Let’s go back in time with aspic!

Ranked pretty high on any list of worst foods we no longer eat is aspic, a pretty dish wherein meat is molded in a meat-flavored gelatin and served up in a wobbly block or round.

Example:

saladThis is actually a salmon salad where the vegetables just happen to be immobilized inside a flavored jelly. Now that’s what I’m talking about! This is a salad! Not a kale leaf or pomegranate seed in sight! It’s too bad it looks completely inedible.

Why are we going back in time with aspic?

I’m glad you asked! I went to a bridal show last month with a mind to kick start my wedding planning. (Unlike many brides you’ll find on pinterest, I am not the most organized person so I’m afraid that the following year of planning my wedding will be one long unmitigated disaster.)

As would happen, I did not end up with any useful information about weddings, but I did agree to host a Tupperware party. Now something you’ll want to know about me is that I love Tupperware. I have an aunt in Germany who was a Tupperware lady and she is the coolest, she was always the life of the party. Also she gave me a bunch of Tupperware and that stuff is awesome! Seriously, if you are ever invited to dinner at my house, chances are you will be subject to some kind of Tupperware demonstration, they’ve got some seriously clever kitchen stuff.

I didn’t even know that Tupperware parties were still a thing you could do, I thought we had all moved on to sex toy parties. And really, if you don’t already have a dildo by now…

I got the same reaction from my friends when I invited them, each were surprised at my outdated event. I am pretty sure Dinah thinks that we are actually going back in time. She said she was excited to come but that “there’d better at least be a jello mold at this party.” Not being one to disappoint, I decided to accept the challenge. So began my epic search for the perfect aspic.

Finding an aspic recipe

First I had to find a recipe.  I headed to my favorite used bookstore and rooted around in their cookbook section for publications from the appropriate period. I originally found some promisingly dated items in a massive volume called “American Cooking”

sandwich loafThis is a “Vegetable sandwich Loaf” those green round things are asparagus. Looks completely unappealing, but actually I bet it would taste pretty good.

pastramiYour guess is as good as mine as to what the pink rosettes are made of in this pastrami canapé dish.

But it was in a 1981 version of the Weight Watchers Cookbook that I finally hit gold:

aspicDisregard the weird loaf in the front (mac and cheese loaf – why?) and feast your eyes on the disgusting blob resting on a bed of lettuce leaves in the background. That, my friends, is a fish and tomato aspic, the recipe of which I now own. That’s right, I spent five dollars on this outdated cookbook so that I can offer my closest friends a blob of tomato infused gelatin concealing cod and flounder fillets and dill pickle slices. Yum.

Actually, I didn’t even spend five dollars, I exchanged my complete set of Harry Potter books, as my favorite used bookstore in Montreal takes my English books. Was it worth it? You be the judge. Here is the recipe that sealed the deal:

Fruited Yogurt MoldCould it be? Why yes! It is indeed a fruited yogurt mold! Does that look delicious or quite the opposite?

But wait, there’s more! Would any party be complete without Chilled Tomato Appetizer and Radish Pinwheels? tomato diarrheaActually Radish Pinwheels sounds pretty good.

Finding a form

Next I visited my favorite tiny kitchen store to find a perfect aspic form. I think this one clearly wins:

fish panIt is shaped like a fish! Can you imagine if I served fish trapped in gelatin and shaped like a fish? Gross!

I also saw this form: bee panBut I don’t know how well that would do for aspic, it’s more of a cake form, this is what the finished product is supposed to look like:

bee cakeOk, who is going to bake me a beehive cake? Also, for what occasion does one need a beehive cake?

Now what?

This is going to happen. I’m going to gelatinize something and host a Tupperware party.

Here is what I’m obviously imagining this party is going to be like:

party time
Photo by x-ray delta one via flickr

And here is what is actually going to happen:

mike snoozeI’ll let you know how the aspic goes.

 

 

 

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