Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Return of a Classic


As a Thanksgiving Side Note, there’s nothing that stands out more than a Classic Waldorf Salad. Some people care for it; others don’t—but if you love the crispness of bright red apples, celery and winter pears, it’s a marriage made in heaven when those tastes mingle with golden walnuts and the tartness of raisins. For me and my culinary team, it brings back some memories.

“I remember my grandmother bringing Waldorf salad to Thanksgiving when I was a kid,” my friend remarked when I asked her thoughts on side dishes this year. “She was the “city grandma,” whereas my other one lived on a farm and was—at least to my immature mind in those days—more of a stuffing and bird aficionado. Because my grandma living nearby had grown up in New York and wore scarves, I thought her Waldorf salad was glamorous—especially since it came with a story about a fancy hotel!”

It is true that the first Waldorf was chopped up and served in the hotel of the same name—the Waldorf- Astoria in Manhattan. The maitre d’, Oscar Tschirky dreamed it up in 1896 and is also credited with having a hand (or a whisk!) in culinary favorites like Thousand Island dressing, Eggs Benedict and a personalized Veal Oscar, served with fresh crab legs and tarragon.

Another friend who’s been following our Thanksgiving Side Notes had this to say about Waldorf salad: I remember it tasting better on Black Friday, when we took all the leftovers out of our fridge and loaded the cold salad last, next to the stuff that had just come from the microwave. Then we’d go prop our feet up on boxes packed with Christmas decorations and have a nice meal before putting up the tree.”

Thanks for sharing guys! Please feel free to leave us a comment on what you look forward to every Thanksgiving. TOP NANA has always believed it’s about the compliments surrounding the turkey rather than all about the bird. Before we go we’d like to share 2 different recipes for Waldorf. The one pictured here is a classic, made the same way Oscar made it over 100 years ago. Waldorf salad has gotten quite a makeover since then; the contemporary version is made with toasted pine nuts, orange zest, Cajun seasonings and chopped dates, and features exactly twice as many ingredients as when you do it old school. Click on this kitchen project link to compare/contrast.

And don’t forget to check in with the Nana Network every day between now and the last Thursday of the month! We’re bringing back our popular “Side notes” feature that will do your fine china proud this Thanksgiving. If you love seasonal table settings, check out this beautiful set of Thanksgiving china from Williams & Sonoma. Woodland Turkey Dinnerware was featured as one of Nana’s Favorite Things last year. We checked and it seems like you can still order it in time for the holidays in 2011.

Gobble, Gobble

TOP NANA & Friends

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