If Christmas has an official fruit, to my mind it would have to be the cranberry.  We smother our turkey in it, serve it up with some brie for an oh so yummy canapé and knock it back by the bucketful in Christmas inspired cocktails. 

If retro cooking had an official dish, it would have to be the jellied salad.

And if these two met at a party and got a little tipsy on a few too many festive sherries and had their very own love child?  It would look  a little like this:

Cranberry Party Salad
Cranberry Party Salad

 And you know what?  If there’s any rationale for hiding your love children in the attic?  The Cranberry Party Salad from Salads For All Seasons could well be it. 

I wasn’t the worst thing I made this year.  Oh, no, that is a dead heat tie between the Paleo Muesli and the Paleo bread…

Sprouted Seed Bread
Sprouted Seed Bread

 It wasn’t awful like these, it was just way too sweet for my taste to have as a savoury dish.  It’s a problem I have in general with Cranberry sauce.  Sometimes it feels as if someone snuck up whilst I wasn’t looking and smeared my turkey with jam. To me, the thing, the whole raison d’etre of the cran is the tang.

Cranberry Party Salad2
Cranberry Party Salad2

 I was also a little disappointed that the fruit and nuts and…yep ok…spoilers ahead…celery…floated to the top which became the bottom once I turned it out.  Then I looked at the picture in the book and it looks like her fruit is all chunked at the bottom too.

Original Cranberry Party Salad
Original Cranberry Party Salad

 Also, look at her terracotta water cooler in the background.  And look at my Kris Kringle present this year…we do the one where you can steal gifts and believe me, there was nothing coming between me and this baby.  Sadly, I stole it off one of the nicest people in the world.  And she really wanted it because she had stolen it from one of the boys.  Caitlin, if you read this, I’m sorrynotsorry. 

Kris Kringle 2014
Kris Kringle 2014

 I am seriously a couple of oddly placed copper moulds away from having that retro kitchen!!!  That woman also has weirdly large man hands like me too.  And that blue salad?  Will be made. I promise.  I have to see how that particular combination of ingredients becomes blue…we will find out together in 2015.   I may even wear a badly fitting blue dress and have my water cooler in the background for some happysnaps.

Cranberry Party Salad Crackers
Cranberry Party Salad Crackers

Rosemary says this is to be served with light meats and poultry.  But how?  You have to remember that this type of dish is most definitely not in any kind of ancestral memory I have.  Well, having said that, I did ask my mother WEEKS ago to give me the recipe for a salmon and jello type thing she used to make.  Which, I have STILL not got.  Someone’s game needs to be lifted….

Given the spread between chunky at the bottom and clear at the top, it seemed sensible to slice it.  To my mind that just looked way too weird on the plate.  In the end, I treated it like a cranberry sauce and ate it on crackers with ham and cheese.

Cranberry Party Salad and Cheese
Cranberry Party Salad and Cheese

 

Cranberry Party Salad and Ham
Cranberry Party Salad and Ham

 Huh…it doesn’t look too bad in the photos and, in all honesty, this wasn’t awful….just waaaaaayyyy to sweet for my taste.  And I tarted it up by adding fresh cranberries into the mix….

Leave this one with me.  I’m going to ponder it over the next 12 months and next year, I’m going to bring you the best cranberry party salad ever!!!

Cranberry Party Salad Recipe
Cranberry Party Salad Recipe

Any suggestions, you know where to send ’em.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

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