Leave it to my grandmother, Hanna, to clip every newspaper recipe that remotely interested her and then stash it away where she couldn’t find it again. I came across dozens of yellowed clippings inside a book for Royal Baking Powder recipes that I inherited from her kitchen clutter. It’s hard to say exactly when she clipped this Winter Salad recipe, but my best guess is in the 1930s. She scrawled another recipe on a calendar page from 1932. On the back of the newspaper clipping is a report of a luncheon for 400 at the Turf and Field Club at Belmont Park, a racetrack in the New York area. The track’s colorful history includes an aerial competition hosted by the Orville Brothers in 1910.
Did this salad make it onto the menu at the Turf and Field Club? It seems better for an informal meal, not elegant enough for those who “motored out” to the track. After one of the snowiest seasons on record in Boston, I couldn’t resist the idea of a salad actually designed for winter. It’s sturdy and crunchy – and loaded with bright colors to chase away the monochromatic landscape. This will do until the real salad season arrives.
Winter Salad (1930s)
3 cups grated raw carrots
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup chopped sweet pickles [I used cucumbers sprinkled with vinegar]
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup chopped olives
1/2 cup mayonnaise or cooked dressing
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lettuce, for serving
Crackers, for serving
- In a large bowl, toss together the carrots, celery, pickles, peanuts and olives. Add the mayonnaise, salt and pepper and toss again.
- Serve on chilled lettuce accompanied by crisp, salted crackers.