Jeanette and I attended the annual Thanksgiving turkey fry in Venetia, Pennsylvania, hosted by Jeanette’s daughter Susan and son-in-law Jeff. This year the weather was perfect for an outdoor party on Thanksgiving Day. The sun was shining and there was very little wind. A light jacket or sweatshirt was perfect attire.
The party officially starts the night before Thanksgiving where a few of the most knowledgeable male neighbors attend to put up the canopy for the following day. It’s a simple canopy – there are two sizes of steel poles that form the framework and one tarp which goes over the top and is fastened to the horizontal steel poles by looped bungee cords that have a plastic ball on the end of the cord. But each year we forget how to put together the framework and it becomes a trial and error event until all of the beer is consumed. And then suddenly, the finished canopy appears.
Susan added a new twist to her Thanksgiving feast. She offered to make anyone’s favorite side dish. Colin requested a green bean casserole, Liz wanted lasagna, and I wanted some of Mom’s cranberry salad. I took it upon myself to make the cranberry salad while we were still in Canandaigua. If any of my readers are Pennsylvania Dutch, you will undoubtedly remember that this dish was a must serve dish at our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners many years ago.
Mom’s Cranberry Salad:
You will need: a two quart baking dish, a large mixing bowl, a four cup graduated mixing bowl, a bag of fresh cranberries, a navel orange, some seedless grapes, a red apple, and three boxes (3 oz.) of cherry jello.
Start by grinding the cranberries and the orange in a food processor. Then combine the contents of the food processor in the large mixing bowl with add three-fourths cup of white sugar. Mix well and place mixture in the refrigerator.
Boil one cup of water in the graduated mixing bowl, and then stir in one box of jello. Add another cup of hot water; bring the mixture to a boil and then add the second and third boxes of cherry jello, stirring well. Fill up the graduated mixing bowl with ice and let the ice melt.
Combine a cup of halved seedless grapes, a cut up unpeeled red apple, and the cranberry mixture in the two quart baking dish, stir, and cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator to let the jello set.
Mom would have been proud.