Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

Stump Sprouts Maple Rhubarb Coleslaw

27 March 2009
Lloyd measures maple syrup for his coleslaw.

Lloyd measures maple syrup for his coleslaw.

 
A Note to Readers:
 
 
This blog has moved. For newer posts plus copies of all the old ones (even this one!), please visit me at the All-New IN OUR GRANDMOTHERS’ KITCHENS.
  
Tinky
 
My neighbor Scott Purinton is currently boiling sap night and day. Scott informed me recently that much of his Grade B maple syrup is purchased by Lloyd and Suzanne Crawford for their Stump Sprouts lodge. High on a hill in Hawley, the Crawfords house and feed cross-country skiers, small conferences, family reunions, and other groups.

Lloyd and Suzanne are committed to sustainability. They have enough sunlight to generate their own solar electricity. Of course, they serve their guests home-grown and local foods as much as possible. 

 

I asked Lloyd whether he would share one of his maple recipes. He came up with this clever, sweet-and-sour way to use two of my favorite ingredients, maple syrup and rhubarb. I can’t make it myself for a couple of months since unlike Lloyd and Suzanne I wasn’t smart enough to freeze small batches of rhubarb puree last spring! I can hardly wait to make a big batch in May.

 

 

Gifts from a guest who is also a potter, these bowls adorn the kitchen at Stump Sprouts.

Gifts from a frequent guest who is also a potter, these bowls adorn the kitchen at Stump Sprouts.

 

Ingredients:

 
   

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1-1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1/3 cup stewed, unsweetened rhubarb

3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup

salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

1 finely shredded cabbage

toasted sunflower seeds to taste

 

Instructions:

 
 

 

In a jar, combine the olive oil, vinegar, sesame oil, rhubarb, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Cover and shake well. Toss this dressing together with the cabbage 20 minutes to 2 hours before serving. Garnish with the sunflower seeds. 

 

This recipe may be cut in half or even in quarters. The coleslaw will be edible for a day or two before it gets too wet.

 

Serves 12 to 15.

 

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Creole Potato Salad

19 February 2009

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A Note to Readers:
 
This blog has moved. For newer posts plus copies of all the old ones (even this one!), please visit me at the All-New IN OUR GRANDMOTHERS’ KITCHENS.
 
Tinky

 
Next Tuesday is no ordinary Tuesday. It marks the holiday of Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), also known as Shrove Tuesday and Carnival. The day before the beginning of Lent was officially added to the Catholic calendar in 1582 by Pope Gregory XII. The good times have been rolling ever since.

 

Mardi Gras is a day of excess. Diets are broken. Jazz is trumpeted through the streets. Costumes are worn. In New Orleans the day is the highlight of the year. The Louisiana-based company Zatarain’s (manufacturer of my favorite Creole seasoning) is working on a petition to ask Congress to make Mardi Gras a national holiday. This campaign may just work: ever since Hurricane Katrina many Americans have felt a special kinship Louisiana and its residents.

 

I obtained this recipe from the helpful people at Zatarain’s. The colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold so I made the recipe more festive by using baby purple and gold potatoes. I threw in a bit of the tops of the scallions to give the salad a touch of green. The salad is refreshing and not too heavy, with a little zing; the Creole mustard has extra vinegar so there’s no need to add that to the mixture.

 

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Ingredients:

 

3 pounds baby potatoes (you may use red if you don’t have purple and gold)

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Creole mustard (Zatarain’s makes this, of course!)

1/3 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning (again from Zatarain’s; I used a bit more because I love this seasoning)

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1-1/2 cups diced tomatoes

1/2 cup crumbled bacon (optional but delicious)

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (scallions)

 

Instructions:

Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until they are fork tender but not soggy. Drain and quarter them.

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, Creole seasoning, and sugar. Add the warm potatoes, and toss to coat them with the dressing. Add the tomatoes, bacon (if desired), and scallions, and toss lightly.

 

Cover the salad, and refrigerate it for at least to hours to let the flavors blend. Serves 12.

 
 

 

Anna, Gabby, and Michael don beads.

Getting Ready for Mardi Gras: Anna, Gaby, and Michael don masks and beads.

 

 

Father Abraham

12 February 2009
Abraham Melvin Weisblat (circa 1990)

Abraham Melvin Weisblat (circa 1990)

 
A Note to Readers:
 
 
This blog has moved. For newer posts plus copies of all the old ones (even this one!), please visit me at the All-New IN OUR GRANDMOTHERS’ KITCHENS.
  
Tinky
 
I’m a big fan of the 16th president of the United States. Abe Lincoln has plenty of people to sing his praises today on his 200th birthday, however, so I’m going to write instead about another Abraham born on February 12. My father, who died in 1998, would have turned 90 today.

 

When I was small I assumed that my father was a namesake of the more famous Abe who shared his birthday. As I grew older I learned that this was unlikely since OUR Abe was born in the spa town of Ciechocinek. His family came to the United States when he was less than two years old. According to archival information at Ellis Island, the Weisblats arrived on the Holland-America Line ship the Nieuw Amsterdam on December 20, 1920. So the first name was a coincidence—one that made it easy to remember my father’s birthday.

 

 

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My father was the first member (of many) in his family to go to college. Earning a Ph.D. in agricultural economics, he had an eclectic career in the foundation world. We lived overseas a lot. When we lived in the United States I loved to visit his offices in Rockefeller Center. They seemed ideal places in which to work. He always had art on the walls. He always had pleasant people to talk to down the hall (mostly women; my father loved women). He always had a couch for visiting and napping. And he always had a spectacular view.

 

When people asked the teenage me what Abe Weisblat did for a living, I usually said that he talked on the telephone. That was all I ever saw him do. As I got older, I realized that his lengthy conversations on the phone constituted hard and effective work. He had a knack for getting people to listen to each other, for explaining the work and point of view of one person to another person with different training and/or nationality.

 

He loved his work, and that example has been a challenge for his children. My brother who likes but doesn’t really adore his career tends to be ambivalent about the whole idea of working, wondering perhaps why he doesn’t get the same kind of satisfaction my father did from his labors. I love my work but make very little money from it. I’m reluctant to find something different and more lucrative do to, however, since my father taught me that work is supposed to be fulfilling.

 

His marriage provided an equally difficult example to live up to. He and my mother were an ideal couple. They were smart, knowledgeable, loving, and charming in completely different ways. They always respected each others’ talents, although they didn’t always agree. My father used to say that always agreeing with someone would be boring. Their life together was never boring.

 

Beyond the family my father also shone. He was simply wonderful with people. He had an interest in just about everyone he met, and he loved to mentor younger professionals in the foundation world and in academia. He never felt jealous of anyone else for an instant.

 

One evening at Singing Brook Farm a group of us were discussing the play The Trip to Bountiful, in which an elderly woman is obsessed with returning to the childhood home in which she remembers being happy. We each took turns identifying our own Bountiful, our special place that represented home and security and happy memories. When my father’s turn came, he explained that his home wasn’t geographic. It was people. And many of them were in the room with him. What a gift!

 

My father seldom cooked so I don’t have a lot of recipes to share from him. His favorite meal when he was alone (which wasn’t very often) was a jar of pickled herring, a martini, and some matzo. He liked to boast that he only needed one fork for this repast since he could use the same one for the martini olive and the herring!

 

For company he did occasionally like to put together a salad of lettuce, oranges, and red onions. (He usually got someone else to wash the lettuce and slice the oranges and onions!) Here is my adaptation of that recipe. He usually tossed it with a classic French vinaigrette, but I like to make it with my maple balsamic salad dressing. Enjoy making and eating it—and think of a father, mother, or grandmother whose birthday is near. Let’s wish them all a happy birthday and cherish their presence or their memory.

 

If you enjoy this post, please consider taking out a free e-mail subscription to my blog! The form is at the top right of the main page. Meanwhile, here is the recipe………

 

 

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Uncle Abe’s Orange and Onion Salad (with a little twist from Tinky)

 

Ingredients:


half a head of Boston lettuce (more if the head is very small)
1 orange, peeled and sliced thinly
1/3 red onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 

Instructions:

 
Break up the lettuce with your fingers. Place it in a salad bowl with the orange and onion slices.
 
 
In a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the vinegar, syrup, garlic, mustard, water, salt, and pepper. Shake thoroughly. Add the oil, and shake again. Pour a third to half of the vinaigrette over the salad, and toss well. Add a little more if you think you need it. (Leftover vinaigrette may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month; just be sure to bring it to room temperature and shake it again before using it).
 
Serves 4.

 

I didn't actually slice everything as thinly as I should have--but I hope you get the idea!

I didn't actually slice everything as thinly as I should have--but I hope you get the idea!