Cold Plates

If you want to get some practice in at making cold plates, American Thanksgiving this Thursday gives you the opportunity. The essential ingredients are there: turkey, ham, dressing and potatoes.

cold plate photo d stewartAfter Canadian Thanksgiving last month, I made my best ever cold plates. I had several practice runs, and was quite proud of them. But then I came across Lord Byron’s Kitchen and saw his!

I didn’t follow his recipes exactly, but got a sense of the ingredients and presentation from them. So here is how I made my cold plates.

Parts of a Cold Plate

  • Sliced turkey or chicken, ham, roast beef
  • Dressing (stuffing)
  • 3 potato salads
  • Macaroni salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Lettuce and tomato
  • Dinner roll
  • Cranberry sauce and/or mustard sauce or pickle

Not just any old potato salad will do for a Newfoundland cold plate. For everything else, you can use what you like. But the different coloured potato salads are the defining points.

Boil peeled chopped potatoes (8-9 medium) in salted water until a fork easily pierces them. Drain, then mash them well with a hand-held potato masher.

Divide them into three containers and leave them to cool. Use containers that are large enough to add stuff.

White Potato Salad

vegetable white potato salad photo d stewart

To a container of potatoes, add:

  • Mayonnaise – a couple tablespoons and more as needed
  • 1/2 can of mixed vegetables, drained.

I did not have canned mixed vegetables, so I cut a carrot in big chunks and put them in with the potatoes for the final five minutes or so of cooking. Then I cut the chunks in small pieces for the salad along with 3 or 4 pickled green beans cut in 1/2 inch lengths. I also added a bit of pickle juice to thin the mayonnaise slightly.

  • Chopped onion – about 1 tbsp.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together with the potatoes and your vegetable white salad is done.

Mustard Potato Salad

mustard potato salad photo d stewart

Add to another container of potatoes:

  • Mayonnaise – a couple tablespoons and more as needed.
  • Prepared yellow mustard – a tablespoon and more as needed for the colour
  • Chopped onion – about 1 tbsp.
  • Finely chopped red and/or green pepper – 1-2 tbsp.
  • Green relish – about 1 tsp.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all together with the potatoes and your mustard potato salad is done.

Pickled Beet Potato Salad

beet potato salad photo d stewart

To your final container of potatoes, add:

  • Mayonnaise – a couple tablespoons and more as needed.
  • Pickled beets – maybe 1 medium, chopped
  • Pickled beet juice – maybe a tablespoon and more as needed for the colour
  • Salt to taste

Mix all together with the potatoes and your pickled beet potato salad is done. Put lids on and refrigerate for a few hours.

Assembling the plate

An ice cream scoop works best for the potato salads. But if you don’t have one, use a big spoon and mound it as best you can. Same goes for the pasta salad and coleslaw. The potato salads are pretty when put side by side. Then arrange everything else as you like or as fits.

You’ll see I added devilled eggs, just because I think they make everything look fancier. And my plate doesn’t have stuffing and cranberry sauce. I forgot to keep some aside, and we ate it all with hot turkey sandwiches the next day.

hotchickenwfries-jeanpetr-2013-wikicommonsFor me, that’s what you eat the day after a big turkey dinner. Turkey slices between bread with gravy on top, dressing, leftover vegetables and coleslaw on the side. That’s what my mother always made. I think she would have mutinied if someone had asked her to add new parts.

The Art of Leftovers

So I’m in awe of those who make cold plates. They use up leftovers, yes, but they also require making things from scratch. That can work for you, though. Use whatever you have and make or buy the rest. I think they are a perfect summer meal. Potato and pasta salads, any kind of green salad. Rolled up ham and turkey slices, cheese, hardboiled or devilled eggs. However and whenever they are made, they are works of art.

kebab cold plate photo d stewartAfter our post-post Thanksgiving cold plates, I had potato salad left over. Enough, it turned out, for two more meals. Hamburgers, then kebabs, with salads – variations on a cold plate.

Rock Recipes has more variations and stories about the tradition of Newfoundland cold plates.

Veterans on The Street

Britain’s wars have been part of Coronation Street throughout its six decades. From the 1960s to 1990s, there were veterans of the World Wars and, in the 2000s, the war in Afghanistan. For the two World War veterans, the actors were informed by their personal experience.

Albert Tatlock MM

albert tatlock wikipediaIn the beginning was Albert Tatlock. Google him: “grumpy” is often in the first line. He was young Ken Barlow’s neighbour and friend. Grumpy, yes, and disparaging of the youth of the day. But he had his reasons. He had signed up with the Lancashire Fusiliers in WWI. On July 1, 1916, they went “over the top” at Beaumont Hamel. There were 57,000 casualties that first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Albert was 21 years old in 1916. So you can see why he might have got testy about young men of that same age, like Ken, whining about the existential angst of their 1960s world.

Albert’s war medals made appearances long after he had departed. He had left them to Ken. In 2014, Tracy sold his Military Medal, infuriating Deirdre when she found out. The medal was restored to the Barlow household, and so was peace.

Jack Howarth portrayed Albert Tatlock. He too was a WWI veteran of the Lancashire Fusiliers. He died in 1984, two months after his last appearance on Coronation Street.

Percy Sugden

albert tacklock and percy sugden 1983 coronation street past and present wikiNear the end of Mr. Tatlock’s life on Coronation Street, a veteran of WWII moved into the street. Percy Sugden had been a cook in the British Army. Among his many observations on life, the best has to be: “When you’ve prepared spotted dick and custard for 150 of ’em under heavy artillery fire and not allowed one lump in that custard, you can do anything.”

Again, google him and “grumpy” pops up. He was and, again, with good reason when you compare the experiences of his youth with those of the young people of the 1980s and 1990s that he watched, and cheerfully criticized.

Bill Waddington played Percy. Like him, Mr. Waddington was a cook in the British Army in WWII. With his ukulele and comedy skills, he was also recruited into the Army entertainment troupes.

Gary Windass

In 2009, Gary Windass made a wisecrack to Gail’s father Ted Page about poppy sales being “a nice little earner”. Ted wasn’t pleased (viewers either, Corrie expected). But he explained enough about military life to interest Gary in it.

Not having regular, secure or legal employment, Gary signed up. He was sent to Afghanistan. He came home injured, after the vehicle he was travelling in was blown up. His mate, Quinny, was killed. Gary was traumatized, both about what had happened and about surviving.

Mikey North, who plays Gary, talked with veterans of Afghanistan before doing this storyline. What he learned from them showed in his portrayal. It brought it home, I think, for all of us who watched.

Jim McDonald

The news that Gary had been wounded reached the street when Jim McDonald was back. Those at the Rovers raised a glass to him and those who were killed. It’s fitting that ex-soldier Jim was there.

Jim was a Sergeant with the Royal Engineers. He had been stationed in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. Jim is from Belfast. His time there, and in the army, was never talked about much. He’d occasionally talk about his “army muckers” and Jim raises a glassone of them would show up from time to time. I don’t remember anyone ever mentioning what it was like for him being British Army. Depending on how you look at it, he was part of a force that was either occupying or defending his own land.

Peter Barlow

Peter Barlow wikipediaAccording to his back story, Peter Barlow signed up in the Royal Navy when he was 15. That would have been 1980. The Falklands War was in 1982 but, to my knowledge, it’s never been said that he took part in it. He left the navy after 20 years service. He has talked about the navy and we’ve met some of his friends from that time. But I don’t think he saw action, at least not at sea.

War is not talked about much any more on Coronation Street, but that matches with real life. But every November poppies are on the lapels of pretty much everybody on the street. Again, like real life.

Remembrance Poppy an der Manchester Town Hall 2015 HH58 wikicommons
Poppy on front of Manchester Town Hall 2015 (HH58 Wikimedia Commons)