Aspic Supper Salad Challenge

Posted on Mar 9 2011 - 6:30am by RetroRuth

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Perfection Salad was originally made with plain gelatin and is known for its base of cabbage.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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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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15 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sylkozakur March 9, 2011 at 8:45 am - Reply

    CNN should just turn it over to you. You’re the expert in weird recipes from the past.

    • RetroRuth March 9, 2011 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Ha ha! Not sure if I am an expert, but thanks, Toni! 🙂

  2. Eartha Kitsch March 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    That was definitely your call to action! I like the fish shaped twist and macaroni and cheese loaf, who knew??

    • RetroRuth March 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Eartha! I was rather pleased with the fish myself. 🙂

  3. Jenny (VintageSugarcube) March 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    lOVE LOVE LOVE these photos. I secretly still love olive loaf sammies. Sooo enjoying your weekly updates. Keep up the Midcentury fabulousness. XOXO

    • RetroRuth March 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Jenny! I still love olive loaf too, but vintage cooking introduced me to my absolute fav sandwich combo, liver sausage and cream cheese! I even made a convert out of Tom.

  4. Sara In AZ March 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Oh my, a gelatin shaped fish! I kind of love him!!! Maybe you should have added some mermaids and seahorses as decorations too! 🙂 Yay for it tasting good-ish! hee!

    • RetroRuth March 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      I knew you would, Sara! He’s your kind of guy… 🙂

  5. Andrea March 9, 2011 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Hee! Your fish really is punk rock looking, love his ‘hawk!

    I would have never ever guessed that this salad could possibly be edible, so this was definitely a surprising verdict!

    • RetroRuth March 11, 2011 at 11:16 am - Reply

      Andrea – I was surprised, too! But, I like coleslaw in pretty much any form, so maybe that is why I liked it… 🙂

  6. Tiara Bunny March 11, 2011 at 10:25 am - Reply

    I adore the Salem Northstar plate in the photo with the meats. I collect these. Keep up the good work!

  7. Miss RM March 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Chopped veggies in aspic always looks so darned pretty!

  8. Bob K February 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness. I am 50 years old, and these mold recipes bring back the nightmares of my childhood. I was raised in the deep south, and big church dinners were a part of my raising. There would be about 8-10 different molds out on the table, and a proud church mama behind each one dying to make sure I got some of each one. And a mother who would dare me to make a face or refuse any (that meant a double portion…”You will eat it, you will smile, and you will say thank you”). The worst I remember was a tuna mold inside a hollowed pineapple with mayonnaise on top and franks arranged like logs.

  9. Tallinheels September 10, 2016 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    One thing you might try is lining your mold with the gelatin-it should stick to it. Then when you unmold you have an Aspic coating!

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