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Second helping of Thanksgiving

In the spirit of family meals and the corny jokes that accompany them, here’s one more for you:

How is this aspic like a New York City apartment? It’s small, crowded and pricier than you might expect. And also, kind of great.

Still very much a work in progress, the aspic was my contribution to Thanksgiving this year. I typically use the holiday as a time to experiment with different cooking methods, and started thinking about congealed salads after multiple meals at McCrady’s Tavern. My idea was to create a sparkling cider mold with wedges of heirloom apples suspended within it.

I asked various home cooking experts for suggestions, which ranged from cheddar cheese bits to brunoise cuts. In the end, because I spent Thanksgiving Day helping my parents move, I went with a very simple combination of apples and pears. My mistake was cramming way too much fruit into a too-small mold, which largely spoiled the intended effect. But the salad still worked, thanks to the base of Foggy Ridge’s Stayman Winesap cider. Far superior to standard ciders, the cider’s complex sweet-tart favor was the ideal complement to Brussels sprouts and brown gravy.

Of course, I wasn’t the only American cooking this week. Thanks to readers who shared pictures of their Thanksgiving creations, included here. Happy Holidays!

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

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