Frosted Ribbon Loaf // Eleanor Paige

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Well…This is the first blog post I think that I have ever written, and to be honest I am a little nervous. Firstly because the only time I ever write anything remotely interesting is to invite work colleagues to work potlucks, and second my subject matter is a bit terrifying. When I first pitched this Idea I thought it would be fun and ya’ know kinda cute….then the reality set in that I actually have to make it AND eat it. The Idea I pitched? Recreate a horrible recipe from the 1950’s. Well horrible they are, I am seriously impressed with the iron stomachs of those before me. Creamed chicken Jell-o salad, Wagon Wheel Pie, tuna Jell-o surprise, UGH! I do love to cook and this seamed challenging and fun.  I was excited but not exactly looking forward to this, and thus the hunt for an “edible” recipe began.

            As I scrolled through the endless Pinterest recipe horrors I occasionally would stop and take a gander at something that looked remotely appetizing (bananas and hollandaise sauce anyone?). I began realized the challenge was not eating whatever I make but FINDING the ingredients and actually cooking these perfectly lovely monstrosities with more modern technology. I do wish I had a perfect 1950’s pink kitchen a la Dita Von Teese, but alas I do not; maybe this stuff would look more appetizing if I did ( a girl can dream right?). Finally after scrounging through the interwebs for something not too “tame” I found it! Frosted Ribbon Loaf, while this does sound rather delicate the components of it are not, i.e. horse radish and pickle relish. 
 The ingredients seemed simple enough to find on my first ever “retro” food stuffs hunt and luckily I had a few already in the fridge, and it seemed just gross enough to start off my first ever vintage food challenge without tossing my cookies.  Off to the store I went Frosted Ribbon Loaf recipe in hand, and uneasy stomach in tow.
Now I didn’t expect this to be easy per say but I did not think I was going to have such a difficult time finding some of these ingredients. The hardest? Unsliced bread, there is a reason there is the whole saying “coolest thing since sliced bread”. Fun fact! Did you know that sliced bread was briefly banned in 1943? Anyways… I scoured the bakery section, the bread isle and everything in-between. The only unsliced options were to bake my own or go with a lovely round loaf of sourdough. After consulting with a very nice and confused grocery clerk this was all I was going to find…so Sourdough it is! 

Next ground ham…again no luck. There was no ground ham besides sausage and I was not going to grind up ham at home (I am lazy) so I went with the slightly more healthy option of ground turkey (cheating I know) but if I have to eat it I wanted to at least be slightly less unhealthy. The other slew of ingredients were not difficult to track down (relish, horseradish, green olives oh my!). I grabbed a cheap bottle of wine for good measure and off home I went to recreate this culinary marvel.

Once home the first thing I did was give the round sourdough loaf a once over, I needed to make this thing look relatively rectangular and there was the added pressure that I had only bought one. Luckily I only needed the one. I shaved off the sides with a bread, buttered it up as the recipe called for and called it good. See my buttery carving below. I did go out of order but this was the simplest task. This took me maybe 5 minutes!

Second I cooked up my ground Turkey, I did not feel that that was necessary to photograph but it went smoothly. Now, the recipe has two layers of fillings, hence why I had to slice the loaf into three pieces.  The first luscious layer is the ham layer err turkey. I chopped up the minimal fresh and pickled goodies and sat them down in a bowl together.


This is what they look like not mixed, and all together cozy and mixed. Gorgeous.


This maybe took another 3-5 minutes, so far this recipe was going a lot faster and smoother than I thought it would. Most of these ingredients would have required zero cooking if it hadn’t been for my inability to find ground ham. The only item that would have required cooking was the eggs. This was an impressive dish for how quick it was! Also…I hate to admit it but it didn’t taste terrible, a little tart but not bad. Next layer…the eggs…deep breathe. 

See the before and after mixing, this took about 2 minutes. This one was actually not terrible taste wise. It was kind of similar to the base of a potato salad and I actually was starting to wonder if this thing was actually going to be as terrible as I imagined. It did feel like a LOT of mayonnaise and if you don’t like stuffed green olives you may be out of luck. Now for the disclaimer: I don’t consider myself a cook, I’ve been told I can cook well, but I don’t consider myself skilled in the culinary arts whatsoever. That being said, there are probably substitutes that you could make to this that would be a little less pickled and bitter. Now that these two beautiful layers were mixed together, I could get to the good part! I was actually getting excited to layer this bad boy.  

Check out that spreading and layering!
Easy 5 minute task.
            At this point I was actually kind of sad that this was such an easy recipe! I was actually getting kind of attached to this little loaf, It was just a misunderstood meat and egg sandwich. Now the part I was most looking forward too…FROSTING. I love cream cheese and I was very much looking forward to eating most of it before I “frosted” this loaf. This part was perhaps the most difficult, and time consuming. 

 I had the softened cream cheese ready to go and added the milk, it looked quite grotesque.  Lumpy

            I grabbed my whisk and went after that cream cheese and milk with vigor. After splashing milk nearly everywhere and getting cream cheese all over myself, I began to wish for my electric mixer. I had to hold fast, not every woman in the 50’s and 60’s would have had an electric mixer but they would probably all have a whisk. So I continued on. This probably took me 10-15 minutes to whisk this to a point where it didn’t look like cottage cheese. For the sake of my arm I let up at this point, and I was getting antsy to frost.
This part was almost therapeutic; it also covered up all the lumpy and angular bits of my Ribbon Loaf.
It was more fun than any of the other steps and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it took me about 5 minutes. Next I put the finishing touch of parsley flakes on it. Now I HATE parsley so I went sparingly on this, but you could add as much or as little as you want. With a final flourish of parsley it was done!

Not too shabby.
It looked almost too pretty to eat. 
            Now the moment of truth: THE TASTE TEST. My verdict, not bad. If I were to ever make this again I would have gone with baking my own bread,  The sourdough was chewy and hard to eat with the mushy fillings. My favorite layer was surprisingly the eggs, it was just an egg salad with green olives in a cream cheese bun. I was not as fond of the meat layer but it wasn’t as horrible as I had originally thought it would be when I first found this recipe. I’m pretty sure the Cream cheese was the most redeeming quality of this entire loaf though ( I could eat cream cheese all day). Overall if I had been a gal in the 50’s I would have happily served this at a get-together. It was pretty to look at and didn’t taste too bad. As we know it’s really just about appearances right??
This experience was really enjoyable and I found myself having a really great time. I am very grateful that Campbell crafts asked me to do a piece for them! Terrific folks and terrific clothes! If you didn’t hate this post too much, and if it didn’t gross you out too much, keep an eye out for my upcoming YouTube project “The Housewife Betties”. My Pal Lena and I will be recreating vintage recipes and serving them to our friends for a fun vintage taste test experiment!

Plate: Frankenstein serving tray Costplus world market
Recipe: Frosted Ribbon Loaf
Girl: Eleanor Paige
Instagram: eleanorpaigepinup
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