Project 52: Rationing - Week 29 - Tomato Aspic Salad
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I've always been interested in reading about victory gardens during both of the world wars. What I love about it is that everyone everywhere, including children, was encouraged to grow a garden in whatever spare land was available - yards, empty lots, in community gardens, and at workplaces.
One of my favorite wartime photos is of a man plowing up Old Main Hill on the campus of what is now Utah State University (my alma mater) for a victory garden. (see right) During WWI, Utah State University - then called Utah Agricultural College - was a land grant-based college focused on agriculture and funded heavily by the government. The college was asked to do its part, so, Old Main Hill was plowed up to grow crops for the war effort. I find that extremely compelling. Especially because I walked up and down that hill for 2 years!
School children all over the country during both wars grew gardens, and even work places had "office gardens" where employees would all participate in caring for the garden. Gardening was a serious part of the war effort and literally tons of food was grown just from these little scraps of land here and there. This greatly contributed to lightening the agricultural responsibility in providing for not only the country's food needs, but those of the troops and the aid for allies overseas.
I've always wanted to try my hand at making an aspic which uses unflavored gelatin. It's always fun to find different uses for gelatin! This is one of those recipes that I felt a bit of trepidation about. A jiggly mold of savory tomato doesn't sound too appetizing, but one of my goals when starting out on this project was to make some recipes that were out of my comfort zone. Believe me, this is one of them!
The ingredients are quite simple: tomatoes (fresh or canned), a bay leaf, gelatin, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, cold water, onion, celery, and some lettuce to serve it on with mayo for a garnish.
|tomatoes, bay leaf, gelatin, cayenne pepper, lemon juice,|
cold water, onion, celery
|Cooking tomato mixture.|
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water to soften. Return the tomato mixture to the heat and return to a boil. Add the gelatin and stir to dissolve. Add the lemon juice.
|Tomato Aspic Salad|
Doesn't it look so iconic?
The creaminess of the mayo is important for this salad to cut the acidity of the tomato. Also, it goes without saying, but you have to really like tomato to want to eat it! I was additionally happy to find that it did not remind me of fruit-flavored Jello at all. I think this would make a fun, retro appetizer for a dinner party. I mean, who wouldn't want to be able to say that they've had aspic? Haha!
|Recipe from Lysol's Victory Cook Book|