Friday, April 24, 2009

Better Homes and Gardens Salad Book

I imagine that this colorful cookbook was a hot seller in its day, but I was disappointed in many of the recipes. The book this week is the Better Homes and Gardens Salad Book published in 1958 by Meridith Publishing Company. I had to really search to find recipes that would be usable for our family.
Although the book is full of colorful photos of the recipes, the ingredients make for some unusual combinations. I think this may be where some of the jokes about 1950's lime jello concoctions originated; so many of the recipes offered contain either lime jello, boiled eggs or mayonnaise as ingredients. In one of the recipes it suggested stacking a pineapple slice on an onion slice; it just doesn't sound like a taste treat to me. Another recipe combines cranberry sauce, celery, cream cheese and ripe olives...that ensemble is just wrong! All I can say is they must have been fond of aspic and molded salads in that time period because the book is full of them and they are prominently featured in the pictures.
To its credit, I will admit that anyone who wants some traditional salad recipes can find them in this cookbook. There's everything from Green Goddess to Perfect Potato Salad and Basic Waldorf Salad. Also, for the beginning cook, it gives the recipes to make your own mayo and salad dressings (they always taste better than bottled).

P. 82 Tomato Accordions

I did find a clever idea for serving egg, potato, or tuna salad this summer: take a large summer tomato and slice it without cutting all the way through; then fill the tomato's slits with the salad mixture. It's a pretty way to serve it. Here are a couple of sample recipes from the appetizer section of the cookbook.

P. 98 Shrimp Cocktail with Chili Hot Sauce

3/4 C chili sauce
1/4 C lemon juice
1 to 2 TBSP horse-radish
1 tsp minced onion
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 drops Tabasco sauce
dash of salt
Fresh-cooked shrimp

Combine ingredients except shrimp. Chill thoroughly. Makes 1 C hot sauce. Serve in individual cocktail cups. Hook shrimp over rims of glasses.

This recipe for a seafood dip will be a great way to use some tarragon from my herb garden.

P. 98 Sour Cream Tarragon Dip

1 C sour cream
2/3 C mayo or salad dressing
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp tarragon

Combine ingredients and chill. Serve with seafood. Makes 1 2/3 C.

Go to Grocerycartchallenge for today's recipe swap!

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