Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Santa Clara Salad

IMG santa clara salad

This one is just so silly I can't resist. It's a salad, supposedly - but not really. It is from dear old Ruth Berolzheimer's 1951 edition of The American Woman's Cook Book (with special Everywoman's Binding, which seems to have something to do with Everywoman's Magazine, according to the title page).

This is not really a salad though - it is sort of salad as theatre-of-the-absurd - Salvador Dali Salad. It is just a venue for prunes disguised as salad - it's on a lettuce leaf, therefore it's a salad!

Don't get me wrong, I like prunes, but not so many prunes at once. It's like a National Prune Convention on a plate. And it takes place in - well, in Santa Clara, where else? I looked up Santa Clara, California and did not see anything about prunes. It did have a largely agricultural economy up until the last few decades but is now known for being the home of Silicon Valley. The closest I can come to prunes in Santa Clara is Apple headquarters. Well, they're both fruits! Sort of.

Santa Clara Salad

24 prunes in sirup

6 oz. cream cheese

8 slices pineapple

Head lettuce

Maraschino cherries

Stone prunes. Soften cream cheese with evaporated milk, if necessary, and stuff prunes. Place pineapple on lettuce and arrange three stuffed prunes on each slice. Garnish prunes with bits of maraschino cherries. Serves 8.

The prunes are stoned? Must be some convention. Also they are stuffed. I get like that if I tag along to conventions - those opening night cocktail parties have such good snacks. There was one, oh years ago, where they had fresh strawberries and tons of jumbo shrimp on ice. I stayed right next to the shrimp - it was a once in a lifetime shrimp opportunity! I didn't want to leave. I had to be dragged out and away from that shrimp, it was that good.

That's a great picture of the "salad" too, isn't it? The prunes look like little Edvard Munch faces. Wikipedia says that "The Scream" represents "the human species overwhelmed by an attack of existential angst." So Santa Clara Salad would be perfect if you're having a bunch of art critics over for dinner. What would you serve for the rest of the meal?

300px-The_ScreamIMG santa clara salad


LSlone said...

Hi. I have an old wooden box/crate at home, and on it, it says: Santa Clara Prunes, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (which is now known as A&P). It held 25 pounds of prunes, so I guess Santa Clara was known for their prunes. Maybe that helps shed some light on your prune question.

Marcheline said...

Prunes for art critics, indeed! Might loosen the big stick most of them have up their bums.