Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our Joy of Cooking.....

Yesterday, Husband and I made a salad inspired by the "Orange and Onion Salad" on page 111 of the 1975 edition of "Joy of Cooking."*
~This was the second recipe in our cook-through project. Yes, we know that this will take several years! For my coffee shop though I eventually intend to serve food grown in our (work-in-progress) urban farm. I cannot afford the culinary school that I very much want....if this doesn't teach me how to do it all, then nothing will! :-)

I have noticed that this cookbook always recommends using the best ingredients possible and making substitutions where necessary....this meant we actually did not use the oranges.

The oranges at Walmart were overpriced and only looked to be of acceptable quality. I had been slowly eating the Walmart oranges before we started the salad....each time the remaining pith upset my stomach a little and my fingers stung after the labor of peeling the hard skins. There were bits of hardness on the ends that I actually had to dig out. We started out using these oranges for the salad until we realized it was a pain. Perhaps, we will attempt some sort of juice to save this pitifulness (or should I say pithi-fulness).
~~Usually we have some little cans of mandarin oranges around but did not notice that we needed to restock.

Instead, we used Sweet Harvest canned peaches from Aldi's. The 29 oz. can was actually cheaper than small cans and the juiceness/texture was perfect.
~~The color was great. I had about a dozen of the peach slices at lunch time the next day and I still felt the same about the juiciness. There were only a few that were firmer in texture. These were not too soft-just right. I am very picky about canned peaches. We will try these again.

Other choices:
-----Onions. I am not absolutely sure that these were Bermuda onions. Walmart did not choose to label most of their onions but I do know from the label of the company (also not identifying the onions) that these were grown in the U.S. They were suitable for the salad and looked like small Bermuda onions.
-----Grapefruit. Walmart was out of pink grapefruit except for a few expensive and bad-looking specimens. We bought a bag of regular grapefruit. This grapefruit caused Husband to rate the salad a "9 or 8" as he thought the grapefruit was bitter (for salad or otherwise).
-----Romaine was the best choice of lettuce for us.
-----We went with (whole black) olives that are noted in the recipe as an "Italian version of this salad."
-----Obviously, we did not "arrange" this salad. :-)
-----Neither of us were willing to venture into making celery seed dressing yet. We went with a Vidalia Onion dressing (a fave in our house and something we convert others to). This particular Vidalia dressing was a vinaigrette. The dressing was made w/canola oil. It takes a while to find a dressing with canola oil-Husband is allergic to soy and I should avoid it.

-----We served this salad with bratwursts. Doggie got an unexpected treat when I accidentally dropped one of mine (happens every once-in-a-while with me when we have bratwurst).
-----I would not recommend Golding Farms Honey Dijon so far. I cannot place what I dislike about it....perhaps too much egg. I sampled a little spot of it when replenishing the dressing on the salad and thought the taste I didn't like might be because of layering the dressings. I then tried a small bit on a spoon and did not like that either. I will ask Husband what he thinks and continue to experiment with it.

*I have the copy that was released in September 1985.

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