Tomato Aspic from Mary Ann Rodman’s, Jimmy’s Stars – Perhaps Our Nastiest Author Recipe to Date

Author RecipesWhen the characters in Mary Ann Rodman’s novel, Jimmy’s Stars, ate tomato aspic I asked Mary Ann for the jimmysstarsrecipe simply out of curiosity.  When she gave it, I knew there was no way I was going to be making it.  Mary Ann herself was gagging over the mayonnaise garnish.  But I hosted my Children’s Literature Book Club this past month and chose World War II as the theme and included Jimmy’s Stars.  I knew right away that not only would this be a perfect time to make the tomato aspic but it would be a great challenge as well..

The ingredients.   Yes, that would be tomato, celery, gelatin, cayenne, salt, lemon juice, lettuce, and mayonnaise.  It can’t get any better than that.

The tomatoes and celery ready to boil together.

After it’s boiled, gelatin added and put in the mold to form.

Perhaps the grossest photo I’ve ever shared on the blog.  Served atop lettuce and garnished with mayo.

SO!  During my book club meeting I asked for two volunteers who would be willing to try a dish that they ate from the book.  Most immediately though of the tongue they ate.  Another thought it was the salmon pea wiggle.  Two brave book clubbers volunteered before they knew what they’d be trying.

And to gross you out even more, here they are taking a bite.  Notice.  I said bite.  After one bite each, they both had to run to the sink for water.

My husband took a bite later and literally gagged.  I had a hard enough time making it, I didn’t try it at all.

Truly, the most disgusting dish I’ve ever made.  I’d link you over to the recipe, but seriously who would make this anyways?  Well, okay, maybe if you’re like me and reading Jimmy’s Stars as part of our book club reading, then maybe, just maybe you might be tempted too.

On a better note, I did make a rationed chocolate cake for book club (I’m seriously impressed with myself with keeping up with our book clubs themed food) which is also a recipe that came from Mary Ann Rodman.  Post coming up for that soon. Edited to add link to chocolate cake recipe!

I dare ya.  I dare one of ya to waste perfectly good tomatoes, celery, lettuce, and mayo on such a dish.  Any takers?!

Links of interest: Maw Books review for Jimmy’s Stars by Mary Ann Rodman and author interview, part 1 and part 2.  Mary Ann Rodman’s website.
Jimmy’s Stars is available from your local independent bookstore, Powell’s, and Amazon.


  1. “Any takers?!”

    In the words of my 3yo “No way say!” (obviously her version of “No way Jose”) *shiver gag*

    on June 4th, 2009 at 9:11 am
  2. Haha, no thanks. That looks vile!

    on June 4th, 2009 at 9:15 am
  3. That is too funny. I have some of my mom’s old recipe cards, and there is a recipe for Tomato Aspic in there….it sounded gross. And now I know it looks and tastes gross too. :)

    on June 4th, 2009 at 9:29 am
  4. Man! That is some interesting combination of ingredients. Does not sound good at all . :-)

    on June 4th, 2009 at 9:31 am
  5. *shudder*

    Let’s see.. since I can’t stand tomatoes, celery, gelatin or mayo….

    Can I just eat the lettuce? :D

    on June 4th, 2009 at 10:44 am
  6. Kylee – Ah, but I’m sure your three year old would LOVE it!

    Meghan – I’m pretty sure that my grandmother had a recipe for this as well. I mean, really, why would they even begin to think that this is a good thing?

    Jeanette – Isn’t it just gross? And to top it off, it sat on our counter for a day before I threw it away. I have no idea why.

    Britt – I can’t even imagine eating the lettuce with it? Gross.

    on June 4th, 2009 at 3:26 pm
  7. Ha, I agree with Britt– that thing is made up nearly entirely of food I hate to eat. Soooo gross!

    on June 4th, 2009 at 4:06 pm
  8. My grandmother-in-law used to make it and I loved it. But she made it with spicy V-8 juice and garnished it with avocado. Yum!

    on June 4th, 2009 at 4:21 pm
  9. My spouse loves tomato aspic. I think it’s vile, but I’m giving him this recipe.

    on June 4th, 2009 at 4:24 pm
  10. OMG. Seriously. Ewww… I was eating a slice of pizza, with *yummy* tomato sauce that lost its yumminess after looking at that picture.

    on June 4th, 2009 at 6:42 pm
  11. Ick! This tops when our couples book group read the Rabbit series and ate food for the appropriate decade – tuna casserole for Rabbit Run, Hamburger Helper for Rabbit is Rich – is was a tour in the uses of salt.

    on June 4th, 2009 at 7:04 pm
  12. That is a nice idea it a shame the stuff tasted horrible. I always wanted to have a little book party and make stuff that they ate in the book.

    on June 4th, 2009 at 7:04 pm
  13. We don’t do anything in aspic in this house, if I’m the cook. My husband of Polish descent has eaten many things in aspic, mostly pork, some fish. It makes the bile rise in my throat. The pictures of the brave tasters are classic!

    on June 4th, 2009 at 7:16 pm
  14. If you ever decide you want to make more gross looking stuff… here’s some more for you!

    We used to have a movie group that would make dishes based on the movie we were going to see that night. Nothing ever looked like that. Your husband was brave to try it.

    on June 6th, 2009 at 10:03 pm
  15. You need to read MUDVILLE by Kurtis Scaletta and do a recipe spotlight on the dishes made by the dad in that book!!

    on June 7th, 2009 at 2:14 pm
  16. EW! I think I’ll just let that recipe slip by. Yuck.

    on June 8th, 2009 at 2:39 am
  17. I bet it tastes… interesting. :S Are you sure it doesn’t taste like salad?

    on June 21st, 2009 at 9:40 am
  18. No wonder… the recipe is completely wrong. Tomato aspic made correctly is wonderful. Obviously none of you are cooks. Search other sites get good recipe and try it right.

    on November 29th, 2009 at 6:54 pm
  19. My mom loves tomato aspic, but I believe she makes hers with just tomato juice? Also, she used to make mayonnaise from scratch to go on top. Me, I’m not a fan of gelatin based dishes, but perhaps I’ll get her to make it over Christmas just so I can try it…

    on November 29th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

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