Why is this a big week for the Pineapple?

Dole Pineapple
Dole Pineapple Can

Why this is a big week for the pineapple!

I wrote a series of posts months ago about themed dinner parties in the fifties and sixties centered around Hawaii becoming a state in 1959 and the increased marketing of pineapple by 'Dole' during that time.  I vowed when I was done with those posts that I would give the pineapple a well deserved rest.  Nap time is over.  You see, I learned something today and I'm glad you're still interested.  I learned that on this day in 1813, the first pineapples were planted in Hawaii.  It was also on this day in history that Amelia Earhart took off from Honolulu to make the first solo flight from Hawaii to California.  I gleaned these facts from a food reference book I have titled, 'Life Is Meals' by James and Kay Salter.  While pineapples first originated in Brazil (or Guadeloupe - there's some disagreement) most pineapples now come from Hawaii.  As an interesting aside; Fifty years ago, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel had a fountain in the lobby that provided fresh pineapple juice! I bet that was fun with the kiddos!  Here's a link to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel if you want to just take a look at this historic hotel.  It was where President Franklin D. Roosevelt frequently vacationed and where the term 'Western Whitehouse' was first used.  It's 80 degrees there right this minute.  That hurts if you live in a cold climate.  But maybe some of these wacky recipes with pineapple will warm you up a bit.  Or maybe you'll just get annoyed and book a vacation!

Pineapple and Lettuce Salad

1 medium head lettuce
1 No. 1 tall tin crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Pimiento or paprika

Shred outer lettuce leaves and combine with drained pineapple, add mayonnaise, and toss together until just mixed.  Serve immediately on remaining heart lettuce leaves with a strip of pimiento or a dash of paprika for garnish.  5 servings.

The above recipe is one from the Meta Givens book, 'The Modern Family Cook Book' published in 1942.  Remember, at the time, salads were to be served looking 'prepared' not just thrown together like a mess.  Of course, we're all about the 'messy salad' here!

Let's flash forward to 1958, when the 'Thoughts for Buffets' cook book served up these suggestions for molds.  I still haven't figured out why molded recipes tends to drive my readership up.  I don't get it.  But, why knock a good thing?!  Here's to molded food!

Pineapple and Cucumber Ring

2 - 20 oz. cans crushed pineapple, drained
2 large cucumbers, chopped and drained
3 1/2 cups liquid (pineapple juice and sufficient water)
2 packages lime-flavored gelatin

Drain pineapple and cucumbers thoroughly and combine.  Heat 1 cup of liquid to boiling and dissolve gelatin.  Add remaining cold liquid and stir.  Place in refrigerator and set until slightly congealed.*  Fold in the pineapple and cucumbers.  Pour into a greased 8-cup mold and chill until firm.  Garnish center of mold with watercress and border with cantaloupe slices and pickled peaches.  Sprinkle with blueberries.  Serves 10.

*Just the word 'congealed' in a recipe is enough to turn my stomach.  Yuck.  And I just get the feeling with all the 'garnishing' going on with watercress, cantaloupe and blueberries that it's a little 'busy' or maybe the idea is to hide the molded salad. Maybe.

Pineapple-Noodle Ring Mold

1 8-oz. package broad noodles
1 16-oz. can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup brown sugar, scant
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter

Cook noodles for 15 minutes in boiling salted water; drain.  After draining the crushed pineapple, combine 1/4 cup of it with 2 Tbsps. of the brown sugar and set aside.  Mix the rest of the pineapple with the juice, brown sugar, beaten eggs, and melted butter.  Add the noodles and mix thoroughly.  Pour the pineapple and brown sugar mixture which has been set aside into a well-buttered 1 and 1/2 quart ring mold.  Add the noodles and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Serves 6-8.

First of all...using the word 'mold' in a recipe title just seems like a bad idea.  Secondly, this recipe doesn't seem that bad!  It actually sounds like it would make a sweet side dish to go with ham or pork.  I approve. 

As a tribute to Hawaii (click on the wiki link to learn more about our 50th state) I am providing this recipe from the late 50's or early 60's that I found among Juddy's recipes that just is well...it deserves a mention. 

Hawaiian Grab Bag

2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Horseradish (drained)
1/2 tsp. MSG
2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients for sauce.  Bury "Treasure" into sauce.  Arm guests with toothpicks and let them spear for treasures.

Treasures (Select at least 5)

Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumber Chunks
Green Pepper Chunks
Water Chestnuts
Avocado Chunks
Boiled Shrimps
Pickled Mushrooms
Raw Oysters
Celery Chunks

Cooked Chicken Liver Chunks
Isn't this the most disgusting thing ever?  I guess this would be for a party where an enormous amount of alcohol would be served.  Pineapple isn't mentioned as a 'treasure' but I'm sure you could substitute it for one of the other 'chunky' items and your guests would be thrilled.  My guess is that if you got ill after this treasure hunt that there would be 'chunks' everywhere!  Sorry.  Had to say it.

Anyway, January 11th may be a nothing day to you but it was incredibly important to the history of Hawaii and the future of the pineapple industry!
Enjoy this 'retro' Dole commercial for Hawaiian pineapple.  I don't think they could do this today...


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