Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Tradition

Thanksgiving dinner is a sacred thing. No matter how good your recipes for sweet potatoes or stuffing are, I will always prefer the ones that I grew up eating during the Thanksgiving meal. And I'm guessing you feel the same. We all have those dishes that will never taste as good as they did at our mother or grandmother's table. Our ideas about how food should taste and look are born at those tables.

To me, this recipe for cranberry salad is Thanksgiving. It's a bright red hash of chopped apples, cranberries, pineapple, oranges and pecans. It goes perfectly with mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey and dressing.

It's not fancy (and by not fancy I mean it calls for two boxes of cherry jello) and it's pretty easy. I remember my great-grandmother using a beast of a cast iron grinder that you clamped to the countertop to grind her cranberries to a unified pulp. I just took out the food processor, threw everything in and it seemed to work just fine. I also cut the sugar and water in half. I like the cranberries to be more of a chutney consistency than a gelatin.

I know. You like your cranberries in slices, with those tell-tale ridges. I get it, really I do. I'll be happy to open a can for you, it just leaves more of this for me.

Monday, November 2, 2009


With Halloween and fall festivities, I haven't had much time for trying recipes. I did make caramel icing to eat with fall apples, but it didn't quite work out. 

At first it was beautiful and lovely - light blond and bubbling in the pan. Then somewhere between the "gurgling cauldron of caramel sauce" stage and the "rock hard candy stage", I missed the "soft ball" stage that the recipe mentions. I think maybe my heat was too high.  I'll scan in the recipe and try again, maybe with some help from another recipe. In the mean time, I'm going to try stuffing and cranberry sauce in preparation for Thanksgiving.