Monday, March 2, 2009

Potluck With Lucrezia Borgia


The Retro Recipe of the Week is a standout primarily for its extremely strange name. And it certainly brings new meaning to the term "potluck," doesn't it?

I'm scanning it from the cookbook to prove to you that there really is a printed recipe called Poison Salad. Admittedly, this is not a wonderful gourmet dish. In fact, it sounds quite horrible. But poisonous? No...not quite.

Why would someone call it that, do you think? Surely they wanted to encourage people to eat it and make it. Right? Unless of course Lucrezia Borgia, noted Italian homemaker and poisoner, had contributed to the Jaycees' 1968 salad cookbook, perhaps through a combination of sheer will, time travel and a desire to combine pimento, sweet pickle, mayonnaise and other salad detritus with macaroni. Macaroni, and whatever else she felt like throwing in. With retro salads, you never know, really.

Lucrezia was supposed to have owned a hollow ring in which she kept poison to put into the drinks of guests she did not like. But history - until now - does not mention her interest in macaroni salad.

The splendid ad on your left is from JB Curio's amazing collection at Flickr; he has a terrific blog called JB's Warehouse and Curio Emporium, which is loads of fun and well worth visiting.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon writes about Lucrezia on her excellent blog Scandalous Women, too.

More about Lucrezia at Wikipedia, right this way.

And there's a blog about the Borgias called The Borgias - lots of interesting posts, and plenty of them concern Lucrezia. Which is hardly surprising.

17 comments:

Sandy said...

I think I just lost my appetite for a salad. lol The name surely doesn't make you want to make or eat it.

Sandy
welcome mats always out, please swing by for a visit

Venom said...

Hmmm, I thought a ring like that would be great at one time. Since then I've learned I can accomplish the same goal by spitting into their drinks - they may not actually die, but Venom takes it's toll.

Tori Lennox said...

I think the Borgias should have their own TV show. Maybe on the Food Network....

Exaggerator said...

Speaking of which, there happens to be an episode of the old-time radio series Crime Classics entitled "Cesare Borgia--His Most Difficult Murder" as might relate.

Equally worth a listen from the same series (and as insightful) is that entitled "The Lethal Habit of Marquise De Brinvilliers".

(Crime Classics aired on CBS Radio in the 1953-54 season.)

Bill said...

So many of those types of cookbooks have misprints or omissions. This one obviously forgot to say that you leave the salad out on a hot porch for half a day after you fold in the mayonnaise. Otherwise, they'd just call it Macaroni Salad.

Grace said...

Ah, I have several poison rings - maybe it's an Italian thing LOL

Carol @SheLives said...

The Poison Salad looks a lot more savory than the last dish I took to a pot luck which those who partook would probably attest contained the true poison.

Just call me Lu.

Lidian said...

Sandy - Yes, this is also on my never-make list. And I'll be dropping by! :)

Venom - And also, it will kind of make you feel gleeful, which is fun! It's a caper - like George says in Seinfeld, when he tries to put the Mickey Finn in his ex-boss's drink.

Tori - Oh yes, that's going to happen!

Exaggerator - Thank you for the links, just the sort of thing I like.

Bill - It's those little extra touches that make it so special.

Grace - I have seen them on line, I was doing research for my mystery novel and was trying to find out about Victorian-era poison rings. They look lovely, as I'm sure yours are.

Carol - I went to a progressive dinner once a long time ago, and wished I had some poison by the end of it, as I recall.

~~louise~~ said...

Books strewn all over the living room, not one explains this dish. I may not sleep tonight...digging, digging digging...

Kevin John said...

Perhaps I should pay attention more when my lovely wife makes..salad. Especially when I piss her off. Ummm.

Relax Max said...

The Jaycees? Do they still have Jaycees?

The Ebon Swan said...

How does one slander a salad, exactly? Call it nasty names? Make off-color references to its mother? Neglect to send them a birthday card? Hm...

Lidian said...

Louise - If you do find anything, please let me know!

Kevin John - Perhaps...

Max - They sure do. Just Google them and see!

Eon Swan - I think you just make snarky comments about it in its earshot. Which is a ghastly thought, that the salad even has an earshot.

Chris said...

Absolutely brilliant!

Lidian said...

Chris - Thank you (she said modestly from her office lair)

tim h said...

I think the recipe is missing the "Leave in the sun for eight hours" part. I mean, it's supposed to be poison, right?

Lidian said...

tim - That would be just the way to serve it! :)