Gil Collins of Baltimore remembers attending a Christmas party 18 years ago where everyone brought a dish "and this lady made what she called a seafood dip and she gave me the recipe, which I later misplaced. It was the best dip I have ever had.
"All I can remember is that it was made with Campbell's tomato soup, small cans of crab and shrimp and Knox gelatin plus numerous other ingredients. It was put in a fluted mold and re- frigerated. I'd be much obliged to find this recipe again," Collins wrote.
Christine Tomosky of Latrobe, Pa., responded with a recipe. "I believe it is the one Gil Collins is seeking. My mother tasted this recipe at an office party, and it has been a family tradition ever since."
Serves 12 as an appetizer
1/2 cup cold water
2 envelopes Knox gelatin
1 can tomato soup
one 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 pound shrimp (or 1/2 pound shrimp and 1/2 pound crab meat), shelled, deveined and cooked
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
Mix water and gelatin in a small bowl and let rest. Make soup according to the directions on the can. Over medium-low heat, add the cream cheese and mix well until the cream cheese is dissolved in the soup. No cheese lumps should remain. Remove from heat. Add the gelatin to the soup/cream-cheese mixture. Combine remaining ingredients in the soup mixture. Place mixture in a decorative mold. Refrigerate until firm.
Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "Be sure to use the kind of mold with the removable round circle that releases the mold (Tupperware makes lots of these). Otherwise you might be scooping out shrimp spread by the spoonful and cursing. Briefly immersing the bottom half of the mold in hot water will loosen it somewhat, but the mixture has a tendency to stick. This is perfect for a holiday buffet (the pale red color with bits of pink and green is especially festive), served with an array of crackers or slices of baguette. A little green pepper would be welcome in the mix, but the overall flavor is very nice."
Lois Curry of Bend, Ore., wants a recipe called Persian Perfume Cookies. Some of the ingredients, she noted, were cornstarch and powdered sugar, lemon juice, almonds, vanilla and an egg. "I would welcome being able to make these cookies again."
Stephanie Bates of Baltimore wants a recipe for Houdini's Bread. She found the recipe 20 years ago but has since lost it.
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.