When I think of the wonderful family Thanksgivings I have had, I especially remember the ones at my Grandparents in Goshen, NY. My Dad grew up on a farm in Goshen next door to my Great Grandparents who had 8 children. We were regaled with stories of all the trouble the swarm of cousins got into during the summers. Holidays were always great fun with lots of Aunts and Uncles which centered around a day of eating. My Grandpa aka Gramps, did most of the cooking surprisingly enough and he was a gourmet with a sense of humor. His specialties were a varied hors d’oeuvre display covering every table surface in the living room. He made square eggs dyed blue and called them whale eggs. I once had a Mexican jumping bean on my plate as a joke.
One of my most prized possessions is my Grandfather’s 1934 copy of The Joy of Cooking with his notes penciled in the margins. I always sat at the large dining room table on his right hand side closest to the kitchen ready to lend a hand. My Grandfather had a beautiful blue and white turkey platter to carve the turkey on. My Mom now has the platter and I cooked the turkey that was on it last.
A great Love Family Thanksgiving tradition is the fudge tree. Between hors d’oeuvres and turkey time we would run through the quince and apple orchard looking for the fudge tree. What’s a fudge tree ? You ask. Well it’s a tree covered in fudge. Tons of chunks of dark fudge stuck on the bare branches of a tree. Growing up we all thought that the tree grew that way of course. Now Grandma has one for my kids in her garden grafted from the original one in Goshen.
One such holiday was especially joyous. My Uncle Neal came up from Maryland arriving in grand style by honking his horn down the driveway. My Uncle was 6’3” and a laugh as big as he. He was the baby of the family and a showman to boot. His job at the table was to open the champagne, which he probably brought along as my uncle was a wine connoisseur, personal friends with the Rothchilds and had a glorious glass wine cellar that would make any NYC Four Star Fine Dining establishment jealous. And open that champagne in style he did. Poised and at the ready was I as it was often a race for all the kids to get the cork, but this time the champagne exploded out of the bottle and I was baptized with a shower of champagne. I think I was maybe 8. It was a fun Thanksgiving!!!
I created this Apple Chutney as a nice accompaniment for a cheese spread for hors d’oeuvres for Thanksgiving. It would make my Grandpa proud.
Avec Amour, Victoria & Alexander
Apple Cranberry Chutney
Yield – 4 Cups of Chutney
1 pound Granny Smith Apples
1 Pound Gala or Empire Apples
1 Pound Light Brown Sugar
2 3⁄4 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
1 cup Dried Cranberries, 5 oz
1 cup Golden Raisins, 5 oz
2 teaspoons Ground Allspice
2 teaspoons Ground Cloves
5 Cardamom Pods
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1⁄2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Large Onions, chopped, 13 oz
1 (2″) piece of fresh Ginger, peeled and cut into ½” matchsticks, 1 oz
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, optional
1. Using a peeler, remove peel from apples. On a cutting board with a nonslip mat remove the core from the apple by cutting the apple with a paring knife, chop apples in ½” size pieces.
2. Using a microplane zester, zest oranges. Slice oranges into halves and squeeze juice thru a strainer to remove the seeds. Use measuring spoons to measure the zest and juice. Save any extra zest or juice in containers and put in freezer.
3. Put all ingredients into an 8-qt. pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the chutney has taken on a uniform brown color and the flavors have melded, about 2 hours. Ladle hot chutney into 3 sterilized pint jars, leaving 1⁄4″ head space. Let cool and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks