Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another memory from the 1950s…….
Did your Mom used to make Salmon Croquettes for you when you were growing up? Mine did and I loved them! Of course, in land-locked Boone County, Missouri, canned salmon was our only choice. And she served creamed peas with them, made with canned peas! Maybe it was because I was a kid, maybe it was because I’d never eaten fresh from the garden peas and beautifully grilled fillet of Salmon, but to me, that particular menu was one of my favorites. In the late 1940s, my Dad went to work as a salesman for Birds-Eye Frozen Foods and we discovered the joys of frozen vegetables. Peas were one vegetable that changed dramatically with freezing. They are not bad in cream sauce either!
Salmon croquettes and crab cakes are so much better with the real thing. Salmon is available everywhere, and as for crab, you can check with your fish and seafood manager at your grocery store for availability of fresh or frozen crab meat.
Here is my recipe for the Salmon Croquettes….

2 ounces onion, small dice
3 ounces whole butter
3 ounces flour
8 ounces milk
1 pound salmon, poached and flaked
fresh dill, chopped, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
flour as needed for breading
egg wash as needed for breading
Panko bread crumbs as needed for breading

1. Sauté the onion in the butter until translucent.

2. Add the flour and cook to make a white roux.

3. Add the milk to make a heavy béchamel sauce. Cook the sauce until very thick, approximately 5 minutes.

. 4. Remove the sauce from the heat and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Add the flaked salmon. Season the mixture with dill, salt, pepper and lemon juice and mix well.

. 5. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

. 6. Divide into 12 equal portions. Form each portion into a cone or patty shape. Bread the croquettes using the standard breading procedure, first in flour, then egg wash, followed by bread crumbs

. 7. Using the basket method, deep-fry the breaded croquettes until done, if possible. If not, use a deep saucepan with

Yield: 12 Croquettes

The traditional sides with Salmon Croquettes are Buttered New Potatoes and Creamed Peas, but in today’s world you might wish to go lighter. Whatever you choose as sides, I hope you enjoy the croquettes!

Back to my memories of the early 1950s

My Dad left Bird’s Eye Foods in 1951 and we moved from Columbia to Kansas City, Missouri. We moved into a three-story house at 3519 Campbell, right behind Central Presbyterian Church
at Armour and Campbell. The house was built many years before, around 1890, by the Swift family. They had just arrived in the Kansas City area having opened their packing plant here. It
was constructed with 18” thick stone walls. The fireplace in the living room was of green Italian marble with a stained glass window on each side above mantle. The crown molding in this
house was a minimum of 12”deep, very dark and heavy. There was an additional stained glass window in the entry hall. I loved that house! I could have lived there forever. Always cool in
the summer, warm in the winter…18” stone walls will do that for you! The front porch, all stone, was L shaped and huge. It was such a great place to sit and read. The house was surrounded by
giant trees and was situated on a street that was covered by a “tunnel” of trees.
You will never guess what happened to that house…when Central Presbyterian Church bought the house, they did so to have the land for a parking lot!....Yep, the house was demolished! So sad, a parking lot!
I haven’t driven to the old neighborhood in close to 25 years, but I am sure I would be saddened by what I would see. I wonder how many of those big beautiful houses have been torn down....

I don’t know anything about the church’s history since we moved from the neighborhood, not sure if the building is still home to the same congregation. I do know it was a beautiful sanctuary, rich woods, gorgeous windows, and a massive pipe organ. How I loved Christmas Eve Midnight service at Central Presbyterian! I’ve tried to find a church in my neighborhood that has the traditional services and music that I grew up with, but I can’t find one. They are all so contemporary in their style and thinking, I guess I’m just too old to change.

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