Recipes from the 1950s: Passive-Aggressive Casseroles

The Deranged Gourmet, Part 2

Karen L. Sullivan
The Haven
Published in
4 min readJul 11, 2022


Food prices are nuts, amirite? They’re are so high that when you buy a popsicle you have to pay extra for the lumber. Recipes from the thrifty Fifties could help! Today we offer you another in a series that brings back those glorious culinary days. Come with us as we explore the wonderful world of passive-aggressive casseroles.

Crown Roast of Frankfurters

1. Crown Roast of Frankfurters — Let your special occasion guests know just how much you care! Holidays will be more festive when you wow them with this sumptuous pile-o-yummy on a platter.


Hot dogs. For this recipe, however, we are using the fancier foreign name, “Frankfurters.”

Something to stuff the center with: Coleslaw layered over baked beans, or German potato salad if you are really “going foreign.”

Parsley and a small starfish for garnish.


Boil the Frankfurters and while they’re still hot, bend them and stand them in a circle. You may need several kitchen assistants with toothpicks to hold them up while you make the filling.

Fill with filling.

Garnish with parsley and the starfish, and serve.

Centipede “Casserole” for Kids

2. Centipede “Casserole” — Kids love this one. Take any Frankfurters that fell off the table while your kitchen assistants were trying to hold them up, and rinse them and slice little legs into one side. Place on top of fried cheese potatoes garnished with fescue and watch the kids gobble them down as they ignore the weird vegetables.

Additional kiddie activities:

Ask them if they want Cokes. When they say yes, ask if they want updog. When they say, “What’s updog?” you can say not much, and we’re out of Cokes.

Lobster Relish Casserole

3. Lobster Relish Casserole: Enough just can’t be said about this one. This little gem is a complex but perfect accompaniment to your monthly horror book club meetings. (And we can guarantee the only one who won’t “relish” it is the lobster, LOL!)


One 2-lb lobster

12 shrimp

Half-gallon of mayonnaise

Green olives with pimientos

New potatoes




Boil the lobster and slice up enough olives with pimientos to make two faux-rotary phone dialers as shown. Boil the potatoes and set aside. Carve the lemons into useless little baskets and decorate with pimientos. Press mayonnaised lobster chunks into a Jell-O mold and top with mayo you’ve tinted green, to evoke the many moods of the ocean. Make a shrimp merry-go-round atop it to symbolize the happy dance of seafoods, and put a lettuce leaf in the middle to depict a lamprey that eats everything. Arrange potatoes like “lobster eggs” on a bed of “seaweed” lettuce and artfully place the lobster legs around the platter to give it the appearance of a disembodied, eight-legged mouth surrounded by little handbaskets. Unforgettable moments await!

4. Ham and Bananas Hollandaise: “Bananas in Body Bags” is our fun nickname for this fabulous dish, and aren’t they cute? People who think you can’t be happy and sad at the same time have obviously never tried a plateful of these morsels. It’s a rich, savory dessert-y concoction that tastes like you won’t fit into your bathing suit this summer. Who cares? Cover up and chow down!



Ham slices.

Cheese sauce.


It’s pretty self-explanatory, and the only thing you’ll need to know is the answer to, “Is it a dessert or a main dish?” But don’t answer that. Just say, “Leftovers are for quitters.”

Next up: Dead Things in Aspic.



Karen L. Sullivan
The Haven

Never ask a woman spooning ice cream out of a half-gallon carton how she’s doing. Top Writer in Satire and Ghastly Cooking.