Archive | 8:22 am

The Salads Of Yore

12 Jul

Apparently Spain blissfully missed the days of Jello salads. In the comments yesterday for the blueberry pasta, lobstersquad in reference to the mentioned “salads,” questions: “the jelly salads ?!?!?”. I turn to another one of my old cookbooks for an example. The Big Valley Amish Cookbook, published in 1979, has 26 salad recipes in it. Of those 26 only 7 do not contain either Jello, instant pudding mix, mini-marshmallows or whipped cream! And most of those contain either mayonnaise or bacon, or, well, both! Here’s the recipe for my favorite (the picture is not of this salad, it is what I imagine the salad would look like):

Ribbon Salad – by Lois & Emma Zook

3 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese — 1 c crushed pineapples — 1 box red or orange Jello — 1 c whipped cream — 16 oz. marshmallows — 1 box Lime Jello.

Mix Jello with water like usual, then pour 1/2 of it in bottom of cake pan. Let stand til set. Now mix cheese, marshmallows and other half of Jello. Melt this together. Let stand til set.

Now add 1 c whip cream and drained pineapple, mix and put on top of green Jello. Then mix the red or orange jello and put on top when cool.

Boy have our ideas about cooking changed on this one! So, 30 years ago, Jello + fruit + cream cheese = no guilt good for ya salad eating, but I bet they were still debating about lobsters! (see below)

Photo of the Red And Green Holiday Mold courtesy of Kraft Foods

Chinatown Vs. The Fishmongers

12 Jul

The boy and I often debate who’s right on this one, so I’m going to throw it out to the masses. He says I’m crazy for paying more to buy fish at the Greenmarket or at well, Whole Foods, rather than at the Chinese market a few blocks away from our apartment.

You know this kind of joint. Buckets of crabs attempting escape, tanks of sad looking fish of indeterminate species, whole and filleted fish laying on beds of ice. I don’t trust them. My feeling is that the fish is cheap because they bought it cheap, and cheap fish is one thing I don’t want to put in my body. He says I’m crazy and possibly a little bit classist/racist/elitiest. How do you guys buy your fish? Where do you buy it? Am I wrong?

Who Will Kill The Lobster?

12 Jul

There’s been a lot of debate lately about the decision by Whole Foods Markets to stop selling live lobsters (usually accompanied by a debate as to whether its okay to eat foie gras. Thankfully this is one debate I can sit out because I do not like the flavor of foie). While I was doing research for this week’s heirloom·modern I found out that this very debate was raging 40 years ago.

The eminent food writer Roy Andries de Groot had this to say on the subject of lobsters:

When buying a lobster is it less cruel to ask the fishmonger to kill it by cutting its spinal cord? A group of rabid be-kind-to-animals British gourmets sponsored a scientific study on the subject supervised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The final report was that the most humane way is to put the live lobster (or crab) into a pot of cold fresh salted water, then bring it to the boil as quickly as possible. The rising temperature deadens the lobster’s nerves, so that it feels no discomfort.

So, apparently 40 years ago, much like today, people had a problem with lobsters because they had to cook them alive. Personally, I don’t get it. Either you want to eat lobsters (like I do), their deliciousness offsetting the guilt (it’s not like we’re prisoners in 1800s New England being forced to eat them 3 times a day, 7 days a week), or you don’t want to eat them because you hate the flavor or think it’s wrong and therefore get to feel morally superior to me. Either way, the decision to eat or not eat lobsters (and well, just about everything else) is personal and should be left up to each person.