I can’t believe it. Tom and I are almost completely finished testing tuna recipes, our fridge is full of moldy, in-edible tuna leftovers and this is the third finalist in our “Let’s Sing A Tune To Tuna Contest”!
Wow. Time really does fly when you are having fun!
Everyone, let’s congratulate Heather on her entry of Tuna Vegetable Salad Molds!
I tried to choose a tuna recipe from a vintage cookbook that was a favorite of my mother’s. It’s called the Betty Furness Westinghouse Cook Book, and was first published in 1954. It’s special to me in part, because my mom really, really didn’t like to cook, but she did so anyway (and well!) and this was one of a very small handful of cook books that she kept and referred to again and again.
Though not the only tuna recipes in the book (there was an…interesting… Tuna Curry as well), the two in the attached photo caught my interest. I’ve been fascinated with mid-century molded salads, and these are great examples. The first one, Molded Tuna Fish Salad is pretty typical of most molded salad spin-offs of Perfection Salad, right down to the lemon-flavored gelatin, but it takes a weird turn with the tuna and mayonnaise additions; not a good turn, but a turn, nonetheless. The recipe below it, Tuna Vegetable Salad Molds has more of an “ick” factor, in my opinion, however it might also be said to be the more straightforward recipe. Still… gelatin, cream of chicken soup, tuna and mayonnaise? Yeah. I don’t know.
Hope these are the sort of thing you had in mind. I can’t wait to see what everyone else submits! Keep up the good work on the mid-century menu; it’s one of my most enjoyable reads!
Oh, and for the record, neither of these tuna recipes appeared on my mother’s menu, though we were occasionally subjected to a rather standard tuna casserole. I think some of the gelatin-love had worn off by the ’70’s!
Well, Heather, the gelatin-love never runs out here, so Tom and I were really happy to see your gelatin and tuna entry. Well, Tom more than me. For some reason he loves the ones made with gelatin.
Yeah…that’s a lot of mayo for four servings.
And here it is in action, melting into hot condensed cream of chicken soup!
The key here is condensed. Nothing was added to water down this stuff. Oh no.
But, I can’t complain too much. I finally had an excuse to break out my awesome individual Jell-O molds.
Tuna, cucumbers, everything else and the kitchen sink.
It’s always a plus when the food you are making looks like snot.
Yeah, it doesn’t even look good from the side.
Success!! The molds work!
What can I say?? Perfect form aside, they really looked this bad. The photo does not lie.
And yes, that is a baby lobster molded out of tuna gelatin in on the back of the plate. I just couldn’t resist.
Look into my lobster eyes…you feel yourself getting nauseous…so very nauseous…
Getting his head in the game.
Notice the look of disgust. The loosely dangling fork as he chews and swallows.
“It tastes like mayo.”
“Well, there is a lot of mayo in it.”
“There is a lot of lemon juice in it.”
“There is a lot of – ”
“Tuna in it. Yeah, I know.”
The Verdict: Pretty gross. It basically tasted like a really lemony, rich, mayo-y tuna salad without the bread. Eating it by itself was torture. We had to spread it on toast just to get most of it down. On toast, it wasn’t too bad, but since the recipe decreed that it should be molded and presented as a salad rather than being on toast that is how we are judging it.
Oh, and the tuna-baby-lobster still lives on in my fridge, wishing to be a real boy…
Come back next week to find out the final finalist (!) in the “Let’s Sing A Tune To Tuna” contest!