Morbid Curiosity

Morbid Curiosity: Melty Wonders

One would think that finding an appropriate Halloween-themed recipe in a vast collection of old cookbooks would be easy. But you’d be wrong. Judging by the cookbooks, I’ve come to believe that the only themes that were allowed for costume parties in mid-century North America were “Boredom” and “Blatant Racism.” 

There is already so much cultural appropriation and casual racism attached to Halloween, so I’m avoiding the offensive theme-party suggestions. Instead, I made a snack from what has to be the dullest Teen Halloween party the world has ever seen. Hey kids! Want to impress your friends? Why not serve them a slimy, baked Spam and cheese mixture in a bun! Your popularity is sure to soar!

Melty Wonders. Buns containing processed meat and cheese, wrapped in aluminum foil for baking.
Ready to go into the oven!

I suppose they couldn’t get too complicated, since it is a cookbook geared to young teens, but these buns have exactly nothing to do with Halloween. Couldn’t they have been given a spooky name like Haunted Abattoirs? Come on! Use your imagination and put some ketchup gore on those suckers!

While strange foods might have ruled the average mealtime, the spooky fare we have at Halloween parties today wasn’t as popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Thank goodness we now can now enjoy a refreshing shrunken head cider, or a slice of kitty litter cake.

Melty Wonders. Buns containing processed meat and cheese, unwrapped from their aluminum foil.
Apparently it's some sort of treat for the kids to be able to unwrap these things?

Melty Wonders
2 cups canned pork luncheon meat, cubed
2 cups cooked ham, cubed
1 cup processed cheese, cubed
¼ cup salad dressing
1 tbsp. pickle relish
1 tsp. prepared mustard
8 wiener buns

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare buns by slicing in half and removing center section. (Save these pieces for Mom to use for bread crumbs!)
  3. Cut pieces of aluminum foil.
  4. Cube the meat and cheese. Place in a bowl.
  5. To this add salad dressing, pickle relish, and mustard. Toss together using a fork.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the buns, dividing it evenly.
  7. Wrap each bun in foil.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese melts. Serve on plates, letting each person unwrap his own.

The recipe featured in this post is from Co-op Food Fun: The step by step cook book for boys and girls. Published by Federated Co-operatives Ltd. in 1963.

By Jen R. L. Disarray

Jen was once described as a "culinary anthropologist". She liked that. When she is not making questionable foods, Jen enjoys reading, sassing, and lurking all over the internet. Jen has a blog called Maybe We Shouldn't Be Eating This, and she is a contributor to the Geekquality podcast and blog.

13 replies on “Morbid Curiosity: Melty Wonders”

I just found out my wonderful, sweet, kind, supportive, and not racist grandparents dressed up in blackface for a costume party in the 50s. They won. That’s all I have to share tonight. I ate too much candy corn and went for a run and now I want to puke my guts out.

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