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Man's Recipe: Janet Spencer's Oil Dressing, 1954

Thu, 04/08/1954 - 10:56
From The East Hampton Star archive

There are 57-plus varieties of salad dressings, and some citizens I know are unconscionably stubborn about insisting that theirs is indisputably the world's best. I’m not going to be contumacious about it; all I am saying is that after testing and messing around with a few dressings, I know that this is the best one discovered to date.

Back in the 1910 era before we developed a vocabulary about vitamins, minerals, antibiotics, and molds, we had a chewy, tangy salad combination on the farm that Father and I thought tolerably good. It was a chopped-up mixture of cabbage and carrots and in addition Mother tossed on a few spoonfuls of sweet chutney. Then over the whole concoction she dowsed plenty of a sour cream dressing that was superb; not too sour, not too sweet; just right. That particular recipe is gone; I have never been able to find it, and my three sweet sisters, sweet most of the time except when they talk like sisters and try to reform me, cannot recall it either. One point puzzles me. If a man's wife has given up trying to reform him, why do his sisters keep up the fruitless struggle?

Janet's oil dressing has superb flavor, and if you have an I.Q. sufficiently high to chop your salads fine so you can efficiently get a load on your fork, you will like it. Use one cup salad oil, one third cup vinegar, one half cup tomato catchup, one teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, a medium-sized onion, one half cup sugar, and one teaspoon salt.

Cut the onion in small pieces. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a bottle. This recipe makes about a pint. Let the mixture stand a full week before using.

Why do I want my salads chopped fine? Listen, friends, there are more important things in my life than chasing a slippery, elusive, antagonistic leaf of greased lettuce around a plate. At the end of a hard day's work, I don't want to get tired out all over again eating salad.

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