Monday, 16 September 2013

Reader Recipe: Candle Salad

The wholesome fun of reader recipe month continues!

There are lots of things I don’t understand about vintage caker cooking. For example, why would you solidify a garden salad or add tomatoes to JELL-O? But of all the caker mysteries, candle salad never fails to, er, rise above the pack.

I have a hard time believing anyone could serve this with a straight face. I mean, it has dribbles of mayonnaise, for crying out loud. I know housewives from the '50s seemed pretty naïve, but Lucy had a kid, after all. She must’ve seen Ricky’s babalu at some point. Didn’t she see what we’re seeing? (I have a feeling Ethel knew, but Ethel had a past. You could just tell.)

This recipe was sent to me by readers Zöe and Jenny. Jenny runs the blog Silver Screen Suppers. She sent the recipe because it calls for a Life Saver – something that Jenny tells me they don’t have in England. I think that’s terrible. I mean, what joy can be found at Christmas without a Life Saver book wedged into your stocking?

Look very closely at Anne Shirley's eyes. Does she know or not? She knows, right? Tell me Anne knows.

Thanks Jenny and Zöe! Do YOU have a caker recipe you'd like to share? Email me at cakercooking at gmail dot com and I'll do my best to feature it.

1 can sliced pineapple
2 bananas
1 package of life-savers
1 bottle of maraschino cherries

Take a leaf of lettuce to decorate the plate and place on top of that 1 slice of pineapple. Cut the banana in half and place 1/2 in the hole the pineapple. Place the cherry on top of the banana half (see note). Then take 1 life-saver and put it about 1/2-inch above the pineapple into the banana. Then cover the top with mayonnaise. Then you have completed the candle stick. The pineapple is the holder, the banana the candle, and the cherry the flame, and the mayonnaise the drippings, and the life-saver is the handle.

Note: My candle had a, uh, slight curve to it. So I had to affix the cherry with a tooth pick.

Source: Anne Shirley via Jenny

Here's more on Anne, if you're interested.

42 comments:

  1. I love it when my food looks happy to see me!

    And you're so right about the Life Savers book in the Christmas stocking. Also required: Hot Wheels.

    "Ricky's babalu" made me snort my coffee.

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    1. I always wondered - why oh why couldn't they make a entire Life Savers book of cherry-flavoured ones? Or Rum n' Butter. I hated having to put up with all those other, inferior flavours like lime and peppermint.

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    2. Add to the list of traditional stocking stuffers a massive, hormone-induced apple and orange.
      Also I love your photo of the Candle Salad - I think you have a future in the niche industry of porn food photography.

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    3. Apples? Oranges? The most I ever got was coal. And a Bingo dabber.

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  2. Sorry about the curve in your candle Brian. Still looks highly edible though, and would be lovely to serve up as a special surprise at next bridge club.

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    1. Sometimes, life puts a curve in your banana. What are you going to do - blame Mother Nature or learn how to work with it?

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  3. I got pregnant just looking at that thing. My goodness.

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    1. Please invite me to the baby shower. We'll serve pink lemonade in case it's a girl and Blue Curacao in case it's a boy. And you'll have to wear a paper plate on your head with those tacky foil Christmas bows stuck to it. Because that's what you do at baby showers. I think.

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  4. Never thought Anne of Green Gables would come up with such a thing, but she was a saucy redhead who was way ahead of her times.

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    1. I was waiting for the first Anne of Green Gables comment, Polly. (Truthfully, I was a little afraid. AGG fans can be quite protective of their heroine.) BTW, it seems as though Anne Shirley (the starlet) had her name changed to Anne Shirley after playing the fictional character. Or something like that. I got a little confused.

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  5. So. Many. Dirty. Jokes. Must. Contain. Self.

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    1. It's a little too tempting, isn't it? Like dangling a carrot in front of a mule. A really big carrot. With mayonnaise on it.

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  6. My mother-in-law makes 'deluxe' bread and butter pudding (her words). The deluxe component is the addition of glacé cherries. She's never plonked anything like this on the table though - she'd be drummed out of the Women's Institute.

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    1. Oh, come on. I bet the Women's Institute would've loved this. Just think of the nutritional value, not to mention the dinner conversations it would inspire.

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  7. Oh, Anne knows. The phrase "and the mayonaisse the drippings" proves it. Thanks Brian for your consistently amusing blog. Mother and I just laugh and laugh!

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    1. I have a feeling Anne knows, as well. It's the way she's leaning forward in the photo, as if to say, "Psst. You ain't gonna believe this recipe!"

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  8. Caker? Maybe. Saturday morning cartoons in the 70's? Definitely.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NozOppLXh18&noredirect=1

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    1. I don't see any reason why you couldn't enjoy a Mondae, Tuesdae or a Wednesdae. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. The grape makes all the difference in the world.

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  9. I suspect that my husband might just love that healthy desert for a wonderful surprise. In fact I'll try to make it for him later on this week. So fabulous and not even any jello to make. I'll let you how he enjoys the candle surprise.

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    Replies
    1. You know, the flame of a candle salad can sometimes heat things up. Don't say you weren't warned.

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  10. If I had any idea it would look like THAT I never would have sent it. That's just rude. Ha ha. I love it of course. That Anne was definitely a saucy one.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, come on, Jenny. It's a thing of beauty. Like the leaning tower of Pisa. Sorta.

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  11. In England they could substitute Fruit Rolos. Nearly the same

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    1. Thanks for the tip. Jenny, you have no reason not to make it now.

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    2. Catt of the Garage26 September 2013 at 01:53

      Do you mean Fruit Polos?

      I think I have many reasons not to make this.

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    3. Rolos. Polos. Yolos. You people have everything in the UK.

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  12. Can you serve this in mixed company?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, but don't serve with mixed drinks. Things might happen.

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    2. ...or mixed nuts, I'm guessing. And Bridge Mix is right out.

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    3. Bridge Mix is never out in my books. It counts as one of the four food groups.

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  13. OK now I have to make this, just so I can see it live. Dammit.

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    Replies
    1. Mimi, you won't regret it. You never forget your first candle salad.

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  14. This was actually a children's dish. It was in the Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls as well as in a cookbook I had when I was a child (which I forgot the title of). I guess it was a way moms used to attempt to get some fruits and veggies into little Bobby or Susie back in the day

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    1. I have this cookbook. Search for my Bologna Cups. Now I have to dig it out and find out if the recipe is in my copy.
      P.S. Why do we always assume that every child in the '50s was named either Bobby or Susie? I mean, surely there was a North West back in the day.

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    2. I had this cookbook when I was a kid (and I thought it looked like fun back then) -- but I'm pretty sure the mayonnaise "wax" and the Lifesavers weren't included.

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  15. Is this truly meant to be eaten?
    Rana

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    1. Rana, I think it depends on how hungry or lonely you're feeling at the time.

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  16. thought you might be interested in this:

    http://dlisted.com/2013/11/06/hot-slut-of-the-day-136/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads up, Kirsty. Although I have to say - mine's bigger.

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  17. I know this is a really old post, but I just ran across this recipe in a 1936 cookbook. Instead of the cherry on top, it calls for a sliver of Brazil nut for the "wick", which you light before serving. That might make it slightly more candle-like. Maybe. I'm still going to be there was some snickering going on when it was served.

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    1. I can only imagine the snickering around the table when the host announced, "Hold on while I go light my nuts."

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  18. Re Candle Salad and Anne Shirley, actress:

    The photo showing Anne with her recipe, on p 208, for this comes from a book with a copyright date of 1938. The title is "FAMOUS STARS FAVORITE FOODS". The editor's name was Fannie Sniff. (Anne was born in NY on the 17th April 1919). On p 75 is a recipe from Deanna Durbin, one of Anne's best friends. It was for "Fudge Cake with a Fudge Icing and Filling".

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