Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Salmon Mold?

Another day trapped in the house with below zero temps. This time, though we are out of eggs, so I was paging through some cookbooks for inspiration in between games of Cootie, Candyland and Spongebob Ants in the Pants. At one point I got sick of waiting for the die to roll my way in Cootie and said "Let's just build our bugs!" I am a good role model for my four year old.
In the Southern Heritage (I always start with that series) Family Gatherings volume, I found this picture and recipe.
Now look closely - salmon has been processed and remolded and designed to look like a salmon. Doesn't that look yummy? Ugh.
Salmon Mold, under the celebration listing of "Scandinavian Smorgasbord in Clifton, Texas." Now while I love the word smorgasbord like few others in English, I read the description for this festival about eight times and still don't get it. Apparently lots of Norse-Americans live in this part of TX and in 1982 King Olav V of Norway visited. I can't believe they served this in this form, but perhaps it tasted ok. You judge from the recipe:
Salmon Mold
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin (not so promising)
3/4 cup cold water
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten (and yes, this is NOT cooked)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (worse and worse)
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup plus one tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 cans salmon, drained, rinsed, and flaked
Pimiento-stuffed olive slices (optional)
Carrot slices (optional)
Fresh parsley sprigs
Since I seriously doubt any of you readers are going to make this let's just say you melt all this together, boil it up and add gelatin. Then you mold and decorate with the olive slices and carrot slices. Who has this kind of time and who would want to eat this? Six egg whites not really cooked, remember. Maybe it should be called Salmonella Mold...
I finished Shannon's great spy book and ordered up her new April one for myself, and am now on to a new title. The other night at work I found an ancient Barbara Delinsky Mira romance, Bronze Mystique. (I'm not kidding.) I love to read old romances by folks who are now NYT authors. This is fun but filled with the male female roles of the day. It definitely beats Spongebob Ants in the Pants!
I'm taking a writing class with a very nice editor from NY. It's an online class, and over the phone for one hour a week. During week one the other students couldn't make it and she and I went over the many many many problems with the chapter I sent her. I gutted it (like the salmon) and started over. I plan to do a few more versions before she sees this at the end of the week, but I am starting to doubt my ability to see anything about my writing. When questions are asked like "I thought they were going to find a body and now they are going home?" you can't help but doubt your next versions, though I am having a few folks critique it.
The fabulous Mike Black - author and police Sgt - did a crime scene thing with my teen board last night then a writing workshop with my writing club. It is so interesting to me how some people can comfortably handle many different roles like that. He really connected with both groups. I seem to be comfortable only part of the time as a librarian and I can't think of another comfortable role! Clearly board game player is out today. No one here would let me say gourmet chef or baker. This week I don't feel like an author.


Sarah said...

Amy, my mom had a fish mold just like this!! And, I do recall her making a salmon mousse (I assume that's what it was-it was pink) and serving it with crackers for some function or holiday. That was probably back in the 70s. I'll have to ask her if the recipe included half a dozen uncooked egg yolks!!

Carl said...

that picture is great! The candles are a nice touch... are their more great photos in southern heritage?