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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

BOOK/A TABLE - Salmon Mousse

The Sinclairs in E. Lockhart’s remarkable young-adult novel We Were Liars are good at two things: lying (as you might have guessed) and partying at the Sinclair family manse, christened Clairmont. Without giving away too much of this beautiful, harrowing story, below is a peek into how the Sinclairs get the party started with a recipe for salmon mousse. You’ll love We Were Liars and this mousse—honest.

“Clairmont cocktail hour...began...when people wandered up the hill to the big house. The cook was fixing supper and had set out salmon mousse with little floury crackers.”

I have long relied on The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins for many dishes and once again it provided a great (and fairly simple) recipe, this time for a salmon mousse. I pulled out an antique copper, tin-lined mold fashioned into the shape of a salmon I’d found on eBay and set to work.

Behold the mold! I plated my mousse with slightly salty orbs of salmon mousse roe, mache rosettes for the greenery, and half-moons of Kirby cucumber slices around the periphery of the mold (you could use these for scales as well). A pimiento-stuffed olive slice served as the observant eye.

As the recipe suggests, refrigerate the mousse for at least four hours. If you use a decorative mold, as I did, invert it afterward onto your serving plate and let it rest at room temperature, about 15 minutes. When you see it start to ease out of the mold all by itself, carefully lift the mold off and adorn as you will. Serve with toasty bagels for a late breakfast or perhaps as a starter course for dinner. When serving at a cocktail party, try some kettle crisps for dipping—and party on!

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

BOOK/A TABLE - Vodka Blush

Usually the hubs and I wait until Halloween to watch Rosemary’s Baby, along with Ghost Story and Die! Die! My Darling! (starring Tallulah Bankhead) as well as the original versions of 80s horror classics, and of course, Halloween.

Sometimes we can’t wait that long. We tuned into Rosemary’s Baby the other night and I realized I had forgotten all about the Vodka Blush that Roman Castevet serves to Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse. The cocktail is in the book too, but seeing the vaguely crimson concoction on the big screen, one has to wonder what gives it that oddly suspicious, faintly ominous hue...? 

“Mr. Castevet came in, holding in both hands a small tray on which four cocktail glasses ran over with clear pink liquid. ‘Mr. Woodhouse? A Vodka Blush. Have you ever tasted one?’”

And although the once popular drink fell out of favor back in the 70s, surely it’s time to reconsider the Vodka Blush, a delightful refresher anytime. Call it a predecessor to the Cosmo, if you will! 

Satanic ritual garnish not required. 

Vodka Blush
Adapted from ForkYourConsideration

2.5 ounces of your preferred vodka
3/4 ounce Fresh Squeezed Lime
A dash of Grenadine for taste and color

Mix in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Pour into a drinking vessel of your liking, or add a straw and sip straight from the shaker.

And go ahead, stick in a sprig of rosemary should the spirit of cocktailing compel you!