Sunday, December 26, 2010

What's In A Name?

A “salad” recipe from my 1936 Detroit Times cookbook (as I have pointed out before—and been resoundingly contradicted but I stand by my statement—in the American South and Midwest, gelatin was and is technically a vegetable). It’s part of a Sunday dinner that includes squash soup, cheese rolls, corn custard, and roast beef with browned potatoes. The sort of light after-church repast that leaves everyone snoozing until suppertime. Note the seeded grapes. Does anyone, even Martha Stewart, bother to seed grapes anymore?

Ginger Ale Salad

¾ cup diced canned pineapple
¾ cup chopped grape-fruit pulp
1/3 cup blanched shredded almonds
¼ cup seeded Malaga grapes
1 cup ginger ale
2 tablespoons granulated gelatin
1/3 cup cold water
Few grains salt
Few grains paprika

“Soak the gelatin in the cold water for five minutes, then dissolve it over hot water. Add one-fourth cup of the ginger ale. Combine the diced pineapple, grape-fruit pulp, Malaga grapes, shredded almods, salt and pepper and then add the remaining three-fourths cup of ginger ale. Add the gelatin mixture, stir thoroughly and pour into individual molds which have been dipped in and out of cold water. Chill thoroughly, unmold and serve on lettuce leaves, garnished with mayonnaise. Serves six.”

Of course, if you combine the fruits with the gelatin before that mixture has congealed to the texture of egg whites, it’s all going to sink to the bottom of the mold. Oh well, perhaps that was the intended effect.

1 comment:

Packrat said...

This salad (with oranges instead of grapefruit) is good. Both my grandmothers used to fix it. Always, the juice off the pineapple was substituted for the water.

Oh, 1936 would have been Grandma's (not great-grandma's) kitchen, but we won't go there... lol

It was always my job to seed the grapes. I hated that because my hands would get sticky and my fingers sore. (Bitten nails and hang nails - ouch.) Also, if I missed a seed and someone chomped on one, I'd never hear the end of it.

Seedless grapes, almost seedless oranges, lemons, and grapefruit - modern marvels!

At our house, the fruit was always added to the gelatin as soon as the gelatin and sugar were dissolved. If it wasn't, everyone would forget, and then the gelatin would be too firm to add the fruit.

Hope your Christmas was wonderful.