For the past almost-50 years, I’ve been sharing an old family Thanksgiving recipe with NPR listeners. Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish comes from my late mother-in-law Marjorie Stamberg, who served it in Allentown, Pa., when I was brought there to be inspected by my future in-laws.

I thought it was delicious, made it every year at Thanksgiving, and because I like tradition, wanted to give listeners a tradition of their own. I always warn them that it’s a recipe that sounds awful (whoever heard of putting onion and horseradish in with cranberries?), but tastes terrific. And it does! Trust me.

Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish Takes Heat From One Of The Family’s Own

Photo: Raquel Zaldivar/NPR

5

Spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce, and Mother Nature’s wrath

Firstly, I want to say that I’m devastated by the hurricanes, floods, destruction, and despair that our precious country has endured over the past several weeks. It’s like Mother Nature wants to be sure we understand that global warming is real. I get it, but enough already. The good side of this, if you want to squeak out anything positive, is that people of all walks of life have pitched in to help. Florida’s mess is so deep and so wide it will take years to recover. I didn’t feel I could post about food or fun without first paying homage to the turmoil. Take care of each other my friends.

But in addition to everything else going on, the garden is getting away from us. It’s been a less than stellar year here for tomatoes, but the freezer is stocked with bags and bags of Frenched green beans, and the basil plant looks like a hedge. Weird squash are growing from volunteer seeds, and our lemon cucumbers are plentiful.

I have two wonderful friends who think of me when they run across stellar recipes. I’m posting this one today, and the next in the queue (maybe this weekend) is for a creamy, one-dish meal that cooks together in twenty minutes

This fabulous tomato concoction sat on our counter yesterday working its magic, and every time I walked by I couldn’t help but breath in the aroma. Garden fresh tomatoes were chopped and then swam in a bath of their own juices for six hours, along with garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh basil, and some salt and pepper. After an afternoon of marinating, all of this tomato goodness was combined with hot pasta – linguine is recommended, but I used spaghetti and any pasta would do. We loved this fresh combination and I ate some of the leftovers today for lunch. Delicious! It was a perfect summer meal, and a great way to use up your garden tomatoes.

I don’t know the source other than it came from my friend Nancy, so thank you Nancy for the share! If I find out the source at some point I will include it.

Linguine with fresh tomato sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped (I used lots of cherry tomatoes)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped basil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, small skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and stir. Do not brown. Transfer to a large, non-aluminum bowl. Mix in tomatoes and their liquid, remaining 3 tablespoon oil, basil, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand six hours.

Just before serving, cook linguine or other pasta in a large amount of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well. Transfer to large, preheated bowl. Add olive oil and toss well. Add sauce and toss again. Top with Parmesan cheese.

3

I’ve never cooked yuca until I went to Nicaragua last February. At first, I was intimidated of it because it looked so rough and hard. But once I cooked it and tasted how wonderful it was, I just couldn’t get enough of it! It was also one of a few vegetables that I could get pretty consistently around my neighborhood in Ometepe Island. Even when I came back to the states, I made boiled yuca several times. It sure beats mashed potatoes any day. And every time I eat it, it brings me back to the beautiful time I had in Nicaragua.

The hardest part of cooking yuca is cutting them through the hard skin in the beginning. It really feels like I am chopping wood. I just have to get a sharp big knife and wack through it. The cooking method of yuca is very similar to potato and other starchy tuberous vegetables. But unlike potato, yuca has a hard fibrous thick string in the middle, almost like a spine of the root which is inedible. It needs to be taken out after boiling the root.

This boiled yuca is a popular side dish in many Latin American countries. You can also deep fry yuca like thick potato steak fries or put it in a stew.

Enjoy~!

7

Korean chives or ‘buchu’ in Korean are one of my favorite vegetables in the spring time. They are kind of between the European chives and the spring onions in flavor, full of peppery lively aroma with mildly sweet after taste. This simple salad is perfect to accompany any meals to awaken your palate. You can get Korean chives in most Korean and Chinese grocery stores. You can also make delicious and easy pancakes with these chives, which is coming up soon here at Banchan tumblr!

Die Kartoffelpuffer (Hochdeutsch) or Reibekuchen (various German dialects) exist in many European national cuisines. In Germany, potato pancakes are eaten either salty (as a side dish) or sweet as a main dish with apple sauce and sometimes extra sugar, with berries or cinnamon. They’re common at festivals, appearing at outdoor market stands, particularly during the colder season and at Christmas markets. In Swiss-German cuisine, they’re called Rösti and are usually savory rather than sweet.