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The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

Everyday at Grandma Donna's, Come on in and sit a spell.

February 25, 2014

Salmon Cakes

One day my friend Naomi and I were talking about old times. She was talking about how her mother would make salmon cakes before the family would travel.  Naomi was older than me and when her family traveled there were no places to stop to buy food while on the road.  Her mother would pack food and usually she packed biscuits, molasses, cheese and salmon cakes. They would stop on the side of the road and lay down a blanket and everyone would sit and eat.  

My mother on a road trip

Road travel was very different back then.  My memories of travel were all roads we traveled only had two lanes and if you were out of a city you were basically on your own.  Gas stations were a good distance apart and if you did not pack food in your car then you would just have to be hungry. As time went on the states made places along the road where you could pull over and eat on a picnic table.  It was just a plain area with a bit of gravel and one picnic table. There was no water or bathrooms, it was nothing like the rest stops we have today.

Whenever we went somewhere it would be to visit family. There was no such thing as electronic games and people did not carry phones with them because there were none.  We just visited and enjoyed our time with each other. There were a lot of picnics and for a real picnic, not a road trip we would have fried chicken (homemade of course) and potato salad.

Even into the sixties and seventies we still packed our meals and planned where we would have a picnic.  Some places were by the water where you could picnic and go swimming. For our roadside travels we would normally have sandwiches.  Ham and cheese, bacon and egg or good old bologna.

Times were very different and simple. In my opinion life took a turn in the wrong direction about the time the grocery stores changed to plastic shopping bags. I think the late 1980's with plastic grocery bags, computers and pagers was the beginning of life being complicated and more toxic.  We started getting more food choices and even more processed.  Oh there was processed food before that but people were starting to eat out more instead of sitting down to the table and eating a proper meal at the family dinner table.  

When I was young we ate our meals at the dinner table.  My children ate at the dinner table and to this day with them grown and having their own families, they eat at their dinner tables.

So what does this have to do with Salmon cakes?  I am going to share my recipe for Salmon cakes.  If you don't eat fish then make it with chicken.  I will post a recipe for a quick carrot salad following the salmon cake recipe.

I use canned salmon for my salmon cakes.  If you don't eat fish you can use chicken.

I would like to say here that we try and eat as much fresh food as we can but a responsible household keeps foods on hand for emergencies. If all you have in your house is perishable then you are in big trouble if you have a true emergency and will have to stand in lines for any kind of assistance. You need to use your emergency foods so they don't go out of date and if you don't use them then donate them to a food bank before they expire and purchase more so you keep and up to date food storage.

I keep rice, canned foods, dried beans, dehydrated foods that I dehydrate myself, water, first aid etc.  Enough said about that.

Some people get hung up on the bones and skin you will see in canned salmon.

If you just can't take the idea just remove them but if you mash these bones with your fingers you will see that they are not hard bones and they have been pressured canned so they just mix up into the salmon.

Mush the salmon with a fork and put a tablespoon of flour (all purpose) over the fish and toss it through.

I like to add dill and when I have fresh I put that and when I don't I use dried.  If you don't have any then it will be fine. Now add some salt and pepper and seasonings if you like.  I often use Lawry's but mostly back in the old days we just used salt and pepper.

Chop some onion about this much.  I measured it for you ( I don't usually measure) and this is a half a cup.

Put the onion in and toss another one tablespoon of flour into the mixture.

Now we put in two eggs this size or so.

Push the salmon mixture around the side of the bowl to make a well in the center and put the two eggs in the center.  I try to not mess up too many bowls so I do it this way.

Whip up the egg with a fork

Toss the eggs with the other and guess what?  Yes, toss another tablespoon of flour over the mixture and mix. So total flour is three tablespoons.

Squeeze some lemon over the mixture and mix.  How much? Oh maybe a teaspoon or so.

Put a little light olive oil and some butter or just butter or just oil in a skillet.

Pat out about this much into your hand, some people dab it into some flour but I do not.

Place in your butter/oil and make sure to not let it get too hot.  Just a soft fry. If you are just learning to cook, when frying food it is important to learn to adjust your heat.  As things cook and the longer the pan is on the stove you need to turn it down a bit or up a bit off and on.

Cook about 3 minutes on each side.  If you notice I make my patties on the thin side because I want to make sure the egg is cooked.

I do this little thing where I punch the center to make sure it is done. You don't have to do this I am just explaining the slots on top.

Now if you are trying to save on paper towels then you can do this to drain them.  They will not be greasy and hardly any drippings so you could put a rack over a cloth. In the old days we used part of our paper bags.

I don't know if you can see but there was only three or so drops of oil that came out of these 4 patties.  Now we will cook the rest.  There is 8 total.

Here they are

The center is done just right.

I am making a bit of carrot salad to go with my two salmon cakes I am going to eat for lunch. I grated two carrots.

This many raisins, sorry for the blurry photo.

Toss in a couple of teaspoons of mayo.

And I put this in the fridge to eat later.  I will eat the salmon cakes cold because I have a lot to do today.  If you want something to dip them in you can take a tablespoon of mayo, a squirt of mustard and mix it together and it makes a good dipper sauce.

The rest are getting wrapped in wax paper and put in the fridge for eating tomorrow.

A good idea is to keep something on hand so that you can put in a lunch box or bag for when you go out and will be gone for a few hours.  If you get hungry you will have something to snack on so you don't end up stopping at a fast food place to get something to eat.  If I have a lot of errands or doctor appointment I always pack some water, a snack, my knitting, tatting or crochet, a small umbrella and a light sweater.  

My daughter said she was reading something one day and it asked the question if you were stuck in a leaking boat what would you wish you had with you?  She said my mother because she would have a blow up boat in her purse.

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