Be afraid: Vegetable Aspic

March 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm

This morning my legs were still so sore that I was walking funny, but I managed to walk the boys to school (and Chewie and I got drenched on the way home) and I made it through Bodyflow at the gym. Bodyflow actually really felt good, stretching things out. Then I came home and got busy in the kitchen (and did laundry, as always).

Today’s kitchen fantasticalness comes courtesy of Eatocracy, the CNN foodie blog. They have been doing a series called “Vintage Cookbook Vault” where they post a funny recipe from an old cookbook and ask bloggers to give it a go. I decided to play along. The recipe is called “Vegetable Supper Salad” and it is basically a congealed salad full of random veggies. The boys seemed up for it (they like jell-o), so I made it.

Here’s the recipe from the vintage cookbook, The Silent Hostess Treasure Book, circa 1930. Apparently it was published by General Electric Company to give all those cooks with the newfangled “Refrigerator Cabinet” ideas of how it would transform their life.

I had a box of orange jell-o in my cupboards, so I decided to use that instead of lemon. Also, I just decided to leave out the salt and vinegar. Salt and vinegar in jello just seems gross and I was actually hoping my kids would eat this. The recipe says you can use any vegetables, so here is what I used:

That’s zucchini, red bell pepper, daikon radish, carrots and celery. I grated the zucchini, daikon, and carrots and diced the red bell pepper and celery. The daikon and zucchini have a high water content, so after grating them I put them in a tea towel and squeezed as much water out of them as I could.

Then I just followed the directions. I didn’t have a jell-o mold, and apparently they don’t sell them at Publix (or anywhere anymore?), so I just used a tupperware container. To quote one of my all-time favorite movies, Raising Arizona, no funny shapes…just circular. Here’s how it came out:

I actually think it looks strikingly similar to the illustration from the original book, especially the red pepper chunks.

I was not going to serve cold meat slices to my kids for dinner (they had a ham sandwich for lunch, that’s enough cold meat for one day). So instead, I made the veggie jell-o a side dish with barbecue sandwiches.

Both of the boys ate the salad, but neither of them were crazy about it.  They better suck it up though, because it’s going in their lunch box tomorrow. I ate some of it also, and I actually thought it was pretty good. Which is a good thing, because it looks like I’m going to be eating the rest of it (after lunches tomorrow). That’s okay, I’m used to being the garbage disposal of the family (expired yogurt, brown bananas and stale goldfish crackers usually get cleaned up by me).

Don’t think I’ll be making this recipe again, but it did remind me that I should make jell-o more often. It’s a good use for the “Refrigerator Cabinet”.