Saturday, March 12, 2016

Watercress margarine and Dublin pineapple

In case you're wondering why my leprechaun lives in a pink world instead of a green one, the Culinary Arts Institute's The Holiday Cookbook (1973) uses pink for all its one-color illustrations. It works pretty well for Valentine's Day and Easter, but not so much for St. Patrick's Day or Thanksgiving. (Pink turkey and pink cornucopia, anyone?)

This little guy is hiding away under a mushroom with his treasure, not at the end of a rainbow as one might expect. That will set our theme for the day: something a little unexpected. No corned beef and cabbage: these are recipes billed as St. Patrick's Day appropriate, even if it is a bit of a stretch.

For the main course: Shamrock Sandwiches.

The recipe promises "real eating enjoyment," but I'm not sure how much excitement I could muster over a shamrock-shaped slice of bread covered with watercress-mayo-horse-radish-margarine. (Okay, there are potentially better combinations (for people who can stand mayo and horseradish), like chive-mayo-horse-radish-butter, but even that still strikes me as a pretty sad sandwich on its own.)

If shamrocks aren't lucky enough, you can always turn your green spread into Lucky St. Pat-wiches by cutting the bread into horseshoes rather than shamrocks. (I have to admit, the phrase "St. Pat-wiches" kinda makes my day.)

The suggested accompaniment is in the heading: "Dublin Pineapple Salad." Ah, yes, Dublin is so famous for growing the world's best pineapples in its balmy climate...

So what puts the Dublin in this salad mold of pineapple gelatin, cream cheese, lemon, and whipped cream?

Look down. Way down. Yeah-- there at the very bottom. You're supposed to cut green pepper shamrocks as a garnish. (Green pepper and pineapple is some good eating!)

Why do I have a feeling I will look at another book in this series and find a nearly identical recipe with a name like "Pineapple-Cheese Salad"? Maybe it's because I have (in 1956's The Cheese Cookbook, for one). This looks like one case where the editors just needed another recipe to fill out the section so they grabbed one at random, threw "Dublin" in the title, garnished it with completely superfluous shamrocks, and called it a day.

Happy St. Patrick's Day is Coming Weekend! Have yourself some watercress and pineapple to get ready.


  1. Lol, Poppy, this is one case where "pretty in pink" just doesn't work. Does it matter? Not really, as the recipes don't either, lol...I have to dig out my Culinary Arts books. Where oh where can they be?

    Thanks for sharing, Poppy...

    1. These books are a lot of fun. I've got stacks of them. I'm sure I could find that "salad" a few more times if I really applied myself.

  2. I find this to be very charming, I don't know why. Maybe because housewives of that era had a smaller world view.
    So, thanks, Poppy. This melted my icy Grinch heart :-)

    1. Wow! I didn't know that was possible. ;-)

  3. A shamrock sandwich! Who knew, sounds good to me...although maybe without the MSG!

    1. MSG was pretty popular for a while, but it definitely looks dated now.