You might remember being told as a child not to play with your food. As an adult, I play with food. I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to perk up a dish or add some complimentary flavors.
A few Thanksgivings ago, I went shopping at a local farmers market in McLean, Virginia. It was just brimming with a food makers and growers from across the state. In addition to stocking my bags with sweet potatoes, apples, squash, carrots and collard greens, I also scored locally made cheeses which just begged to be paired with locally harvested apples.
The apples would also be made into applesauce, a family favorite. Pictured is our Moms glass juicer which I carefully tuck into my suitcase when traveling to my sisters house for holidays.
My sister and I planned a cheese tray as an appetizer to stave off the hunger pangs of our family as they waited for the “big” meal later in the day. As I always pack granola when traveling, I grabbed a bag and sprinkled it in between the apples, cheeses, green grapes and crackers. Everyone nibbled their way through the tray and we knew this would now be a stable at future family gatherings.
Our families, like so many, love the simplicity and familiarity of enjoying the same dishes every year at Thanksgiving. As a guest over the years at the tables of friends who are fine cooks, I’m always eager to see how meals are prepared and the stories that accompany each dish. The storytelling part of meals really is the best part of gatherings for me. My sister and I threw caution to the wind by introducing a cheese, fruit and granola tray—fortunately, it was a welcome addition to making it a family tradition.. ❤️