Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sugar Salad from a Lady Who Lunched

I inherited my grandmother’s massive recipe box after her death in 2007. She was a prolific cook, using her joint Serbian-Southern heritage to dazzle and inspire. I love pouring through her recipes and notes to see just how meticulous she was in the kitchen, but one card has always puzzled me:

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Cinnamon Stars Salad

6 apples
1/2 cup red cinnamon candy
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups water
Cream cheese
Chopped walnuts
Chopped celery
Mayonnaise

Pare and core apples. Cook candies and sugar in water until dissolved. Add whole apples and cook slowly until translucent, but not soft. Chill. Cut apples in sixths to within 1/2-inch of bottom. Combine cream cheese with chopped walnuts and celery, and add enough mayonnaise to moisten. Stuff apples with mixture and top with chopped nuts.

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OK. Three things confound me about this recipe. First of all, the title. The “cinnamon” and “stars” I get, but can anything with candy dissolved in sugar-water really qualify as a salad? Second, neither my mom nor her three siblings remember this dish. Third -- and perhaps strangest -- this recipe does not show up in Google. Like, anywhere. I have exhausted all efforts to locate something similar.

Are there other folks out there searching for specific enlightenment? Has anyone heard of or (better yet) eaten it? Is anyone else picturing my grandmother looking down at me with a “joke’s-on-you” expression? Someone help me out, here!

6 comments:

Genie said...

Sounds distantly related to my friend's South Carolina grandma's pear "salad"...you take canned pear halves and stuff them with something creamy, mayonaise-y, and sweet. I don't get it, either.

However, that grandma has a killer recipe for fried chicken.

Rita said...

This is "salad" the same way "ambrosia salad" or any of the "jello salads" are salads. No, my family never had anything with apples and cinnamon candy, but there were plenty of other "salad" confections, most frequently clipped from 40's and 50's women's magazines.

danhole said...

My Mother in law considered anything that had fruit and celery in it to be a salad, not matter what other oddities were int there. Just to reassure you that this is not a joke, hers is another source of the same recipe:

http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/flavorsoffall/cinnapp.htm

fallingblue said...

This copy of the recipe even has a picture of the final product:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cinnamon-Apple-Salad/Detail.aspx

fallingblue said...

Oh, and here's someone who found the recipe in his/her mother's recipe box with a picture of the recipe card. I wonder which magazine this recipe came from that it made the rounds at some point in time:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/phil_g/17283613/

fallingblue said...

Okay, last one, I promise. I found this blog post which dates at least part of the recipe to a 1955 source:

http://kitchenretro.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/food-that-inveigles/