Honey French Dressing

I got a great Christmas present from Mom this year (actually I got many from her—everything from an apron, garden markers, a hand-knit scarf, a can organizer for my messy pantry…).   But, the one I want to highlight today is Cornsilk.  

I had been searching for a favorite family recipe, one for a heavenly concoction called “Cranbrosia” which mom used to make during the holidays.   It is less of a salad and more of a dessert.   I could not find it in any of my cookbooks so I put Mom on the hunt for it.

She came through with an email of the lost salad recipe  (which I hope to post someday) and the information that it was in her copy of Cornsilk.

2013-12-31 12.23.32

Vintage Cornsilk with Honey French Dressing  (as seen on the Today show)

Long before it was even imagined that anyone in the family would move to Iowa, Mom picked up Cornsilk, a Junior League book from Souix City, in a local bookstore.   I think it was the first JL cookbook I ever saw.   This book was prophetic in a couple of ways.

  1. It started my love for JL cookbooks and for any cookbook that had complete party menus included in its contents.
  2. It was foretelling that twenty years later  my sister and her family would settle in northern Iowa with Mom soon follow.

Imagine my surprise that right before Christmas, I received a package in the mail direct from a book seller.   I hadn’t ordered anything so I was perplexed.  Had I won a giveaway?   Had a publisher sent me something to review?

No, it was my mom surprising me with my own copy of Cornsilk.

After the holidays, I sat down to revisit this cookbook.   One of the first recipes I landed on was in the salad section.   We were having simple sandwiches and salad for dinner and I needed a dressing.

The original recipe called for sugar and simply “vinegar.”   I added the honey and red wine vinegar.  I also replaced “chopped onion” with some dried shallots (for convenience).

Honey French Dressing
adapted from French Dressing (Cornsilk)

1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 t. paprika
1 1/2 t. sea salt
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. celery seed
1 T. dried shallots

Place ingredients in a blender and pulse until emulsified.

This makes quite a lot of dressing and can be easily halved.   I dressed a  great salad of spinach with clementines and pomegranate arils with it.

2013-12-31 12.24.18

Spinach salad with clementines and pomegranate, dressed with honey-French dressing.

I would expect some more postings from this book if I were you.

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


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