A couple of months ago, I took a stab at inventing my own gelatin salad (a trendy orange/basil/jalapeno concoction). It sounded swell on paper, honest. The results were filmed, but will likely never see the light of day; the filming happened the same day as Lime Turkey Mold, which resulted in Dr. Husband's first (and only-so-far) taste-and-purge, and so it's a bitter memory for us both.
Now, though, I feel a bit more prepared for recipe creation, and instead of trying to be all artsy-fartsy I stuck to basics, and limited myself to ingredients I had on hand.
Since it contains cabbage, this salad is obviously based on the classic Perfection Salad, a staple of church suppers and school cafeterias well into the 1970s. Perfection Salad's existence can be traced back to at least 1905, and almost always involves cabbage, and sometimes olives, pimientos, lima beans, carrots, celery, pineapple...essentially whatever old crap you might have in the icebox and want to foist off on your unsuspecting family or guests.
Usually the salad is presented in lemon or lime flavored gelatin (or, originally, in unflavored) but I didn't have either of those flavors on hand, so I went for color palate. Which brings us to the name, "Sailor's Delight". My grandmother Mrs. White, had the climatological acumen of most turn-of-the-20th-Century farmgirls of her day, and one of the surefire ways to predict tomorrow's weather was by the color of the sunrise and sunset - i.e., "Red at night, sailor's delight; Red at morning, sailors take warning." (Her method of telling when a cloudy day would turn sunny - "It'll clear up if there's enough blue in the sky to patch a Dutchboy's pants" - is not quite as reliable, I'm afraid.)
On to the recipe:
1 box (3 oz.) orange gelatin
1 box (3 oz.) cherry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 can beets, diced
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add salt, vinegar, lemon juice, and cold water. Arrange cabbage and beets in a rectangular baking dish. Pour over gelatin mixture. Chill until firm. To serve, cut into squares; top with mayonnaise if desired.
I know what you're thinking, and quite frankly, I had my doubts too. So what did Dr. Husband think?
If you can't make it, then come two days later in Annapolis!
And if you happen to be in the North Carolina Research Triangle, and can do without hearing Dr. Husband, then come hear me in Chapel Hill!
Our Rating: One Screaming Husband!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)