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Bette Davis’ Mustard Gelatin Ring for Christmas? The Recipe in <i>Eating With the Stars</i>

Bette Davis’ Mustard Gelatin Ring for Christmas? The Recipe in Eating With the Stars

Eating With The Stars

“What. A. Clump!”  While it may be hard for contemporary palettes to even parse the concept of a “Mustard Gelatin Ring,” it strikes me as exponentially more interesting in terms of both gastronomy and semiotics when combined with “Bette Davis.”  Just try saying “Bette Davis’ Mustard Gelatin Ring” without smiling.  You see?

Bette Davis serving something that isn’t a mustard gelatin ring, at the Hollywood Canteen, circa 1944

Now as far as I know—which when it comes to gelatin rings is admittedly not much—most contemporary gelatin concoctions are sweet, like the weird lime green aspic which my mother used to make for Thanksgiving.  The idea of a sweet and savory gelatin dish, especially one that calls for mustard, vinegar, whipping cream, and cole slaw, has never occurred to me, I’m content to believe that Miss Davis’ Mustard Gelatin Ring must hold some unexpected pleasures within its quivering mass, otherwise, why would she have bothered?

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 envelope (1 tbsp.) unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 tbsps. dry mustard

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup water

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup whipping cream

cole slaw mixed with canned pineapple chunks

chicory

watercress or other feathery greens

 

DIRECTIONS

Beat eggs; set aside.  Mix together sugar and unflavored gelatin; stir in mustard, turmeric and salt.  Add water and vinegar to the beaten eggs; stir in sugar-gelatin mixture.  Cook in double boiler over boiling water until slightly thickened, stirring continuously.  Cool until mixture is thick.  Whip cream and stir in.  Pour mixture into a 1 1/2 quart ring mold.  Chill until firm.  Unmold.  Serves 6 to 8.

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