I have a couple of booklets about cooking things in Ontario, which theoretically is perfect for me, since I live there. One is called Cooking Ontario’s Eggs and the other is Cooking Ontario’s Turkey (apparently there is only one turkey in the province, better make good use of the leftovers!).
Of course I keep wishing that one was called Cooking Ontario’s Goose, but no such luck. The booklets were both produced by the Poultry Products Institute of Canada in Toronto, circa 1957. You can imagine the pedestrian nature of most of the text – how to cook the turkey in an oven, how to make stuffing, how to boil eggs. And then there is a recipe for turkey burgers or meatballs - “for the Go-Go Set.” The burger has a face and a hat. The photo is above. What is the Go-Go Set, pray tell? Perhaps they are go-going far away from the smiling turkey burger. I would, certainly. They are probably not reading this book. Why, they are doing the Peppermint Twist at the go-go, Poultry Institute People – not home reading up on how to make Hot Turkey Salad For the Church or Club Supper.
And then I came upon this little item. This must be where the turkey burger and his groovy meatball friends live.
Igloo Turkey Salad
3 cups well-seasoned mashed potato salad
3 cups well-seasoned turkey salad
2-3 Tbs mayonnaise
Use a large round-bottomed bowl (6-cup size). Spread mayonnaise as evenly as possible around inside of bowl. Carefully(and lightly) press all but one cup of potato salad in a layer about an inch thick around sides and over bottom of bowl. Spoon turkey salad into the centre. Press down lightly. Smooth remaining potato salad lightly over top to seal in the turkey salad. Chill an hour or longer. To unmold, run a thin knife carefully around inside of bowl, place a serving plate face down on top of bowl and quickly invert plate and bowl in smooth motion with a slight bounce as the bowl is turned completely upside down.
Garnish serving plate with lettuce and radish roses or tomato wedges. Cut with a knife into wedges with a wide flat pie server. Yields six servings.
For a buffet supper or teenage party the illusion of an igloo may be carried farther by scoring the surface of the unmolded salad to represent blocks piled up as in making a real igloo. Use strips of green pepper or ripe olives to outline the door.
First of all, I would like to know what mashed-potato salad is supposed to be. It doesn’t exist in nature, that’s what. But then neither do turkey-salad igloos. I guess it is mashed potato and mayonnaise. But you are smearing mayo in the bowl right away anyhow. That is a lot of mayo.
And I don’t think they use radish roses and tomato wedges as architectural decoration in the Arctic. Or anywhere. Or green peppers and olives as door frames.
Finally, why do 1950s cookbook writers think that teenagers – even 1950s teenagers – will be impressed by you scoring bricks into the mashed potatoes? Particularly since this thing will never ever unmold properly. It will just be a mashed-potato slag heap (perhaps an evocation of 1950s Sudbury?). Really, you need some industrial-strength gelatin to reinforce this sort of structure.
If we really want to cook Ontario’s turkey (or goose), let’s build something a little more geographically appropriate than an igloo (talk about your Canadian stereotyping). Maybe a CN Tower made of celery and turkey wings.