Sunday, October 20, 2013

Recipe Legacy: Cranberry Salsa


When I walk into my kitchen, I am never alone.  It's not just my children and my husband who inhabit that space with me. I feel the ghost-like presence of dozens of other people who have influenced my cooking.

~*~
This post is part of a #midlifeblvd blog hop.
The thumbnail links at the bottom of this post will disappear after a week, so I am saving a few of them for future reference. 


Sweet Pumpkin with Spicy Ragout by Renee Baribeau at The Practical Shaman 
My Sweet Ghostly Connection by Connie McCloud at My Creative Journey
Yeasty Cloverleaf Rolls by Helene Cohen Bludman at Books Is Wonderful
Chocolate Cherry Candy Mice by Cheryl Therrien at Grandmother Diaries


~*~

My first influence was my mother. She was raised by a father who tended to a herd of beef cattle and by a mother who kept a large kitchen garden.

Photo by Patrick Q.
Then my mother earned a degree in home economics and worked for a time as a home economics teacher. I watched her make bread, can fruit, and prepare a number of delicious salads and desserts.  And she taught bought me the Better Homes & Garden Junior Cookbook when I was a tween.

After I left home, my cooking was influenced by roommates, classmates, co-workers, neighbors, and friends from church and from book club.  I have now lived in 8 different states and lived abroad in Jerusalem for a time. I have sampled a variety of foods because of my travels and my gregarious nature.

When I step into the kitchen to cook, the food reminds me of someone I know or someplace I have visited. Cooking connects me to others and transports me to places beyond my own home. 

The last thing I made was cranberry salsa, which I first ate at a 2008 Christmas office party hosted by Wichita natives Barbara & Mark.  I was a bit hesitant about eating her cranberry salsa at first, never having seen cranberries prepared in a salsa. Soon I was asking Barbara for a spoon so that I could eat the salsa without having to limit myself to the surface of a tortilla chip.  I finally asked her to list the ingredients so that I could make it at home.

That was four years ago. This cranberry salsa has been popular when I have served it at book club meetings, pot lucks, and dinner parties.  If you enjoy cranberries, maybe this recipe will make it into your kitchen. Then I can be a recipe "ghost" inhabiting your kitchen during the holiday season.

Ingredients:

12 oz fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons of sugar
juice of 1/2 of a lime
(Or instead of the sugar and lime, use 1/4 cup orange juice)
1/2 apple chopped
1 green onion chopped
1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers (yellow, orange, red and/or green)
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
jalapeno chopped (to taste). 1/4 tsp to 1 tablespoon?


1.  Rinse the cranberries and sort to remove any that look or feel mushy.
2. Chop coarsely in a food processor.
3. Transfer the cranberries into a bowl.
4. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the cranberries.


5. Rinse and cut a lime in half.
6. Squeeze the juice of half the lime onto the cranberries.
(Or skip the sugar and lime and use 1/4 cup of OJ instead)
7. Rinse and chop 1/2 of an apple.  I like honey crisp or gala.

8. Rinse and then chop the green onion and bell peppers.
9. Rinse the jalapeno, cut to remove the seeds and the pith.
10. Cut enough jalapeno to your taste.
11. Rinse and chop the fresh cilantro (not pictured)



12. Add the apple, green onion, jalapeno, peppers, and cilantro to the cranberry/fruit (juice) mix.
13. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro or a lime twist.
14. Serve with tortilla chips.

Some parting instructions: 1. Remember people who influence your cooking. 2. Make some new memories. 3. Create a food legacy.

Related:

Thanksgiving Day Meditation: Grateful for Aging
Talking with Older Adults; Serving as a Witness
Berry-licous Lighter Dessert

26 comments:

  1. YOu say it so well, that when you're in the kitchen, you are never alone. I also have certain things that I cook that remind me of my grandmother or MIL. I hope that my kids will carry on some of these culinary traditions! Lovely post and recipe. thanks

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    1. Thanks for reading. Have fun cooking with all those people in your kitchen.

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  2. You're so right about this. Cooking does connect us to the past. Every year I make my aunt's nut cake for Passover. It never comes out like hers, but I know she's trying to help me.

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    1. That's so sweet that you bake that nut cake every Passover. I'm glad that you got her recipe. My best to you as you put your own spin on it.

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  3. I've never had cranberries in a dish that was more savory than sweet, but I'll bet I'd like this!

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    1. I was surprised that cranberries go with peppers and onions. But it works for me.

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  4. Yum. This recipe looks like it has all kinds of flavors melding together and becoming something fantastic. I adore cranberries so I think I must give this a try.

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    1. Yes, this works even better if you give the flavors a little time to "marry." But I'd give it a couple of hours before serving rather than making it a full day ahead. Bon appetite

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  5. I love anything salsa, can't wait to try this!

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    1. I've seen a recipe for peach salsa, but I haven't tried it yet. Have fun expanding your salsa repertoire.

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    2. I made peach salsa last year with my plethora of peaches. It turned out OK. Gave most of it away.

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  6. This looks really yummy. I pinned it and am definitely going to make it for the holidays. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for the caution on the peach salsa. I'll make a small batch the first time. Have a festive holiday season. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Truth about cooking. As a chef, cooking saved my life. And it was the very act of cooking that worked.

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    1. That's a cool story. Food and cooking do hold amazing powers to transform. I'm glad to hear your micro-story here about cooking.

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  8. A recipe like this makes me wonder why cranberry dishes are relegated to the Thanksgiving table. I'll bet this would be great with barbecue!

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    1. I agree! But it's really hard to get fresh cranberries between March and September. I wonder if they would freeze?

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  10. My hubby is the salsa chef in the family. In fact, he taught 21, 8-10 y/o boys to make their own tonight. I'll be sure to share this recipe with him.

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    1. Kim: I hope that your family likes the salsa. It's been a big hit, and it's great for holiday parties. Have a wonderful holiday season!

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  11. Thank you for sharing this recipe! Dan has been asking me to make every holiday season since the Christmas party at your house! I recently found the recipe again and am hopeful to ACTUALLY make it this year, but I am very thankful for your precise description of the process. Let's see if I can make it successfully! :) Hope you are doing well! Thanks again for sharing this FANTASTIC recipe!

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    1. Enjoy! I have to confess that I had to kind of make up the measurements. It's kind of like making a spinach salad. I just chop stuff and toss it in with a bag of washed, sorted, chopped fresh cranberries. I just put the other ingredients in "to taste." So use as much of the peppers, lime, sugar and cilantro as you prefer. !Salud!

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  12. I'm not a big fan of cranberry, but my husband is. He might like this a lot.

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    1. You are very kind to support his love of cranberries.

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  13. I love how you describe the feeling of being never alone while cooking. Each holiday season I feel the same way. Last year I finally braved my family's famous dinner rolls (with advice from my two aunts,) and I was delighted that they turned out! I took them to Ron's family's holiday meal and my nephew loves them, so I felt joy that now I would be "the aunt who brings great rolls"! And when I dust off my MIL's stand mixer for sugar cookies, I think of her and how she would love to see her little granddaughter helping me add in the ingredients. Having the mixer she used to prepare so many loving meals makes me feel connected to her.

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    1. Cool! You have "arrived" by being the aunt who makes the great rolls. How cool. And how sweet that you and your kids can connect with Ron's mother by using her mixer and thinking of her. It's very powerful to connect the generations this way. I think it helps younger kids to feel an expansive sense of self, a feeling of security and identity, to connect to those who came before. All my best to you and your family this holiday season!

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