Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Atrocity-March 2009

OK, so Sara and I couldn’t agree on a loaf idea. Well, we could agree on what type of loaf, but not on how to make it happen. So we went our separate ways on the loaves. I went back to this idea which has been rolling around in my head for some time. (Actually, it may have been Sara’s idea to begin with as well, but I don’t want to blame her for that) So I decided to go ahead and create this “canned-meat-aspic” thing. It would be layers of different meats with different hues. Simple enough. I could make a loaf that was both revolting and intriguing. I could learn a little about aspics, and layering. No one would be expected to actually eat it. It would be fun. What harm could it do?What I’ve created is now being called “that abomination before god”…has a slightly different ring than “canned-meat –aspic”, or the short-lived “Vikng-boat-loaf”. I mean, I knew it was going to be bad…

Sara gave me the idea of making a boat out of the canned meats, and that’s what I attempted. As I said, I knew it was going to be bad. My first inkling came with the first layer. Nothing fancy at all here. I just wanted a blue bit of sea for the Viking boat to ride on. So, I lined a loaf pan with parchment paper and set about the task. Now, even though I knew no one would actually eat this loaf, I wanted to pretend that it could be eaten. It had to have flavor, so I used chicken stock for first layer:

1 cup chicken stock

1 packet Knox unflavored gelatine

6 drops blue food coloring

It’s been awhile since I’ve worked with chicken stock. The smell alone of the cold chicken juice made me pause a little. The smell of lukewarm, blue, chicken broth was almost too much to bear. Then, you know just for fun, throw in some ground up cartilage, hooves, and skin. It took a little effort to not lose it there. I got over it, and the gelatin set up nicely. Next came the mold portion for the boat. I used an old rarebit for the mold and it took a few layers with varying amounts of food coloring to get the mold just right. I put Crisco on the rarebit, so pulling it from the gelatin was easy. By this time I’ve spent about 45 minutes on the dish, plus several hours of gelling time. Night comes and the remainder of the dish is put off to tomorrow.

Next came the assembly of the boat. Spam served at the majority of the hull. With potted meat being spread over like icing to mask deck inconsistencies. Vienna sausages were sliced in half and used as a railing for the ship. By this point I had quit using chicken stock. Mostly because it wasn’t not clear enough, but also because I couldn’t handle the smell. I also stopped adding food coloring for clarity.

By this time it was obvious that this in now way was going to look like a Viking ship. Hell, I’m not even really sure what a Viking ship looks like. So, in an effort to make sure everyone knew this was a ship (Viking? Pirate? Sunken?) a small treasure chest was crafted from spare Vienna sausage. A little yellow food coloring and some mustard seeds became the treasure. Most of the treasure became scattered across the deck when the next layer of gelatin was poured on. I imagine that’s pretty realistic, the seas can be rough.

Well, it’s still obvious that this doesn’t look like a ship EVEN with the treasure chest. A mast and sail are definitely in order. I have nothing to make a mast from. I am forced to go out a purchase a slim-jim.

The slim-jim mast actually looks go od. I mean, it actually looks similar to wood. A sail is fashioned from a thin piece of spam. The final layer of gela tin is added. Th e m ast and sail are too tall for the

mold. They stick up above the final layer. This is definitely now a sunken treasure ship. OK, it’s actually just a mound of processed meat in some chicken flavored and unflavored gelatin.

The unmolding was actually pretty e asy. The side views are hard to see, but that’s what I get for using chicken stock and food coloring. Plus, I’m not sure we need to see it any better



  1. Wow - I must say I love the presentation plate...the leaves are lovely ;)

  2. Hells yes she ate it. And she will continue to eat it for the next few days.

    Sara made me add the garnish. And in retrospect I find the coloring of the dish appealing, at least to the eye. Which was pretty much what I was going for anyway. I mean sure absolutely revolting, but that's just because everyone knows what's in it. It might actually taste good.

  3. do you really hate the smell of chicken broth that much? i've been known to drink a cup of hot broth when i'm sick. i kinda like it.