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Zox Kitchen

Zox Kitchen: November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Dishes To Love Or Hate

I love Thanksgiving. In our family it is a special time we can all count on eating a great meal together, relaxing for a day or two and having the time to catch up with each other. It always gives me so much pleasure. But the Thanksgiving feast can be less than satisfying when it includes, as it too often does, dry turkey, overcooked stuffing, or cranberry sauce that is saccharine sweet or too sour or straight out of the can. And then, of course, there is the problem of overeating. Every year I tell myself that I’m going to exercise some restraint and the next thing I know, I’m lying on the couch, stuffed and uncomfortable.

Nonetheless, I really like finding new and different tasting dishes to accompany the turkey. The Cranberry Salsa recipe below is my original creation. It is relatively light and fresh and our kids love it. The second recipe, Tomato Pudding, is famous in my wife’s family. It originated with her grandmother and no one knows where she got it. I had never heard of it until I started celebrating Thanksgiving with my wife. This is a “love it or hate it” dish. Most folks think it is terrific, while others simply can’t stand it. It does have a lot of sugar, but you eat only a small quantity of it and you only eat it on Thanksgiving. While it is a great compliment to bland turkey, the dish just doesn’t seem to work at any other time of year.

You can use a natural sweetener like Agave Nectar or Stevia instead of sugar in the Cranberry Salsa. But Tomato Pudding requires good old-fashioned brown sugar. No substitutes please!

Cranberry Salsa


1 bag of cranberries
1 cup of water
¾ cup of sugar or the natural sweeteners Agave Nectar or Stevia
juice of one lime
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 deseeded and de-veined Jalapeno pepper, finely diced
½ bunch coarsely chopped cilantro
¼ cup diced red onion

Pour cranberries, water and sugar into a one-quart pot. Boil for 15 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries begin to break down. Add lime juice, vinegar cilantro, diced pepper and onion. Season to taste. Add 1 teaspoon sweetener if too sour.

Dorothy Stabler’s Tomato Pudding


1 15 oz. can tomato puree
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
3 cups stale bread crumbs

Soak bread in butter. Cook tomato puree and sugar for 5 minutes. Combine. Bake in 1-quart casserole dish at 350 F degrees for 45 minutes.