Well, we are bringing you a slight change from our regularly scheduled program. This week, we take on a dare.  Not a dare from a reader, or even from taunting or disbelieving family members.  Nope, this week the dare comes from CNN. 

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Maybe not CNN as a whole, but definitely the Eatocracy blog.  Confident that daredevils and glory-grasping bloggers everywhere will hop on the bandwagon, Eatocracy editor Kat Kinsman has laid down an open challenge in the form of a salad. To be exact, an Aspic Supper Salad from the Silent Hostess Treasure book, circa 1930.

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“As long as we can keep finding fun, festive vintage recipes, once a week we’ll post one and double-dog-dare our readers to blog about their efforts – with snapshots of the final product,” Kinsman boasts.

Well, that’s the kind of thing that Tom and I just can’t let go unanswered.

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After all, we have eaten our share of truly hideous recipes since beginning this feature in 2009, including Spam in gelatin, stuffed eggs in gelatin and, horrifically, tongue in gelatin.

A little shredded cabbage in lemon gelatin is no problem for us.

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And, I must confess, the temptation to show off was just too great.

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And who could say “no” to a few extra readers?

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Not me.  Nope, not me.

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So, this fun aspic salad looks like it is a copycat of the classic Knox “Perfection Salad”, which was published by Knox in 1905.

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It came from a contest, and was submitted by Mrs. John Cooke who won a sewing machine with her bit of classic culinary magic.

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Perfection Salad was originally made with plain gelatin and is known for its base of cabbage.

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Later recipes substituted lemon or lime jello, and various veggies including canned sauerkraut.  Ick.

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This version is great because it uses FRESH cabbage.

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And there are no onions. Onions + sweet gelatin = Really Disgusting! Always. Always. No exceptions. No matter how much vinegar you add.

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The lunchmeat we decided to go with was all local, Koegel’s brand. Braunschweiger, of course, then olive loaf and macaroni and cheese loaf.

Yep, I said macaroni and cheese loaf!

Not sure what prompted me to use my fish mold for the aspic, but I must say I was very happy with the results.  Or, the results after I dressed it up a bit.

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Meet punk rock aspic salad fish.

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In my head I had originally planned a stunning underwater display with clever little sea creatures and plants made of lunchmeat and deviled eggs, but after I unmolded my fish I decided he just wasn’t fishy looking enough for me.

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So I decided he needed a bigger fin.  Then a bigger tail. Then some bubbles.  Suddenly he took up the whole plate and took on a punk rock look. I chucked the undersea wonderland idea and went with it. It was really the only thing to do.

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The punk rock fish nose. Featuring peppers, carrots, celery and cabbage, trapped forever. Like flies in amber.

Well, maybe not forever. Trapped just long enough for Tom to dig in.

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“Eh. Tastes pretty good. Like salad in Jello.”

The Verdict: Good. Tasted like sweet and sour coleslaw, except the dressing was jelled. Which was a little odd, but not unpleasant. Behind Sunshine Salad, probably my favorite non-fruit gelatin.

 

Eatocracy bandwagon, here we come.

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