“I give thanks for my irreplaceable family and tribe of radical friends.” —Asia Moore

Autumnal Bliss Salad

Melt butter in bowl and add brown sugar, salt and cayenne. Cayenne can be surprisingly strong, so watch out. Toss mix with hazelnuts to coat. Spread nuts on a baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees until mix is slightly gooey, yet firm. Remove from oven and set aside to harden. When cool, break apart. Hazelnuts should be sweet with a little kick of spice.

Combine lettuce and spinach and top with onion, cucumber, pomegranate, feta, carrot and crumbled candied hazelnuts. Sprinkle on Maple Balsamic Dressing and toss to combine.

Maple Balsamic Dressing

Whisk together briskly.

“I am thankful that water molecules are polar.”
—Matt Trickey

Yummy Cranberry Sauce

Heat a saucepan over medium low heat. Add the Scotch, maple syrup and cranberries. Allow to come to a low boil. Meanwhile, scrape off about a tablespoon of orange peel with a knife or zester, juice the oranges and add the zest and juice to the cranberries.

Chop the crystallized ginger into tiny pieces and add to the sauce. Cover saucepan and turn down heat to medium low. Allow the sauce to slowly boil until most of the cranberries have burst open. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

When most of the liquid is reduced, and most of the berries are burst, add just a tiny pinch of cardamom and a tiny pinch of clove. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer and stir for about 10 minutes to blend the flavors.

When finished, ladle the sauce over meat or baked vegetables, or use as a layer in custard.

The addition of the single malt Islay Scotch lends a smoky peat flavor to the otherwise sweet and tart flavors of the orange and maple. For family gatherings, remember that cooking eliminates the alcohol content. The success of this recipe depends upon the tiny pinches of cardamom and clove, use less rather than more as these will overpower the other subtle flavors.