Raiding the larder of ideas.

What one family eats, plans to eat, dreams of eating. Plus, other food and kitchen-related stuff from the home of steak-and-potatoes, pie and fresh green beans from the garden.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Boiled Dressing for salads

Okay, so I have allergies. Family and friends know the list of these is long enough to rival the best-known work by Lee Groban (to whom I blow a friendly kiss). At the top of my list is anything made of grape. Oh, sure, I can take a half a bottle of diphenhydramine HCl and be just dandy downing a dram or two of "naturally sweetened" something-or-other, but, by and large, I like to avoid the need for added chemicals. Therefore, when I want a potato salad, a chicken salad, cole slaw, or some other thing which might call for that grapey criminal store-boughten mayonnaise, I can, I suppose, dig out a blender and try to make my own, using rice vinegar.

Nah. I like this option better. It's more work, but...

For starters, there's a little bit of history to it, in its own way. When Mom was growing up on the farm, the farmhouse accommodated three generations. Traditional foods were served at holidays, standard fare was served in large quantities for the field hands and family alike, and a lot of what was most enjoyed was, as one might expect, made from scratch.

Mom spent quite a bit of her adult life trying to recreate some of her favorites family secrets. In a few cases, the recipes had finally been handed down to her by her aunt, Helen. In a few more, the recipes were in cookbooks published approximately the same time Grandma was around in her kitchen. And, in a few cases, something gets into print in a magazine or newspaper, and Mom stumbles upon it and does a little happy dance as she tries it, finds it matches her memories, and shares it with her offspring.

This particular gem was in the second category, with minor variations. Worth the extra time and effort, it is, as Mom says, "just like Grandma's."*

Boiled Dressing

Makes 1 1/4 cups

2 Tbs all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp ground mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/2 c. cold water
1/4 c. cider vinegar (fresh, strained lemon juice may be used as a substitute, or in a blend with the vinegar, just for a kick)
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 Tbs butter
1/2 c. light cream or whole milk (Mom occasionally uses whipping cream for the potato salad version, just for decadence)

Combine flour, mustard, salt and sugar in top of a double boiler. Stir in water , vinegar, and egg yolks.
Cook over hot – not boiling – water, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and cream.
Chilll in screw-top jar or plastic container. If necessary, thin with cream or milk when mixing it into salads. It will store, covered, in refrigerator for up to three weeks. (It does not freeze well at all.)

* Since our family has had geeks and tech fans since the days of the first offset printer, Grandma probably would have liked knowing that one can reproduce this using a microwave oven. One simply needs to heat for a minute or so at a time, taking it out to stir frequently, until it has thickened, then add the dairy products.

No comments:

Post a Comment