Our Forgotten Foods — Jellied Salads? Really?


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Have jellied salads and tuna noodle casserole really become a thing of the past? Tastes have changed as Canada has grown, sometimes in surprising directions. In the 1950s, for example, we veered away from foods cooked from scratch to pre-packaged processed foods as households sought convenience. Now some people are lamenting about the loss of some of our forgotten foods?

Some of them I never had like Bannock, or fried cow brains. Fried cow brains, eh? i wonder why we left them behind? I do remember the stench of stale beer and pickled delights such as pig’s knuckles and pickled hard-boiled eggs. Oysters were common in my world as my Dad used to convene the Trinity Anglican Church Oyster supper. I still eat Welsh rarebit- so that’s not dead in my mind.

They forgot dripping/lard on toast, suet puddings, strawberry trifle, homogenized unpasteurized full cream milk all but disappeared by the late 1980s. I also remember the days when chicken was far more expensive than beef, so roast beef was always a staple.

One Tuesday when I came home from school I stopped dead in my tracks eyeing my mother and her canasta club having a Joan Crawford makeover day. Sitting like glamour queens, I am sure each one of them thought they all looked like MGM starlets munching on pineapple squares with bright red lips, short bangs and evil eyebrows. It was the scariest thing you ever saw and I swear I didn’t sleep for days after that gut wrenching experience. But those pineapple squares were bineg consumed faster than you can say Revlon.

Whip ‘n Chill in a box gone? Those jellied salad still show up from time to time.
My grandmother constantly made jellied salads for our family and church functions. On a summer Saturday morning she would call out to my Grandfather working in the garden.

“Fred, could you bring me some fresh tomatoes so I can make a Tomatoe Aspic for supper?”

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My Grandfather would smile, and she would hum as she boiled those tomatoes to death to add to lemon jello. Grammy would serve the jellied salad with a slice of lamb and make her famous mint sauce to go with the lamb. She always picked fresh mint from the side of the house that I always mentioned that cats, dogs and the homeless had peed on, yet everyone would rave about her salads.

Welsh rarebit is not dead! My mom used to give this to us with tomatoes melted into the (Kraft sliced) cheese occasionally. Then we discovered ‘grilled cheese sandwiches’ and never looked back. St James Gate in Carleton Place still sells an offshoot of on awesome rarebit.

In related news, most Canadians no longer drop dead of heart attacks in their sixties. Thanks to multiculturalism the Canada that was, is no longer.

drugs… it has to be

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

2 responses »

  1. Nice to see you here. I am battling it out over on Our and it isn’t all bad. Dust ups but who cares? Anyway. I think of you when I see my little granddaughter playing in a tuutuu and remember that great skirt you sent. I love the pictures of Sophia. I remember her birth as we were losing ours here. But Petunia is a handful and Im getting old! I love your writing and you. Glad you are still in touch. hugs

    Liked by 1 person

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