Monday, November 30, 2009

The Best Thanksgiving Recipes You'll Never Get

Secret recipe
Guarded for generations
But blabbed on the Web

Ah, Thanksgiving, the carbo-holiday!!

Debby and I did a team effort this year. As we planned our menu and divvied up the work, we realized that we both have "non-negotiable" side dishes that must make their annual command appearance.

Hers include sweet potatoes and stuffing. Mine are butternut squash souffle and sour cream green beans.
Fortunately for us, these dishes have stood the test of time and become family favorites.

Sadly for you, dear readers, I can't share mine, under penalty of death and disownment from my own mother. See, we come from a place and time before the Internet age, before television - heck, maybe even before radio, when recipes were almost a form of identity.

Think you've got a cool Twitter handle? Check out my top-secret rhubarb pie. The word spread and the reputation grew in the same manner it does now, only much more slowly, so you could savor every bite. My mother honors this tradition religiously. Holding these recipes close is perhaps a way of holding the memory of the women who shared them close as well.

But that leaves me in an Internet age with an eager (I hope) audience that is hungry for both posts and recipes. So here's another recipe that I've made the past few years and like a LOT. And because I've forgotten where it came from, I'd say the likelihood of blowing anyone's secret tradition is pretty slim.

Cranberry Chutney
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 chopped apple (I like Granny Smith for this)
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 cup orange juice
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Cook cranberries, sugar and water over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 35 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and chill. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

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