Developing a New Tradition
Several years ago my hair stylist (OK, it was really just the young woman who cuts my hair…but hair stylist sounds better) and I were talking about traditional recipes for holiday dinners. She said: “I always made traditional cranberry sauce until I found a recipe that sounded really weird but good and I tried it on my family. They loved it and never guessed what was in it! Now, it’s a tradition they will never let me stop.”
I asked her what it was and she said, “First, let me tell you that even though it doesn’t sound good, it’s delicious. It’s Pork Rind Cranberry Sauce and it’s really easy to make.”
I was somewhat incredulous and asked about the recipe. She said, “You cook cranberry sauce just like always. Then you add pork rinds, stir, and let it set until it cools. It gives it a different taste, but nothing you can quite identify. My kids absolutely loved it. Of course, when I told them what was in it they said, ‘No way’!”
I asked if it gave it a different texture and she said the pork rinds mix right in and don’t change the cranberry sauce texture at all. She made me promise I would try it even though it didn’t sound like something I would enjoy. I said I would try it, but would probably make the regular kind too. She said, “You wait, people will eat more of this kind.”
I had already walked out of the beauty shop but the recipe was on my mind and I turned back to ask her how much of the pork rinds she put in the sauce. She said, “Not a lot, just enough for flavor. About a fourth cup for a regular recipe but you can adjust that to taste. I just buy those little bottles of it at the liquor store.”
That was the first time I heard her clearly–and also the first time I realized the recipe she gave me was for Port Wine Cranberry Sauce not Pork Rind Cranberry Sauce. Big difference.
Now you see why I stick to traditional recipes.
I’ve written about this every year at Christmas and was recently asked when I was going to use it again. Since I haven’t been writing as often as usual, I was glad for the reminder and the chance to start back on my regular weekly article schedule. Happy Holidays!