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A different kind of side


A different kind of side


The holidays are here. Are you ready? I’m not. I’ve done a little online shopping. But there’s still a lot to do.

But before I tell you about this side, here’s a little update. You remember we suddenly lost Penny in September. Sam grew very depressed as an only child and lost his bark. He went to live with his cousin in Wilmington. He’s now a happy camper–as you can see:


Scoop & Sam on sofa


So, back to this side…

I used to decorate everything. It took the better part of two days to get everything out and up. Ribbons and garlands on the mantle, stairway, mail box. Center pieces on the tables. Angels, elves, Santas, Rudolphs, candles, and bells everywhere.

And of course, a huge tree. It was a very personal tree. Most of the decorations were mementos from our lives. Things the kids made in school that could become an ornament or items we picked up traveling that reminded us of that trip or event.  I had a little red wooden ladder leaning against the tree with some of their small stuffed toys–Rudolph, a penguin, and teddy bears climbing up into the tree. Then, to tie it all together, I included straight-out, ordinary ornaments, ribbons, and lights.

One year, I started the kids their own ornament collection. Each year I’d buy something special to go on the tree, but get one for each. Later, when they left home, they’d have the start of their own memories for their tree. A couple of years ago, I sorted through all of the ornaments and gave them their box.

We’ve been out of town the last few Christmases and with all the kids out of the nest and in other towns, we didn’t even put a tree last year.  The year before, I put up a table top tree on the buffet in the dining room. Since it was small, I tricked it out with my nicer ornaments. It turned out well.

But this year, no one will be here and I may be working out of town, so we may just skip the whole tree-deal. We’ll see.

Now, don’t go thinking I’m depressed. I’m not. It’s just a lot of work to put all that stuff out and then take it back down. The taking down is the hard part. One year when the kids were very little, I didn’t get to the tree until the end of January.

And with it just being the two of us, why go to all that trouble?

I’ve just realized I write these posts to you a lot like I talk to my guy. Off subject.

I titled this A Different Kind of Side. I was going to tell you about a side dish that’s really good in cold weather and therefore, really good for the holidays.

And I detoured to Sam. And Christmas trees.

Back to topic.

I’ve never seen this on any menu or been served this anywhere but at Betty’s. I make it every year. The holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without it to me. It’s kind of like turkey and dressing. You just have to have that for it to be Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. I know you can have Filet Mignon or leg of lamb or spaghetti and it be Christmas dinner. But those are mere addons. The real deal has to have turkey and dressing front and center.

This is sweet and buttery and fruity and nutty. And it has cherries on top!

Curried Fruit

1 1-lb can each: pear halves, peach halves, apricot halves, pineapple chunks
12 or more marachino cherries
2 teaspoons curry powder

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
2/3 cup slivered almonds (or nut of your choice)

Drain all fruit. As I drain each can, I spread that fruit in layers in my dish. No need to use a bowl to combine fruit prior to putting it into the baking dish. As you strain your fruit in a sieve, reserve the liquid. I let the liquids mix together.

In a separate bowl, mix curry, sugar, and butter. Arrange fruit except for cherries in oven proof dish. Sprinkle on nuts and spread cherries evenly on top. Drizzle butter mixture over everything.

Bake 3250 for 1 hour.

Curried fruit almost done


I actually haven’t baked the one you see here long enough. I’ll finish cooking it tomorrow before serving. The brown sugar mixture will melt and blend with the fruits. This works well on a buffet service or family style dining. It works well as a warm hors d’oeuvre in a chafing dish, just provide toothpicks and cut your fruit into bite size pieces.

I try to buy canned fruit in its own juice. When you strain everything reserve the juice for future use.


Curried fruit reserved juice


Ice, 1 part juice, 1 part vodka. mmmm

Or add to fruit smoothies.

And just so you know . . . we may or may not have a tree, but we will certainly have the turkey and dressing and all the sides. It just may not be on the 25th.

Merry Christmas!


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