Molly MacRae Mondays: Summer Cooking – It’s a Beach!

Happy summer! As she is finishing her next delightful book, Molly MacRae brings us a fun post and recipe to spark your memories of vintage mold salads. In the next week, I’ll be uploading the video book reviews and posts I’ve been making on FB Live at my author page on there. My younger son, Owen, envisions himself as a YouTube cooking star and quickly took over my book review posts. You can see the posts there, too.

I came across a few beach cookbooks recently. One had pretty pictures and a good variety of recipes, but it’s too recent to be much fun. The other, from 1983, probably isn’t quite old enough to be considered vintage, but it has the advantage of being entirely about crabs. The Art of Catching and Cooking Crabs, by Lynette L. Walther, is part of The Shellfish Series published by Sussex Prints, Inc. It’s full of interesting information about crab biology, including a chapter called “The Crab Persona.” I’m a pretty good example of that persona from time to time. The real draw to the crab book, though, is the recipe for Crab Mold. Amy loves any recipe with ‘mold’ in the title, and if you say ‘crab mold’ over and over and over while letting your imagination run free, you’ll understand why.

 

Crab Mold

1 ½ cups boiling water

2 Three-ounce boxes lemon gelatin

1 cup chili sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 cup chopped celery

2 cups (or two seven and one-half ounce cans lump) crab meat

Sauce: recipe follows

In boiling water, dissolve gelatin and stir in chili sauce and mayonnaise. Chill until slightly thickened. Stir crab meat, relish and celery into gelatin mixture. Turn into a six-cup mold and refrigerate overnight until firm.

Unmold and serve, garnished with black olives and cherry tomatoes and this cucumber sauce:

Cucumber Sauce

            Mix two cups sour cream and two cups of unpeeled, well-drained, chopped cucumber, one tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of sugar and enough horseradish to give the sauce a slightly sharp taste.

Serves 10 to 12.

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