg cream a lot more. After each of them had tasted it, the kiddo pictured above asked if she could “have a little bit more of that.” All of them said they could taste the chocolate a lot more in this one, but I think it’s likely that I put a greater amount of chocolate syrup in the chocolate egg cream than strawberry syrup in the strawberry egg cream and that’s why they liked the flavor more.

Some of the kids liked the egg creams more than the others, but when they were all done tasting, each of them grabbed the bottles of ingredients and started doctoring their own. I think this is one vintage recipe that these kids may actually make themselves in the future.

Igloo Meatloaf

This recipe for igloo meatloaf comes from the January 1967 issue of Family Circle. It seems like a fairly normal meatloaf recipe until you get to the instant mashed potato frosting and cheddar cheese slices on top. After you add some lines, the instant mashed potatoes are meant to make the meatloaf look like an igloo, but I’m not entirely sure what the cheddar cheese slices are for. They added some flavor, but as a far as I know, igloos don’t have melted orange blobs on top of them.

The kids hated the smell of this one. When it was put in front of him, one of them moaned and said, “It smells like sulfur.” Personally, I didn’t pick up any hints of sulfur, but it did smell very strongly of onion. Another kid shrugged after the first bite until she really started to taste it and said, “Okay, that’s actually kind of bad.” That was about the most negative review though. Three out of the five kids said that they actually liked it.

I wasn’t too surprised by this. Meatloaf is actually pretty good despite what some credible shows like Johnny Test would have you believe. The kids, for the most part, didn’t mind this 1967 creation.

Seven-Layer Sandwich Cake

I felt really bad for making this recipe. It comes from the May/June 1969 issue of Bon Appétit and it was a monster to make. It is made out of 21 pieces of white bread, 15 of which are buttered on both sides, tuna, chicken, pecans, mayonnaise, ketchup, spices, and something called “deviled ham” which was pink and weirdly tasted kind of like tuna. The whole thing is assembled and then “frosted” with a whipped up mixture of cream cheese and sour cream. With so many wholesome ingredients, it’s hard to see how this isn’t a popular dish these days. It took me about two hours to finish assembling.

Funny side note: I was telling my grandma about how terrifying I thought this cake sounded and how bad I felt for making kids eat it. She laughed and told me that her mom had made her a sandwich cake for her bridal shower and she had loved it. She even found her mother’s recipe for it to show me. She added later that her mother’s cake had looked a lot prettier than mine did. Thanks, Nana.

The reactions to this cake were pretty surprising. Two of the kids hated it, which wasn’t very surprising. One of those two even ended up spitting it out and running to the sink to rinse his mouth. Another kid thought it was pretty good, but didn’t want a second bite. Shockingly, two of them loved it. They almost finished their slices and wanted to take the leftover cake home when we were all done.

I really underestimated this recipe. I thought all of the kids would refuse to even try it. Admittedly, I did have to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with one of them (A.K.A. I bribed him with cold hard cash), so he would give it just a taste. Two out of the five loved it though. It must have been the deviled ham that won them over.

The Takeaway

I expected these weird vintage recipes to flop, but each one was a success with at least a few kids of the kids. Once I finished having the kids try weird vintage recipes, they were asked to point to their favorite. Two voted for the egg creams (one for strawberry and one for chocolate), one voted for the igloo meatloaf, and two voted for the seven-layer sandwich cake.

I can see why these aren’t recipes used regularly now, but maybe they can be revived just a little. They got some surprisingly positive reviews from the pickiest people I know and I wouldn’t be surprised if the kids try weird vintage recipes on their own in the future.