There's always room for mackerel!

This dish offers a delicious, frothy, cloud-like dream of... fishy... passionate... dietary....


This is one of those great moments when life parodies itself. Fluffy Mackerel Pudding is a Weight Watchers recipe from their 1974 collection of recipe cards, when their entire weight-fighting arsenal apparently consisted of grossing people out until they simply could not eat.

Chicago writer Wendy McClure, a regular columnist for Bust magazine, found the collection while helping her parents clean out their basement. She wrote, "They were neatly arranged in their own plastic file box. Plenty of the dishes seemed normal enough, but as I flipped through them, some of the recipes began to alarm me. And then I found the card for the 'Rosy Perfection Salad.'

"I fell over. Like I Iaughed so hard I started coughing and I fell back on the floor and I waved the card at my mom, who just rolled her eyes. 'Can I please have these? Please?' I begged. 'What do you want them for?' she asked. 'To cook?' 'No,' I said. She let me have them."

The cards now reside at Fluffy Mackerel Pudding is one of the most popular recipes, garnering so much attention that Wendy appeared on WFMU's "Read 'Em and Weep" radio program and read the recipe. (


  • Two stalks celery.
  • One medium green pepper.
  • Eight ounces drained canned mackerel flakes.
  • One tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes.
  • Two teaspoons prepared mustard.
  • One teaspoon salt
  • Half teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  • One-eighth teaspoon mace.
  • Dash of brown cardamom.
  • Two medium eggs, lightly beaten.
  • Two medium eggs, hard-cooked.

    Put the celery and green pepper in grinder, or chop finely in blender.

    Combine with mackerel, onion flakes, mustard, salt, pepper, mace, and cardamom. Mix well.





    Divide evenly into four eight-ounce heat-proof cups.

    Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (moderate oven) for 35 or 40 minutes. Garnish each with half sliced egg. Makes four luncheon servings.

    'Ja like that?

    There's so much more!

    The wonderful world of things that should never have existed, frosted with a heavy dose of present-day irony, has grown a lot in the past few years. Wendy notes that her collection

    "owes a great spiritual debt to sites like Cate's Garage Sale Finds ( and especially James Lilek's Gallery of Regrettable Food ("

    Readers who find their appetites unsated by the "lite" meals on her site may be able to find satisfaction there.

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