Saturday, June 30, 2012

Retro Mimi Potluck - The First Guest is HERE!

Ding Dong!

Friends. I ask there anything more exciting than the sound of the doorbell ringing upon the arrival of your first party guest? My Twitter pal Mary is in the house, and she is bearing a covered dish that will knock your socks off. Mary was the first to step up to the plate when I asked for guest bloggers, so I felt she deserved to make the GREATEST SALAD OF ALL TIME! Thanks Mary, you are a salad superstar! 

Let the Retro Potluck Party begin! The Mackerel-Cantaloupe Salad has arrived!

Hello! My name is Mary, and I blog at My blog started as a place to keep myself accountable as I attempted to lose over 200 pounds; now, with over 150 pounds gone, I blog about everything from food to running to life as a smaller person, and everything in between!

I've lost my weight by eating better, eating less, and moving more - not any particular plan like Weight Watchers. The idea of the retro Weight Watchers recipes intrigues me, though - I love retro cookware and cookbooks, my kitchen is outfitted with avocado green vintage Pyrex and my bookshelves are lined with copies of used cookbooks from the 60s and 70s, featuring many, many, many salads like the one I've prepared here:

It's "Mackerel-Cantaloupe Salad," as featured in a 1974 issue of WW Magazine.

1 tbsp dehydrated minced onion flakes
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 medium cantaloupe
8 ounces drained canned mackerel, flaked
2 tiny dill gherkins, sliced
2 tsp lemon rind
1 tsp paprika

Combine onion flakes and lemon juice. Cut cantaloupe in half crosswise; remove seeds and scoop out each half. Finely chop cantaloupe; combine with mackerel and lemon juice mixture. Mix well. Using melon baller, scoop out fish mixture. Place 1/2 the balls in each cantaloupe shell. Sprinkle each portion with tiny pickle slices, grated lemon rind and paprika. Makes 2 servings.


Gathering the ingredients was the first task; I'd never had mackerel before, and was a bit taken back by the visual after opening the can, draining the liquid, and lifting the lid to peer inside.

Holy mackerel, indeed. Yikes! I eat canned tuna all the time, though, and figured it couldn't be much worse, so I pressed on. The recipe called to use a melon baller and scoop out the fish mixture; since I'm preparing to move across country and my melon baller was already in transit, I just used a spoon. The presentation with the lemon rind, paprika, and pickle slices was still quite lovely, though! And the verdict on the taste? 

It wasn't half bad.

Think about it: we squirt lemon on fish, so why not just mix it all together? The cantaloupe wasn't overly sweet, which helped, I think - it was actually pretty good. Maybe not something I'd make for a supper guest or dinner party any time soon, but it was a nice sweet-and-savory salad for a summer lunch!


Denise said...


I don't even have words to describe how brave you are for trying this. Hats off, my friend.

Caker Cooking said...

Well, I suppose if the Italians can mix prosciutto and cantaloupe, there's no reason why the good folks at WW can't toss in a mackerel ball or two. You're a trouper, Mary.

Shoes15 said...

This recipe intrigued me since Mimi first posted it a while ago. I wasn't about to try it myself, mind you, but I wondered. Weird combos sometimes work.

Lynn Thompson said...

First off Mary, CONGRATULATIONS on your weight loss!! I can't even begin to say how happy I am that you got this recipe instead of me. I read it and re-read it and I can say with 100% certainty there is NOW WAY I would have tasted it!!

lexi said...

Mary! Your blog and story are amazing. I spent all last night reading through. Thank you.

Seriously though, fruit and fish: I can't do it (I don't think. I would have tasted, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't have eaten the rest. I feel lucky with the recipe Mimi sent me now! It does look very pretty though!