Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Stuck at Rowan Oak
I made one of my mother's staple recipes recently, Salmon Cakes. They are easy, delicious and nutritious. My family fights over them -- they are that tasty. Here's how to make them:
Can of salmon, drained, and thrown into a mixing bowl. Add bread crumbs or crackers in a zip lock bag that you've whacked with a rolling pin so they are crumbly. Add an egg to bind it together, worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper and any other spices -- I put paprika or anything with a zippy flavor. Mix them up with your hands and shallow fry in a pan. Delish.
Now I know that my friend Brenda would say to add some mashed-up potato to this mix because William Faulkner's nephew told her to do that. But I say keep it pure.
My friend and I went to Faulkner's home Rowan Oak in Oxford one November day a few years ago for a nostalgia tour. It was there in 1979 that we first visited as students, and her car got stuck in the mud. I mean hopelessly stuck. We went asking people at Rowan Oak for help -- among them Shelby Foote and other Faulkner scholars who were there for a reception. Did they help? No. They left us to die out there while they drank mint juleps and talked about books.
So we went back to Rowan Oak in 2000 to remember those days. We went into the house, and surprisingly there was William Faulkner's nephew, Jim, and he was telling visitors interesting little-known facts about his uncle. (Jimmy Faulkner wrote a book about his uncle called Across the Creek .)
Anyway, I don't know how the subject got on to salmon cakes but Jimmy said William F loved them with potato in them, but I'm sure my mother's way is superior. Faulkner might have been a Nobel-Prize winning author but I'm sure my mother knew best about salmon.