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.


Gwen said...

Elizabeth, I enjoyed reading this. I'm surprised those guys didn't help you? I hope they realized their mistake under sober circumstances. I'm shortly out the door to buy a can of salmon. The recipe reminds me of a baked salmon loaf I used to make and had a cream sauce w/peas. Loved it. Can't wait to try yours.

Elizabeth said...

That recipe sounds good, Gwen. Can you post it? Can't do the peas though as my husband hates them. Thanks.

Gwen said...

1# can salmon, drained, flaked
2 c soft bread crumbs
1 T chpd onion
1 T butter, melted
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c milk
1 slightly beaten egg
Piquant Sauce
Comine salmon, crumbs, onion, butter, salt. Combine milk & egg: add to salmon mixture. Shape in loaf pan adn bake at 350 for 35 -40 min.

Piquant Sauce:
Cook 2 T. chpd green onions in 3 T butter till tender. Blend in 2 T AP flour, 1/2 t. dry mustard, 1/2 t salt, dash pepper. Add 1 1/4 c milk and 1 t Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, till sauce thickens and bubbles. (I guess I just added the peas at my own discretion.)

Elizabeth said...

Oooh, that sounds so good, Gwen. I'm going to make that when I have time. I was in London today at a wine tasting and they served scrambled eggs with salmon on a toasted muffin. Mmm good.