The picture on the left is the 'Garden Salad Loaf' and we're told to 'capture the refreshing flavors and brightness of fresh vegetables in this make-ahead, wilt proof* salad.' On the right is the 'Jellied Beef Mold' which is described as follows, 'Beef in jellied loaf waiting in the refrigerator brings peace of mind* to hostess when company is coming.'
*First of all, in regards to this being a 'wiltproof salad' - of course it's wilt proof because it has been hermetically sealed in gelatin. And now...let's discuss 'peace of mind'. That is the last descriptive phrase I would use to paint a word picture of my thoughts when I opened my refrigerator and had to imagine my guests polite responses to being presented with this gastronomic 'gift'. I would run for the hills if I saw anything resembling either of these at a summer event. They absolutely fall under the 'Recipe Disaster' category.
Because I know many of you are curious, the recipes follow. Take my advice, read these because they're entertaining - don't inflict them upon anyone. Please.
Garden Salad Loaf
2 green peppers, cut in small strips
4 chopped green onions (include tops)
20 radishes, thinly sliced
4 small tomatoes, cut in thin wedges
3/4 cup French dressing
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 and 2/3 cup very hot water
1/2 cup vinegar
2 Tblsp. lemon juice
2 cups shredded chicory or lettuce
1 cup coarsely torn spinach or shredded cabbage
1/4 cup minced parsley
Combine peppers, onions, radishes, carrots and tomatoes; marinate in French dressing 15 minutes or more.
Combine gelatin, sugar and salt; add hot water and stir to dissolve ingredients. Add vinegar and lemon juice. Chill until gelatin thickens.
Drain vegetables well. Fold marinated vegetables, chicory, spinach and parsley into gelatin mixture. Chicory, spinach and parsley do not wilt easily, but you may use lettuce or shredded cabbage, too. Pour into oiled pan; chill until firm. Unmold on platter. Serves 10-12.
Note: You can omit unflavored gelatin and sugar; substitute 2 (3 oz.) pkgs. lemon flavor gelatin and 3 and 1/2 cups very hot water. Follow same procedure.
Fancy Touches: For a design of vegetables on top of mold when you turn it out (as pictured), pour about 1/2 cup dissolved gelatin mixture into pan and let set. On this arrange an interesting pattern with radish slices, green pepper and tomato strips. Spoon a little of gelatin mixture over vegetables to 'anchor' them; let set before adding vegetable-gelatin mixture. A border of tomato wedges may be arranged around outer edge of mold for color.
Those fancy touches sound an awful lot like setting things in cement, doesn't it?
Before I go on with the recipe for the Jellied Beef Mold let me tell you that this cook book describes this as a 'substantial salad' and further states that, "Country people lead active lives and much of their food is hearty." Fair warning, this recipe is described as a "Kansas rancher's favorite summer supper dish. It's refreshing."
Jellied Beef Mold
1 and 1/2 lbs. boneless chuck beef
1 cup hot water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup cubed dill pickles
1 can condensed beef consomme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
12 pimiento-stuffed olives, sliced
Strips of pimiento
Simmer beef in water until tender. Remove meat; put through food chopper using coarse blade. There should be 2 cups ground beef.
Cool broth; soften gelatin in 2 Tblsps. broth.
Cook celery and onion in remainder of broth until tender, but still slightly firm, about 10 minutes. Drain, save broth. Mix celery, onion and pickles with meat.
Add enough broth to consomme to make 2 cups, heat. Add softened gelatin; stir to dissolve. Pour thin layer of gelatin into loaf pan; chill. To remainder of gelatin mixture add salt, pepper and beef mixture.
Arrange olive slices and pimiento strips in design over gelatin in pan. Spoon in beef mixture; chill. To serve, unmold on platter. Garnish with parsley and olives. Serves 8.
Considering all the work involved in the above recipes, it's no wonder women went back into the work force in droves! I would share with you this recipe for a molded 'Salmon Salad' but it suggests serving it with a chocolate sundae. That's just wrong.
But there's something awfully right about this silly little song about 'green jello'. It's a love song and it's stupid and fun. Enjoy. Gelatin can be good.