Any regular reader of this blog might already know that I started craving turkey last week. I am happy to report that I did not roast a bird this weekend. When I really thought about what I was craving I determined it was not the meat or the gravy but the cranberry. There are lots of ways to satisfy a cranberry craving, but most of them involve a muffin or cake or some other more-fattening-than-a-turkey-sandwich item.
I thought a little longer and as can happen to someone who is very attuned to deciphering what my mouth and my brain are seeking I remembered a recipe I made up last year that was a raw fruit salad. of course I could not remember exactly what I named it, but I searched “cranberries” on the blog and found Raw Fruit Slaw. That was it! Exactly what my mouth was craving. It is made up of pineapple, fresh cranberries, green apples oranges and the secret ingredient of orange peels. To make it really thanksgiving like I throw in just 2 chopped pecans per cup.
I ran a batch up in the cuisinart and sure enough I had found nirvana. My brain thought “thanksgiving” and my waist said, “where have you been raw fruit slaw?” so for the last three days I have been enjoying a cup of crunchy, sweet, tangy wonderful as my afternoon snack.
Today, just now I was along in my sunroom having my slaw when just as a spoonful was deposited in my mouth I inhaled awkwardly. A tiny bit of fruit went in my lungs and for a moment I thought that I was going to be done in all alone by my own desire. Quickly I coughed up the offending tiny cranberry seed with perhaps a shred of pineapple and I was spared the embarrassment of an obituary that read, “she choked to death on her substitute for a turkey sandwich.”
I got to thinking about how often people who eat alone might choke to death. Other than Mama Cass, you know of the Mamas and the Papas fame, who reportedly choked to death on a sandwich, I don’t hear of many alone choking deaths. Am I the only mother who eats lunch at home alone on days I don’t have a lunch date? I know plenty of people who eat at their desks, do they never choke or are offices so full of people that there is always someone close by to do the Heimlich maneuver?
If eating alone were a greater death threat I think that dieting would be a thing of the past. For me I think I need to slow down and breath between bites and not get so excited that I came up with a healthy alternative to my bad for me craving. Despite the near fatal episode I can hardly wait until tomorrow when I can eat more of my fruit slaw.
My friend Lynn and I had our annual Chinese Auction today, which is practically my favorite thing to do all year. I love when friends get to have lunch and steal gifts from each other. Since it was the second luncheon in three days I was throwing I needed to make something easy that could feed 16 and was not seafood since Lynn hates fish. I made a Prochetta, which is an Italian roast pork loin using Jamie Oliver’s recipe. It is so good and produces an impressive looking roast. It helps that I get the meat from Cliff the butcher at Cliff’s Meat Market in Carrboro, NC.
To make the meat more holiday-like I decided to create fruit compote, which I think really, was delicious. Compote’s were made in Victorian England using dried fruit because that was what they had in the dead of winter and the fruit was reconstituted using port wine. Now that we have refrigeration and high-speed transportation you can use fresh fruit, but there is something about the texture of the dried fruit that makes this a good enhancement for meat. The fruit gets soft, but not mushy. Traditional compote would just be sweet, but I like to add some tang to my sweet so I add vinegar at the end.
Here is the version I made today.
1 cup of water
1 cup of port – not a real expensive one
6 packets of Splenda or ¼ cup of sugar
16 oz. of dried fruits- I used apples, apricots, cherries and cranberries
3 T. chopped crystallized ginger
3 cinnamon sticks
Pinch of salt
3 T. sherry vinegar
In a saucepan add the water and port and Splenda/sugar and bring to a boil. Chop the larger dried fruit into smaller pieces and add it all to the pot with the cinnamon, ginger and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vinegar.
Store in an air-tight container. Will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Trader Joes had a large selection of dried fruits at reasonable prices and a good cheep port for cooking.
I went to make our Thanksgiving cranberry sauce and had a memory of a raw cranberry/whole orange chopped salad I made last year, but never wrote down how I made it. What a mistake, since my mouth started watering for it even though my brain did not know exactly what was in it.
I looked at what I had in the fridge and made this recipe and although it is different I really like it. It has the added bonus of being high fiber.
1-cup fresh pineapple
1 granny smith apple
1 whole orange
1-cup fresh cranberries
3 packets of Splenda (or 2 t. sugar if you want)
2 T. chopped Pecans
Cut the apple into quarters and the pineapple into like sized chunks and put in Cuisineart with regular chopping blade in it.
Cut the peel off the orange leaving some of the white pith on the flesh. Put the peel in the Cuisine art. Cut the pith off the orange and cut it into quarters. Remove the center membrane from the quarters and put the flesh in the Cuisneart.
Add the Cranberries and the Splenda. Pulse the Cuisnieart about 8 times until the fruit is chopped, but not pulverized.
Add the pecans just before eating because you don’t want them to get soggy.