Pare and cut fine four tart apples, 1 small head of celery freed from all strings, and cut fine, 1/2 lb. dates, 1/2 lb. nuts, 2 oranges peeled and cut in small pieces, add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon fine sugar. Mix and serve on lettuce with whipped cream.
That recipe seems so simple until you read between the lines. The instruction to 'free the celery from all strings' is insane. How many of us would do that today? I know it would not be happening in my house! My celery (and most things related to me) will come with 'strings attached'!! The whipped cream would be most certainly whipped up by the hostess before serving. I can tell from the amount of food stains on this recipe card that it was made frequently. It's a healthy and cool salad to serve in summertime and I'm sure it was a good way to make use of all the celery that was growing in your garden. I'm thinking that tearing the strings off of all the celery must have been a lonely, boring chore. No TV to watch or radio to listen to. Was it a porch activity similar to snapping the ends off of green beans? You probably couldn't get together with friends and do this - they probably lived a significant distance away (remember, no car) and had plenty of their own family meals to prepare for along with all the other duties that a wife and mother in the late 1800's was expected to complete during the course of her day. Meal preparation and clean up was an around the clock event. And just think, no paper products...every dish, cup, fork and pot had to be washed!
Orange and Onion Salad
Peel the orange, cut off the end, slice about one inch thick, using 2 slices with a thin slice of Bermuda onion (or Spanish) between. Serve on lettuce leaf.
Now that's a simple salad! Except at the bottom of the recipe were these words '(over)'. Uh-oh.
Rub bowl with garlic
Small 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a good 1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
6 tablespoons oil
Wait a minute. When we venture down the salad dressing aisle at the store we're used to seeing French Dressing look like some sort of strange creamy orange-red concoction. This is not what we grew up with but it is the 'original' French Dressing. Read this foodtimeline article to learn about the origins of this basic dressing! If you're curious about all things onion check out this Wikipedia link!
I just finished reading a book today. I can say with absolute certainty that I wouldn't be doing much pleasure reading if I lived just a short time ago. There would be no blog writing either... Just for fun, I found a Kraft TV ad for French dressing and caramels. There's even a video recipe that involves 'piping' mashed potatoes around the edge of a casserole. Maybe we didn't evolve too far from 'freeing the strings' from the celery!