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French Dressing

My cookbook collection is exceptionally wide and varied. I have a fine selection of very high-end and exclusive cookbooks from a number of different sources. Additionally, I have some old, tattered, almost homemade cookbooks that I have purchased when traveling or that have been given to me as gifts.

Recently I was looking through “The 1973 Calico Cook Book.” This is a series of homespun community recipes out of Owensboro, Kentucky. I have several annual editions. One of them claiming to be the 20th anniversary. So evidently this was a popular, ongoing event in Owensboro.

The cookbooks were put out by a local organization called The Spastic Guild. The 1974 addition of the Calico Cook Book was in honor of the Pantomime University Band who was a major contributor to The Spastic Guild Milk Fund. I am not entirely sure what all of this means, but I find it fascinating to contemplate the history behind these 35 to 40-year-old community cookbooks.

The following is a salad dressing recipe from their 1973 edition. This recipe was submitted by F. K. Rader. I have taken liberties to more clearly explain some of the ingredients so you readers can easily understand the recipe.

French Dressing

Yield about 1 1/2 cup

1 tsp salt

1 tsp fresh ground white pepper

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 clove crushed garlic

1/4 cup tarragon vinegar

2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 raw egg, beaten

1/2 cup cream

Place all ingredients in a jar, shake well and chill.

With the addition of:

1 finely chopped hard-boiled egg

1 Tbl chives chopped

1 Tbl fresh parsley, cleaned and chopped

2 green olives, chopped

1 Tbl capers, rinsed

French dressing becomes Sauce Vinaigrette, which can be served over cold asparagus, artichokes, etc.

If you're going to make this dressing and be using a raw egg be sure to use one that's extremely fresh. I hope you enjoy.

To me French Dressing has a tomato base, usually catsup. This recipe has none, but it looks like a great combination none the less.

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