Thanksgiving will be here next week! I am hungry for the old favorites and anticipating some new taste twists. Fruits of all kinds are very popular with health conscious folks, as well as those who crave a little something different this year.
If you are the cook and do all the meal prep yourself, this is your chance to experiment in a safe way and get amazing results. But if you are assigned to bring a specific side dish to pass, you might want to wait until checking in with the host and hostess about bringing a dish untested for consumption by this crowd to try. Thanksgiving is very much a traditional holiday — so check first.
Cranberries are loved by some and hated by others. Cranberries’ tartness, and ability to make heartburn flare in some, can limit them to a minor role at the feast table. This can be overcome by cooking methods and the addition of other ingredients to the cooking pan.
Here are a few recipes that seem to be people pleasers. It’s time to fall in love with food again!
Make this way, or use just red raspberries in place of the apples, or a combination of apples and raspberries together, along with the other ingredients.
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 large tart green apple (remove core and seeds)
1 large orange (take the pips out if you can find them)
1 large red apple (remove core and seeds)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 large (6-ounce) box raspberry gelatin
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Chop all fruit together; add nuts, 1 cup of water and sugar. Cook on the stovetop while the other cup of water comes to a boil.
Bring the other cup of water to a boil, stir in gelatin until it dissolves, then pour mixture into fruit. Mix well.
Pour into a serving dish, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight. Serve the next day.
Observations: I have eaten this cranberry salad at church dinner functions and it’s delicious. The recipe has been around at least since the 1950s; no one knows where it originated, but it has made a cranberry salad lover out of many who never liked the fruit before.
Another simple cranberry side dish consists of 2 cups of cranberries, chopped, 1 cup of finely chopped orange, and sugar to taste.
Some folks do this the night before and cook the fruit mixture for about 5 to 10 minutes, add sugar, cool in the refrigerator and serve the next day.
Observations: I imagine pineapple would work as well as oranges, but I have not tried it. I have made both of the cranberry and orange mixes, cooked and uncooked, and both went over well with the diners.
Disclosure: This recipe is new to me; I have not tried it yet, but it sounds like it would make a ham beg to be served with it. This comes to me from Mona Gulaf by way of Tamani Wooley’s food presentation on Spectrum 1-Buffalo. I am going to try this for Christmas.
1 medium can each of sliced pineapple, peach halves, pear halves and apricot halves
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup full bodied sherry (Harvey’s Bristol Cream was suggested)
Drain fruit. Cut pineapple slices, and any other large fruit pieces, in half. Place fruit in layers into a greased medium baking dish. Melt butter on stovetop, add flour, sugar and sherry and cook until smooth and thickened. Pour over the top of the fruit, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly. Serve warm as a side to your meat main dish.
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With time short and food prices ever rising, Thanksgiving is being celebrated in creative ways. Many folks who are alone (as their family is out of the area or out of touch) and know it would not be economical to cook a big meal for one have banded together to each prepare and bring to a friend’s common area a part of the Thanksgiving meal they prepared. Whatever leftovers there are will be split and taken home with each person who contributes something, food, space or something else. Assistance in cleaning the dining area will be given so that the host/hostess is not left with a lot of tidying up to do. This can be rotated every holiday, or birthday, so everyone gets a chance to use their home as the dining room.
Some families are already banding together most evenings during the work week to save time and funds, while getting more socialization in and a break from doing all the work themselves. There is a blend of age groups, cooking ability, as well as etiquette styles, so some tolerance will be required along with finesse. This is how the Pilgrims survived. What was old is new again. I think the Pilgrims were onto something!
Love and hugs to you all, Fredi