114. Cold Appetizers–Thanksgiving Snicky Snack Celebration!

Are you sick of turkey? Well I am for only one reason: The Great Deep Fried Turkey Fiasco of 2011 (all I’m going to say is that if you promise to save some fried turkey for Cleveland, it best be there when he asks for it). If you are totally over turkey, this one is for you–a Thanksgiving recap sans the usual suspects (but with an extra-special tuna terrine! HUZZAH!).

I love Thanksgiving dinner–gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes–the whole kit n’ caboodle. But for as long as I can remember, the best part of Thanksgiving is the afternoon meal-before-the-meal: SNICKY SNACKS.  I wanted to contribute to this year’s holiday–Dinner is Served!-style–so instead of adding to the main meal (why mess with the perfection that is the traditional  Thanksgiving dinner?), I retro-fixed this year’s SNICKY SNACKS!

Every year we serve the following: Deviled Eggs (yum), Oysters on the Half Shell (ooooh), Mummy’s Thanksgiving Oysters (absolute heaven: oysters topped with crab, bacon, and cheddar), and Shrimp Cocktail (classic and delicious); and then the occasional cheese log or spinach ball. But this year, thanks to Card #114, I added 5 more dishes. FIVE!

I began the day before Thanksgiving. First off, the Pickled Garbanzo Beans and Pickled Cauliflower. I made the dishes as directed, but two notes–my mum did not have dried oregano in her spice cabinet (I don’t know how this is, but it is). Also, I have no idea what DiS! meant by “2 green chili peppers” in the Pickled Cauliflower recipe. Since DiS! has been so spice-averse, I used one jalepeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed.

Those were mixed and refrigerated overnight.

Next up: Cheese Spread. Well, that’s pretty self-explanatory. With a hand mixer I blended together the butter (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!), the Camembert, shredded Swiss, and half and half. I eventually got it to the right level of spreadability but this spread was bland. Spectacularly bland. It tasted like margarine–margarine that I had no problem believing was not butter. Me and my mum tried to fix it by adding copious amounts of pepper and garlic salt. An improvement, but still not quite right. What to do? By utilizing the skills I’ve adopted while living in Maryland, I solved the problem with a shit-ton of Old Bay. And into the mold it went.

Onto the other spread!

Oh, Lord have mercy. I think my aversion to canned tuna has been well-documented on this here blog, so you can imagine that I wasn’t keen on this one to begin with. But then DiS! totally bitch-slapped me with this:

Yes, that is skin you're seeing.

Ugh.

First things first, I had to fish (ha!) out some of the onion from the jar and then measure out 8 oz of herring.

The only good thing in this photo is the Lifetime movie on TV

The herring then went into the blender with melted butter (I Still Can’t Believe This Shit Ain’t Butter!), the onions, and drained tuna. Joy.

Blender on!

There are no words.

This didn’t blend exactly as #114 intended (or at least how I imagined it would have). I had to puree the living daylights out of this stuff to get it to a spreadable consistency. I packed it into a mold.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving Day.

For the Curried Almonds I sauteed them in the oil and spices right before the snicky snacks were served. As always, I added extra curry powder.

So here it is, #114 after all of the blending, molding, and un-molding.

Snicky Snacks are served!

I apologize for the blurry photography. I may have been tipsy already.

So there you have it. I do have to admit that I impressed myself with the molds. It’s like magic! Here are some other photos:

Pretty cheese. I made fargin' radish flowers!

Pickled garbanzo and cauliflower

I don’t know what I would have to do to make the tuna spread white like in the photo for #114 (seriously, look at the original photo), because mine, depending on lighting, looked either grey or flesh-colored. MMMmmmmmmm! But I did jazz it up with the roe, and utterly impressed myself again. Behold my masterful garnishing! I just wish that the caviar had been on the cheese mold instead of this one. I like caviar. But not on fish loaf.

I kinda hated everything I made. The chickpeas and cauliflower were fine, just nothing fantastic. The nuts, although edible, would’ve benefited from being roasted in the oven. The cheese spread was remarkable in its unremarkableness. And the tuna herring spread was tuna herring spread: I took a bite but it was my one and only. Cleve and my brother couldn’t handle the mere smell. Oddly enough my parents dug it. Perhaps it is a generational thing.

But at least all the traditional Snicky Snacks were delectable.

Dinner was Ah-ma-zing. So, I lied. I had to mention the turkey. Especially since we dressed ours up:

So, what do you actually call those turkey frill things?

My mum is a damn fine cook so I although I promised not to make this a turkey-centric post, I do have to show just how goddamned pretty this spread was:

Pretty, right? She’s the hostess with the mostess. Anyhoo…I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. One without Tuna Herring Spread, of course.

Tell me if you made something new, odd, or just plain horrific this Thanksgiving.

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18 Responses to 114. Cold Appetizers–Thanksgiving Snicky Snack Celebration!

  1. Dad says:

    Em

    Maybe it is a generational thing. It apparently has nothing to do with DNA, that’s for sure. Hmmmm? Or maybe you and your brother ARE NOT MY CHILDREN!?!?!?!?

    No. Too many other things prove that you are. (Thank goodness.)

    Good work at Thanksgiving.
    Dad.

  2. Dillon says:

    You are my hero. I don’t think I could have made that herring thingy. I was gagging just reading it…
    My holiday was great. We had 7 desserts for 6 people, well.. 9 total if you count my trial cake and a random fruitcake,
    I made:
    Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Caramel and Cream Cheese Frosting (Complete with homemade candied orange peel) and a Spiced Cranberry Bundt Cake . The Pumpkin Cake is a tried and true, go-to holiday fave, which I highly reccomend. This was my trial run for the Cranberry bundt cake, and its good, but as many of the reviews said, it is a delicious brunch alternative to coffee cake… not as desserty as I would have hoped, but my future step-father-in-law had it for breakfast every morning of our visit.

    Next time I am in your hood, you are cordially invited to the Uncles to peruse their retro cookbook collection. The have an entire bookcase of cookbooks, most of which are retro…

    And I have no doubt your mama put on a good spread. She is quite the cook.

    • Yinzerella says:

      Good lord, woman. That’s a lot of sweets! I never thought that you’d turn out to be such a baker!
      I would love to see their collection (I did get the photo, btw) I am sure that theirs makes mine look like a little speck of bird poo.
      Also, don’t you guys do the night of the 7 fishes or what not? There HAS to be some herring involved at some point in the evening.

      • Dillon says:

        Ahhh… but here’s the thing… we talked my grandmother out of the really gnarly fishes years ago. My Aunt Cheryl is quite the foodie, so she now does a tuna tar-tar and we are saved from the squid or the herring…

        Hope to see you over the holidays!

  3. iamsurly says:

    Herring Tidbits? WTF?

  4. JenEngland says:

    We had the usual, but I popped open a jar of pumpkin pickles and pickled sour cherries. Both were deeeeeeeeeelicious. But I’m not sure my dad liked them. Oh well. More for me and my pickle loving friends!

  5. mum says:

    ahhh…thanks for the shout out. it was tasty, wasn’t it?

  6. Godzilaw says:

    Herring? Ewww. My husband loves herring. In cream sauce. He eats it with Wonder Bread. I always need to leave the room when he cracks open a jar of that stuff. I am impressed that you were brave enough to not only open your own jar of nasty fish-bits, but to also cook with it! Kudos!

    • Yinzerella says:

      Well, what can I say? Anything for Dinner is Served!
      I remember my dad eating creamed herring on New Year’s Eve. Blarg.
      Also, I absolutely adore your screen name.

  7. Impressive! The molded spreads and the beautifuly carved radishes were my fav.

  8. Erica says:

    “I kinda hated everything I made” summed it up well! I’m not surprised the fish paste loaf thing was bad, but I had hoped the nuts would be good. Or at least the cheese spread.

  9. Lauren says:

    I’m terribly impressed with your molding ability–sorry it was all disgusting. I was really excited about the caviar-covered appetizer until I read it had tuna in it. Blech! I don’t mind Herring, but Lord I hate tuna. Love caviar, though (especially when used in a decorative capacity).

  10. Pingback: BH&G Fish and Seafood Cook Book: Crab-Deviled Eggs and Smoked Oyster Puffs | Dinner is Served 1972

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