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Remembering the first Thanksgiving with pilgrim salad

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Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013 3:21 pm

The house is filled with the savory aroma of Thanksgiving Dinner. Roast turkey with stuffing and giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, candied yams, and green beans have been prepared. Fresh rolls are piping hot out of the oven. Relish plates laden with pickles, cream cheese stuffed celery, carrot sticks, and olives await hungry holiday guests. Prepared from scratch the day before, pumpkin, mince, and lemon meringue pies are on the counter. Each slice to be served with a dollop of whipped cream after the table is cleared and the meal settled in full tummies.

Gathering around the dining room table on Thanksgiving Day has been an American tradition since colonial times. To celebrate their gratefulness in the new land, our forefathers gathered nuts, corn, and cranberries, for their table, the basic ingredients in Pilgrim Salad. Today, with the addition of apricot jam, a touch of Dijon mustard, and a dash of Worstershire, ingredients reminiscent of the first Thanksgiving can be made into a delightful tangy corn relish.

Easy and quick to prepare, Pilgrim Salad is not only tasty but colorful. Marinated in a vinaigrette dressing, colors range from red, yellow, orange and brown, melding together in a rainbow of fall hues. Pilgrim Salad is a hit at my table, not only at Thanksgiving but year round. It is also the perfect dish when invited to a friend’s home for dinner and the hostess says, “Bring whatever you want.” Pilgrim Salad is always my go-to dish.

Pilgrim salad

2 15-ounce cans kernel corn

3/4 cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup coarse chopped pecans

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons apricot jam

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Worstershire

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Garnish with pecan halves

Yield: 8 servings

Bernadine Chapman-Cruz is a contributing writer for Big Monkey Group Publications. Raised in Stockton, she lives in Lodi with her husband, a cat named "L" and dog, "Forest." She enjoys writing, cooking and dining out.

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