Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guest Post #11 - Are You Ready For This?

This next guest post is chilling in more ways than one. I have no words to describe it. I can't even think of a clever introduction. Just make sure you read to the very end and pay close attention to the final picture. Look very closely at this salad and you will notice one very frightening detail that will make you question everything you have ever known about bean salads. Allow me to introduce Karen and her 1974 Retro WW Bean & Mushroom Salad experiment...

I was very excited when I received this recipe, mainly because it was a great opportunity to use for the ancient box of Knox gelatin that had been hibernating in my pantry for years. I didn’t even flinch when reading the list of ingredients because although it seemed to be a very odd combination of flavors (green beans? dehydrated onions? artificial sweetener? GELATIN??), I knew that Weight Watchers would never deceive me.

Bean & Mushroom Salad

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

2 1/2 cups cold water, divided

1 tbsp dehydrated onion flakes

1/2 cup tarragon vinegar

artificial sweetener equal to 1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 cups whole canned green beans, drained

1/2 cup chopped pimento

1/2 cup sliced canned mushrooms, drained


Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water in saucepan. Stir in onion flakes. Stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Stir in remaining water, vinegar, sweetener and salt. Chill until syrupy. Fold in beans, pimento and mushrooms. Turn into a 5-cup mold (or bowl). Chill until firm. Unmold. Garnish with watercress. Makes 4 servings.

The recipe was not hard to prepare. The only surprises I encountered were: 1) the odor from the boiled dried onions and gelatin required the opening of the kitchen window for ventilation, and 2) the resulting sediment sludge:

A less-dedicated Retro WW Recipe Attempter would have stopped the experiment at this point. I was determined to power through and finish the recipe at all costs. Next came the addition of canned vegetables, gently folded into the slightly gelled goo.

After chilling the concoction overnight, the salad was ready to unmold and serve. I invited two friends over for dinner (I decided it was best not to explain the menu before their arrival), and eagerly awaited their reviews.

It was met with mixed reviews. All of us decided that it was not something we ever wished to eat again. That said, it did somewhat resemble three-bean salad, and the flavor was not as horrible as it looked. I would recommend trying this recipe with fresh vegetables and no gelatin.

Thanks Mimi for this opportunity!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mimi and Karen! I can't say I'm keen to try your recipe myself, but KUDOS to you for persevering when the sludging (is that a word?) started. LOVE the dish you served it on, and LOVE the lava lamp!! Perfect presentation for it.