Monday, July 11, 2011

Chicken Mousse in Aspic (A Cult Classic)

The caption to this charming photograph reads:

"An all-season favorite, Chicken Mousse in Aspic features chicken, ham, whipped cream, liver pate, and mustard for a combination that is sure to please."

This comes from a chapter of Family Circle’s Salad Cookbook entitled “Molded Salad Riches” which was written by gullible people who have of their own free will joined a cult whose discipline is maintained by the forced consumption of massive quantities of LSD-spiked Jello. These are people who have lost touch with reality in a profound way. One can imagine their cult caretaker, himself drugged up to the eyeballs on Quaaludes, unlocking the padlock on the Family Circle fridge, seeing the paltry contents, and undergoing a slow-motion revelation about combining them as a perfect expression of a penance fit for testing the fortitude of the new recruits.

How else can this travesty be explained? What sane mind could possible come up with this introduction: 

"Heap up the goodness and fold or cover with gelatin and you have a molded salad. Lend them all the goodness of a full meal and you have a main-dish molded salad. In these pages you’ll chance upon many main-dish and side-dish molded salads."

It is not so much a culinary suggestion as it is a religious tract meant to invoke both awe and fear in those who recite it in hushed monotone in the “Family Circle” kitchens. Family Circle, my ass. The non-brainwashed mind sees the invitation to “chance upon” many molded salads as a threat, something to be ardently avoided and possibly reported to the authorities, not a promise for further means of devotion.

There is also a troubling amount of detailed instruction in this recipe, especially concerning the production of foil cones. This is a dead giveaway: once the acolytes are proficient at rolling foil cones, it’s just a teensy step away from the hillbilly crack pipe. Mark my words. 

Read the recipe at your own risk.

 Salad Cookbook, The Family Circle, Inc., 1972

Check out the militant-looking Family Circle logo in the corner (Dharma Initiative, anyone?).
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