Purely by chance recently I came across a recipe for ‘Christmas Salad,’ – which was very timely indeed. I was initially inspired to search for other historical recipes for dishes with this name, but ended up focusing on the avocado instead.
In case you missed my post several years ago on the topic of the ‘calavo’ – it was the new name developed for the fruit by the CALifornia AVOcado Growers’ Association decades ago. Obviously, the name did not stick, so avocado it is today.
Here is the recipe that started me off:
Calavo, diced, 2 cups
Red apples, unpeeled, diced, 2 cups
Lemon juice 3 tablespoons
Olive or salad oil, 4 tablespoons
Salt, ½ teaspoon
1. Combine diced calavo and red apples; toss together lightly.
2. Mix lemon juice, oil, and salt.
3. Pour over fruit and allow to stand in refrigerator until ready to serve.
4. Serve in lettuce cups; garnish with watercress (Makes 8 servings.)
The China Press, December 24, 1936.
The following recipe is entirely appropriate for the season too, although I have to say that it does not appeal to me personally at all:
One egg, one cupful milk (part cream can be used though unnecessary,) three tablespoonful sugar, sprinkle salt, Guasti* sherry, Burgundy jelly.
Beat white of egg until stiff – add one tablespoonful of the sugar. Mix yolk with sieved calavo. Stir in one tablespoonful sugar and sprinkling salt. Add very gradually cupful of milk. Add one or two teaspoonfuls wine flavouring. Top or fold in the stiff meringue. Add a dash of nutmeg and top with a tiny piece of Burgundy jelly.
Los Angeles Times September 4, 1933.
Guasti sherry was a Prohibition substitute for ‘cooking sherry’: I mentioned it in a previous post, which you can find here.
Anything with cranberries is also right for the season:
1 cup cranberry puree
⅔ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Few grains salt
1 cup diced calavo
1 pint whipping cream
To prepare cranberry puree, drain juice from unsweetened, cooked cranberries; then force through siee. Add sugar to hot cranberry puree to dissolve; cool, and add lemon juice and salt. Prepare calavo by cutting into halves, removing seed, peeling and cutting into small cubes. Whip cream until thick and fold in cranberry puree and calavo cubes gently. Pour into refrigerator trays and freeze. Serves ten to twelve.
Los Angeles Times, January 16, 1936
And from an Australian newspaper in 1945, in an article on Food of the American South-west comes this novelty.
As an appetiser, Guacamole is particularly suited to a meal of this kind and, is simple to prepare. First, peel an avocado, remove the seed and put the pulp through a sieve; if it is ripe enough, mash with a fork. Feel and chop one tomato and mix it into avocado pulp to keep it from darkening. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, one half teaspoon of salt, one small onion, minced, and two dashes of hot pepper sauce. Chill and serve in bowl as a spread.
Cairns Post (Qld.) 26 October, 1945.