Vintage Cookbook Vault: Aspic supper salad challenge
February 28th, 2011
04:15 PM ET
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The Vintage Cookbook Vault highlights recipes from my insane stash of books and pamphlets from the early 20th century onward. It's a semi-regular thing.

Y'all know we appreciate the absolute beans out of you, right? When we posted the Frank and Corn Crown recipe, along with a tossed gauntlet to document your efforts at home, we were downright giddy when reader Sarah picked it up - and deftly so.

Giddy turned to gobsmacked when we realized that she wasn't the only one. So – as long as we can keep finding fun, festive vintage recipes, once a week we'll post one and double-dog-dare our readers to blog about their efforts - with snapshots of the final product. Leave a link in the comments and we'll show 'em off.

This week's selection is from the Silent Hostess Treasure book, circa 1930. The General Electric Company was eager to showcase new techniques and recipes to previously icebox-bound homemakers. Cold salads - especially aspic-based - were suddenly de rigueur for any elegant dinner party.

"Aspic," you say? Why yes. Yes we did. We've also been known to say "congealed salad" or "vegetable congeal," but only when we're visiting our North Carolinian in-laws and have the chance to pop by the K&W Cafeteria.

Basically, it's a Jell-O salad, laden with vegetables and, as they're advising in the recipe below - meat. Cold meat. The illustration above purports to contain ham, tongue and chicken, but for all we know, it could be corned otter and wildebeest carpaccio. Let your butcher be your guide and have at it.

The recipe:
cold salad recipe

Post a link to your blog entry in the comments or upload via iReport and we'll feature your creation in an upcoming post. Now get your aspic in gear!

Vegetable Supper Salad

1 package lemon-flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 green pepper, chopped

Dissolve prepared gelatin in boiling water. Add vinegar and salt. Place in refrigerator Cabinet until mixture begins to thicken, then fold in celery, cabbage, carrot and green pepper. Turn into mold and return to Cabinet until ready to serve.

Unmold on crisp lettuce. Serve with thin slices of cold meat for the main course at supper or luncheon. (Any desired vegetables may be used in this recipe.)

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Annette G.

    My son just found a 1941 box of tomato jello!

    March 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  2. RetroRuth

    Hi Kat, thanks for the interesting posts on vintage cookbooks and bringing some attention to a stage of culinary history a lot of people want to forget. My husband and I eat a vintage recipe weekly on our blog, so we were more than happy to take up your challenge!

    March 9, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • Jerv

      That was pretty cool. Thanks for posting.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  3. Peekaboo

    I made it! Here is a link to my blog post about it..The Stripper Housewife:

    March 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  4. ThatBelle

    I actually finally got my hands on the Charleston, SC, Junior League's cookbook from 1950 (Charleston Receipts, yes, they spelled it that way on purpose). It's long since out of print and is still widely used and a pretty hot commmodity in the South for many folks.
    I had only had an aspic (tomato) once in my life, and I laughed when I saw how many aspic recipes there were in that cookbook! One of them had sliced boiled eggs and chunks of cold chicken IN it. I can't get too excited about that one, but some of the vegetable or cheese ones do intrigue me...have to check it out!

    March 3, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Kat Kinsman

      I am more than slightly obsessed with Charleston Receipts. The Otranto Club Punch is...deadly.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  5. Caroline Calcote

    Okay, I made it! Well, a version of it anyway. Here's the link:

    March 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      That is AWESOME! We'll post soon.

      March 2, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Jerv

      Too cool and a great read. Adventurous family, the best.

      March 3, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  6. Evil Grin

    Although I think I'd like to try this, just to see if I can do it (where do I buy a jello mold?), I have to admit, my gut reaction was "ewwwww".

    March 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Mildred

      I've got a bunch of copper molds and I've been wondering what to do with them...

      March 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  7. Mildred

    My only problem is I'm not sure I can get someone to test it with me... and I'm not going to make something like that all for myself (and I'm not sure I'd like it either... haven't really tried aspic dishes though I should... being interested in Victorian food and all...)

    March 1, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  8. SarahC33

    Alright, well when it comes to challenges I just can't say no. If I can get anyone to volunteer for a taste testing I'll post a link to my blog. Wish me luck :)

    March 1, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  9. Tokenuser

    I'd give this article a +1 just for the reference to K&W ... but the "congeal" is NOT the reason for going there.
    Some things are best left for the history books.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • Kat Kinsman

      My last name is Kinsman and my husband's is Wagner and I am SERIOUSLY considering a K&W tattoo. Fried livers & congeal for me. Prolly some greens and stealing some hush puppies from the aforementioned husband's plate.

      March 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  10. Apelwod

    But what if I don't have a refrigerator Cabinet?

    March 1, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  11. Anita Souschef

    If you use some Spicy V-8 it is wonderful.

    February 28, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  12. Sporky

    I just might try it...

    February 28, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  13. oldguy

    the seven second video of someone cuffing a wad of jello around with a spoon: can someone tell me why that is important?

    February 28, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Important? No. Funny - I think so. It's pretty much the recipe, and aspic is comedy gold.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  14. Sam Meyer

    Aspic is fine...but using lemon-flavored, presumably sweet, gelatin? ugh. Give me a nice tomato aspic any day.

    February 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  15. surfdog11

    You're kidding, right? No wonder the commies beat us into space! I haven't seen anything this disgusting since that haggis that ruptured in my kitchen (which had to be remodled just to get the smell out!) I hear that they have come out with vegetarian haggis, for those of us who don't want meat but would still like diarrhea....

    February 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Juni

      Trolls everywhere...

      February 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • xxsevensxx

      Try writing your own material.

      February 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • oldguy

      surfdog11: I'm just HOWLING with laughter. THANK YOU: "for those of us who don't want meat but would still like diarrhea...."

      February 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Lifelong Vegetarian

      You ask, I answer:

      See, not so funny when the stuff actually exists, huh?

      February 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  16. Maggi

    I actually like aspic; it's one of my family's Christmas traditions, and it brings back good memories of my grandmother and how she loved it so much. This particular recipe, though, sounds foul.

    February 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  17. T3chsupport

    Something about things in Jello... even fruit sometimes is too much... but meat and vegetables? Just the thought of that particular 'texture conflict' makes it hard for me to swallow.

    February 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
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