In a Familiar Talk, some pages back, I have alluded to the "Woman with a Way," who will not use oil in salad dressing. A story which stuck to an eminent magazine publisher to the end of his busy career was of a new cook whose salads won the unqualified approval of her master, who was a gourmand in a gentlemanly way. She had been serving perfect mayonnaises and well-adjusted French dressings for a fortnight, when one of the children fell ill and the doctor prescribed a dose of castor oil. The mother recollected distinctly the purchase of a bottle not long before, but it could not be found. Bridget heard the inquiry going the rounds and came to the front.
"Castor ile - is it ye are wanting? And it is mesilf that was thinking this morning, as I had a right to spake to yez, mem, to order more. I put the lasht dhrop inter the castor yisterday. Salad every day uses a dale of ile."
Bridget knows better now, and her mistress's taste is so far cultivated by much use of salad oil that she insists upon having it "pure."
An airy waitress, in the second day of her trial week in my household, complimented me patronizingly upon the judgment which led me to select "the best brand."
"There's no better oil on the market to my way of thinking than the Borducks!" holding a bottle up to let the light fall through the slow liquid amber of "Huile de Bordeaux."
The oil of Bordeaux is good, when not doctored upon this side of the water. There are olive groves in other foreign lands that send thousands of gallons of pure oil to America to be mixed with cheaper oils, returned to the bottles bearing foreign labels, and palmed off upon the most credulous public upon the globe as the yield of the royal olive.
Pure salad oil, when it has any perceptible odor, should have a faint "nutty" perfume; it should taste like the ripe olives from which it was expressed; in color it should be palest, tenderest green; it should blend readily and harmoniously with condiments and with the body of the salad.
Rub the inside of a bowl with a clove of garlic. Measure into a bowl six tablespoonfuls of oil, two of vinegar, two saltspoonfuls of salt, and one of pepper. Mix thoroughly before pouring over the salad.
Into a chilled soup plate drop the yolk of an egg drained free of all the white, squeeze upon it a teaspoonful of lemon juice and stir in with a silver fork until well mixed. Now add gradually a few drops of salad oil, stirring steadily. As the dressing thickens, add the oil more freely until you have used half a pint. Season with a dash of paprika, a half teaspoonful of salt, a salt-spoonful of mustard, and a generous tablespoonful of vinegar.
Beat three eggs, yolks and whites together, until they are very light; add one teaspoonful of salt, a pinch of red pepper, half a saltspoonful of mustard mixed with a little water, and, lastly, three or four tablespoonfuls of rich, sweet cream.