Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tomato Pineapple Surprise

The Joys of Jell-O (1960)
I'll be perfectly blunt: today's post is less about the recipe (which didn't sound altogether disgusting to me) and more about featuring my new collection of Mirro brand Copper-tone Molds (with Alumilite finish!) which I fetched at an antique mall in Burlington, NC, mint in box for nine dollars. YES, NINE DOLLARS. 
Another ten bucks for my long-coveted fish mold (still with the Mirro-brand sticker affixed) and it was a happy day, indeed.
The Aluminum Manufacturing Company of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, was incorporated in 1895, inspired by the white-metal wonders from Germany that had been featured at the Columbian Exposition of 1893. In 1909, they merged with the Manitowoc Aluminum Novelty Company in neighboring Manitowoc, and a legend was almost-born! (FUN FACT: Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels, is one of the youngest serving Mayors in the US!)

The company's early days were spent producing heavy-gauge, high-quality pots and pans for the emerging American housewife, as well as combs, compacts, and other "novelty" items.  By mid-century, they had expanded to become almost entirely a cookware manufacturer, including the radiant molds you see above!
(You can find a more exhaustive history of Mirro, at least up through 1955, in the 1955 edition of The Mixing Bowl, downloadable here.)

Now, the recipe - a pretty standard tomato aspic variation from 1960's Joys of Jell-O. I apologize for the lack of originality, but it was my first time home in three-and-a-half weeks. I'll have a little more imagination next week.

You CAN make the below without the pineapple (it which case it's called just Tomato Surprise - "A can of flavorful stewed tomatoes becomes a tempting mold!" - if you do so, eliminate 1/2 tsp. of the vinegar and the allspice.)

1 can (1 lb.) stewed tomatoes
1 can (8 3/4 oz.) crushed pineapple
1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Lemon, Lemon-Lime, Strawberry, or Mixed Fruit Gelatin (I used Lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Pour tomatoes and drained pineapple into saucepan, saving cans to use as molds (I used one of my new fancy molds.) Bring mixture to a boil; add Jell-O Gelatin, salt, and allspice, stirring until dissolved. Add vinegar. Pour into mold or cans. Chill until firm. Serve with mayonnaise, if desired. (You'll desire it, trust me.)

Dr. Husband has a history of not minding tomato aspic, so I wasn't too worried about the tasting:
Our Rating: Two Screaming Husbands!
(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.)

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