What this town needs is a good snow. It will shake us out of our monochrome winter rut. Snowfall adds bright white color and excitement. People start clearing out grocery stores of bread and milk at a pace that makes the Muscovites tremble. Fenders get dented. Gloves get lost.
As it is, with this rainfall I have to be content with a pink salad, a pink borscht, and plain ol' kitchen tables.
It is time, in short, to answer the mail.
There is a pink freeze in your future
From: Emma J. Siple, Baltimore
Re: Column mentioning fondness for cranberries.
Dear Happy Eater,
I am sending you my favorite salad recipe. It is excellent for the holidays and is made with cranberries.
, Pink arctic freeze salad Serves 12
6 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 package Dream Whip
Mix cream cheese, mayo and sugar. Add cranberries, pineapple and nuts. Fold this into Dream Whip.
Put in cupcake pan lined with paper cups and freeze. Take out of freezer 15 minutes before serving.
Eater Replies: It may be too late for the red and green holidays of Christmas, but the recipe is just in time for the pink and frozen holidays of George Washing- ton's birthday and Valentine's Day.
A borscht to remember
From: Margaret Orman, Baltimore
Re: Column on soup mentioning borscht
Dear Happy Eater,
After reading your article and recipe for borscht I wanted to share an Australian recipe for some.
It was a cool, rainy day in Hobart when my husband and I were seeking warmth and comfort food.
. . . With some trepidation we climbed many rickety stairs in what looked to be a former seaside warehouse. We came upon a small, tidy restaurant run by Lebanese immigrants. They served us delightful soup and homemade crusty French bread and sweet butter. We accompanied the soup and bread with a lovely Australian white wine. Feeling restored, but a tiny bit heady, we braved the elements for sightseeing.
'Down Under' borscht
2 1/4 pounds, cooked pureed beets
4 cups chicken stock
1 small can tomato puree
2 cups light cream
salt, white pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice
In large pot, add beets to chicken stock, simmer 30 minutes. Add tomato puree. Mix eggs with cream and add to mixture. Season with salt, fresh white pepper and pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and, lastly, fresh lemon juice, to taste.
Do not let the soup boil but serve it quite hot, possibly with focaccia bread and a good white wine.
Eater Replies: Lebanese cooks living in Australia fix an Eastern European soup. It should be called United Nations Borscht.
Kitchen table: font of all knowledge
From: Carolyn Lattanzio, Rock Point, N.Y.
Re: Column on kitchen table as household library.
Dear Happy Eater,
I enjoyed your article about the endangered kitchen table. It didn't really bring back memories, because I didn't grow up with one. But I have had one in this house for 9 years and I agree with your sentiments.
My husband is not crazy about all the newspapers, magazines and books all over the place. But our kids are doing great in school and they know they can usually find the answer to almost anything somewhere in this house.
Eater Replies: In the house I grew up in the adults sitting around the kitchen table always had an answer to any question. It was always a highly opinionated answer, and it was not always the correct answer, but at least it was a quick one.
Just in case we get lucky and the moisture turns white, here is how to make ice cream out of snow: Fill metal bowl with uncompacted snow, the cleanest you can find these days. Pour over it either sweetened fruit juice, maple syrup or, my favorite, 1 cup cream, 3/4 cups sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. As for a Scotch slush, pack a glass with snow, pour in Scotch. Kick off boots, sit down, enjoy winter.