Sunday, January 27, 2008

Curse of the Silhouette Salad

I was inspired by the very nice lemon jello salad over at Retro Food in a sort of inverted way - much as a jello mold is inverted on a plate. I was reminded of the scariest jello salad I have yet seen (and certainly I hope to see more hideous ones as I keep collecting cookbooks of the mid-20th century, the Renaissance period if you will of the jellied salad).

May I introduce 'Silhouette Salad' from a lovely instruction book and cookery book called To The Bride which was distributed by Peck's Department Store (in Lewiston, Maine - apparently the largest department store in New England outside of Boston, at the time). It was also published under the considerable aegis of Chase and Sanborn coffee, which product is heralded on nearly every page where coffee is relevant. And some where it is not.

In this book are all sorts of things the modern bride of 1956 had to know. Like how to feed your in-laws when they come to dinner for the first time, and what to put in your spouse's lunch box (hint: not peanut butter and jelly and a stale cookie) and the epic "Story of the three chickens," which is a depressing saga involving endless leftovers and various social events. (This deserves another post, so consider yourself warned!)

You will not be serving Silhouette Salad to your in-laws or putting it in your husband's lunch pail. This is what you're eating, missy. So you'll want to know what's in it.

Silhouette Salad

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup cold water
1 Tb lemon juice
dash black pepper
1 can boned chicken, diced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 Tbs chopped pimiento
2 Tb grated onion

1. Soften gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water.
2. Stir over boiling water until thoroughly dissolved.
3. Blend soup, 1/2 cup cold water, lemon juice and pepper.
4. Add dissolved gelatin; mix thoroughly.
5. Chill to unbeaten egg white consistency.
6. Fold in chicken and remaining ingredients.
7. Turn into three-cup mold; chill until firm.
8. Unmold on crisp salad greens; serve with salad dressing.

At least it doesn't have Chase and Sanborn coffee in it. It's got everything else but the kitchen sink in it though.

They did forget one thing however. Step #9: throw the damn thing out, it's completely horrible!


Anonymous said...

That looks pretty gruesome!

Tarrant said...

Oh we do have to swap pictures-I have some much more gruesome ones.

Tarrant said...

Ha-I found the one I was looking for: