Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Recipe from Seattle's (And My Mom's) Past

My mom was cleaning out their guest room, and brought me some boxes of things that were mine, or that she didn't want any longer and thought I might enjoy.  Among stuffed animals and pieces of coral were a few cookbooks.  One was a comb-bound yellow book called 'Scandinavian American Recipes'.

From the inscription on the title page of the book, it was given to my Mom (Janice) back in 1966 by her Aunt Marion, Uncle Bruce, and cousin Jill.

Later in the book I discovered it was put together by the 'Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church' in Ballard.

Feeling nostalgic, I asked Dan to find a recipe in it to include in our meal plan this week.  He picked a Swedish Baked Salmon recipe.  I normally don't include photos of the recipes themselves, but had to prove just how bad this recipe was.  No offense intended to Mrs. Robert N. Pearson, but I think she dialed it in a bit when she submitted her recipe for the book.

The first issue is that there are no measurements for ANY of the ingredients, unless you count the very specific '1 can' indication for the salmon.  Next problem, no indication of the size of casserole dish to use.  We decided to use an 8 x 8 Pyrex baking dish.  Next up in the train wreck of a recipe, there's no mention of what to do with the onions listed in the ingredients.  Given that the potatoes were listed as thinly sliced, we did the same with the onions and included them on top of the potato layers.  The sudden appearance of 'enough milk' in the instructions was surprising, but we thankfully had 'enough' around.  It wasn't specified whether to cover or leave uncovered when baking, so we opted for uncovered.  But then we realized there was no indication of the temperature at which to bake it.  Seriously Mrs. Pearson?  I took my queue from her note to 'bake slowly', and went with the default temp of our oven: 350 degrees F.  Salt and Pepper?  Nah.

Swedish Baked Salmon
1 can salmon
olive oil
raw potatoes
raw onions

Shred salmon, retaining juice.  Place a layer of salmon in a buttered casserole and sprinkle with a little flour and olive oil.  On this place thinly sliced potatoes.  Repeat three layers.  Add to salmon juice enough milk to make a liquid sufficient to cover the layers.  Dot with bits of butter and bake slowly, 1 hour.

Despite a lot of guesswork, we ended up with something edible, if a little bland. According to the back of the book, you can get a copy yourself for the very reasonable price of $2.35, and your order will receive their immediate attention.


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