Classic White Food for Black People, pt. II
If you missed the holiday cooking of outdated white aggression last week, check out part I here. Now we’re back for the second and final installment with, as I promised last week, Christmas Candle Salad. And, man, is it a doozy. Again, this new holiday horror comes to you from the talented scribes behind vintagerecipecards.com, because the dark gods of culinary chaos must be appeased, and we must feed them nightmares.
So, let’s get crackin’!
Christmas Candle Salad
Imagine the Christmastime charm of candles with bananas! … and gelatin! Again!
This not-at-all-phallic looking madness comes to us courtesy of the long-defunct “COOKINDEX Division” of H.S. Stuttman Co. Inc. The publisher wanted us all to know back in 1958 that their creation was a product of the “Tested Recipe Institute Inc.,” of New York, so it was 100% white people-tested and white people-vetted. And darned if the deprived Black folks in my life ain’t gonna get themselves some of this Karen-coated goodness. Let’s get after it!
The first step in this recipe is obviously to get your gelatin molded and ready. So here we go with another pack of flavorless gelatin. This time, we’re mixing it with the juice of cranberries, which are just blueberries that hate you.
You know, while I’m mixing up the Knox-brand gelatin powder with my little 1/3-cup of cold water here, I’m tempted to tell you where Knox gets its gelatin. Gelatin is collagen, a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones in water. They basically take the rattling, mummified bits of the cow that’s left after machines have sucked out all the soft parts, then they boil it down for an ungodly amount of time. And ta-da, gelatin! Don’t tell your kids. It’s our garish little secret.
Alright so, the recipe calls for pouring the resulting cranberry red-Jell-O into star-shaped gelatin molds, but that brings us to the problem of there not being any gelatin molds anywhere outside some old Florida voter’s attic. What I’ve done, instead, is pour the mess into a big glass baking pan and put it in the refrigerator. Then I used star-shaped cookie cutters to cut out star-shaped perfection. I’m brilliant!
… if I'd known gelatin sticks to the bottom of glass pans, that is. And those delicate bits of stars go to pieces when you try to get a spatula under them. The massacre left me with things that look less like stars and more like starfish mangled by otters. I only had four “survivors” by the end of it.
Now comes the halving of the bananas, which is way easier than stuffing them into the middle of the gelatin starfish-corpses. This is because bananas are lop-sided, curly things, and they keep falling over and collapsing into each other like sticky dominos. After my 30th time replanting the greasy li’l knobs into their obscene-looking little forest, I had an earth-shaking revelation: For a race of people who spent five centuries comparing other human beings to animals, white people sure did have a thing for bananas. They’re in almost half the old-timey, pop-culture recipes I came across. That, and $*^&%*@ gelatin. Am I the only one noticing this?
Once I finally get the bananas to stay upright, the recipe calls for dabbing a little mayonnaise on the tips, because of course there’s mayonnaise.
Alright, if we leave this sitting out for Santa on Christmas Eve, he’ll dump garbage right down our chimneys. So, let’s wrap some garland around the plate to give it that little boost of holiday spirit that it so desperately needs.
Yikes. … Wow, those drippy little almonds at the top of the “banandles” really don’t do anything for it, do they? I stare down at the forlorn lettuce leaves and try to remember this thing is intended to be some kind of salad. So it’s supposed to be gross—you know, like salads are. That’s really the only thing it’s got going for it.
Welp, one of our last recipes (Ham and Banana Hollandaise) got banished to the racoons; another one from last week is still clogging the toilet, because even the raccoons rejected the chicken mousse, and I couldn’t have that thing sitting in the garbage until Tuesday. So, that left me with one enduring red-blooded, traditional American recipe survivor to greet my adoring African American wife when she comes home from her hard weekend job. “Banandles” and I will be waiting for her when she hits the door, and, by god, this woman is gonna get herself a nice strong whiff of the “Good ‘Ol Days,” that only a white American man can deliver.
I can’t wait to see her reaction.