Friday, November 28, 2008

T-day '08.1-White Bean Dip with Rosemary & Garlic (p.73),Cheddar Cheese Ball (p.75), Uncooked Cranberry Relish (p.222)&Cooked Cranberry Relish (p.221)

Thanksgiving! This is my second TJOC Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, I felt TERRIBLE. The plan had been that I would do all the cooking on Thanksgiving, allowing me to knock off several more TJOC recipes--and I STUCK TO IT. Let me tell you, adreneline is powerful and all of my stress torpedoed be through the day (although I paid for it later)--I was able to cook Thanksgiving supper (I feel strongly that the meal should be eaten in the evening, not at three). This post is going to be broken into two blogs because there is just way too much to post about!

Like last year, our Thanksgiving was very small--just Josh, his brother, mom, and me. Even so--we made the whole feast.

To start off the holiday, I made a couple hors d'oeuvres for lunch. First up, White Bean Dip with Rosemary and Garlic (p. 73). Josh isn't a big bean fan but he is a HUGE garlic fan, so I hoped that would make up for it.

First step, cook minced rosemary (straight off of mom's rosemary bush--but rosemary does NOT like mincing), garlic, and pepper in some hot olive oil.

Watch it--this is a dangerous step. The olive oil popped right into my face! It was terrifying and it hurt. The white beans and the garlic mixture are stirred together.

Mash it down and there you have it--white bean dip!

It was delicious and garlicy. I think it would be perfect for a potluck or a dinner for vegetarians/vegans. The recipe is online (although you should buy your own copy of TJOC!).

Next up, a Cheddar Cheese Ball (p. 75)--deliciously retro! TJOC has 3 cheese ball recipes. I assumed there would be more in the older versions of TJOC--but my 1953 TJOC only has two recipes, so I'm obviously wrong. It also has a recipe for Mayonaise Puffs, which I may have to make as I'm seriously considering having a monthly "Retro TJOC" entry--any opinions? Would you like the addition?

First step...mix shredded cheese, a little cream cheese, some bacon (cooked of course!), a couple tablespoons of milk, a bit of horseradish, and some salt in the tiny food processor. This was NOT an easy task and at several times in the blending, smoke came from the processor (don't worry, it didn't break).

Place the mixture on a piece of wax paper:

Now wrap the cheese mixture into a cheese ball...

Unwrap the ball (in a perfect world, you would refrigerate this for a day, but we were low on time, so it didn't get chilled at all). Roll it in walnuts or pecans and there you have it! A perfect, beautiful cheese ball!

So how was it? Very tasty! I would go so far as to say exceptionally tasty. It was great on crackers and had a great smoky bacony flavor. Next time I would like to make it with smoked cheddar...that would make it even better I think. Again, perfect for a potluck.

Oddly, there were two cranberry sauces on the menu. Why two? Because I wanted to make a cooked cranberry sauce and mom likes the uncooked, so we made both. Mom mentioned that this must mean we've made all of the cranberry recipes in TJOC--we haven't even made half of them (there are five cranberry sauce recipes in TJOC).

The first cranberry recipe was Uncooked Cranberry Relish (p. 222). The first step was to chop the cranberries and the orange (half of both) in the food processor. Unfortunately, mom has the same tiny food processor that I do and this was not an easy task.

The orange looked delicious--and it didn't have any seeds, which was nice.

The processor was too small for the cranberries.

I think that the orange peel was supposed to get chopped up into the mixture. That did not happen. The orange rinds were chewed up but not chopped up. We decided to just throw them out.

And back to processing:

(It was nice to have mom as a model!) A cup of sugar is then added in and the cranberries sit for a day in the refrigerator. I don't have an after picture, you will just have to use your imagination.

The cranberries were good although not as good as my mom's normal uncooked cranberry relish. I don't imagine this recipe will be made again in the future.

The second cranberry recipe, for me, was the Cooked Cranberry Relish (p. 221). The recipe was easy--cranberries, sugar, water, and orange juice mixed in a skillet, and then simmered until the cranberries "pop" and the relish is "thickened".

I found the popping to be a little intimidating. It cooked down quite a bit and was really tasty--although really sour. If you like cooked cranberries this is a really good recipe. I think it would be even better with the (suggest) add-ins of a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar or port and some dried cherries. Maybe next year!

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