Sanford House Salad Dressing

SanfordHouseDressingVertbfLOWe were driving home from somewhere and talking about stuff and such – which is to say that we were having a wide ranging conversation about nothing of any great import or significance – for example: jello molds were mentioned.

No, I have no idea HOW jello molds came in to the conversation (even if I HAVE decided that 2011 should be a ‘Say Something Jello Mold’ year), but they did – which got me to thinking of this strangely good horseradish and lime jello ring my Aunt Buzz would serve with her Fractured Taco Casserole (also strangely good – except for the part where she baked the lettuce) – which got me to saying ‘I should make that’ (ermmm, without the baking the lettuce bit) – which got RICH to saying ‘you always say that’ – which got ME to saying ‘oh, yeah?’ – and words to that effect…

Short story quickly in danger of becoming a mini-series; the minute we got home, I went to my old recipe card file and found Aunt Buzz’s Fractured Taco recipe!

Still haven’t made it, tho’.

Irregardless – while thumbing through all the old recipes, I came across a type-written card for this salad dressing from some old-line New England restaurant that I believe is long gone (or, as my pepé used to say: ‘with Barnum and Bailey’) – yet another riff on the classic French dressing – this one a good middle ground between the traditional recipe and my current favorite Catalina, which calls for ketchup (don’t hate – it’s REALLY good!). As with most of the salad dressing recipes I’ve tried; I cut the sugar called for in half, and tailored some of the other ingredients to suit the contents of my larder and spice rack. Check it out:

•1/4 cup sugar – the recipe called for 1/2 cup
•1 tsp celery salt – the recipe called for 1 tsp each of celery seed (none in my pantry) and salt – so I split the difference and just did the celery salt
•1 tsp dry mustard
•1 tsp paprika
SHBlenderbfLO•About 1/8 coarsely chopped medium onion – the recipe called for 1/4 tsp onion powder
•1/4 red wine vinegar – cider vinegar might be nice here too – really just about any vinegar would do – tho’ I think balsamic would be kind of heavy
•1 cup canola oil

Combine onion, vinegar, sugar, and spices in a blender and pulse to mince the onion and combine.

With the blender running, add the oil in a light, steady stream through the hole in the lid, until emulsified.

VintageSanfordHouse02bfNot too, too sweet; and no funky ingredients – step away from the bottled dressing and try making your own!

UPDATE: Mystery, I think, solved! Thanks to some correspondence from a very nice lady named Sara, it would seem that the SanfordHouseDressingOriginalCardbfSanford House this salad dressing was featured at was the Brown-Stetson-Sanford House in Milledgeville, Georgia, known as the Sanford House Tea Room from 1951 to 1966.

Sara also very nicely provided a copy of the original salad dressing recipe that she hands out to folk touring the house, which is now part of Georgia’s Old Capital Museum, and invites folk to visit.

Seems like a nice place with nice folk – I’d check it out.

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One Response to Sanford House Salad Dressing

  1. Hi Terry!
    Thanks for sharing with your fans about the Brown-Stetson-Sanford House in Milledgeville, Georgia!! I hope you all enjoy the famous salad dressing recipe from the Sanford House Tea Room! Come visit us in Georgia’s Antebellum Capital!!

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