Carrot & Raisin Salad

I have never made this for Thanksgiving, ever. I made it this because I love it even though I know neither the Boy nor the MotH likes it at all – their loss, more for me. So I made it because there would be other family members at Thanksgiving in case someone other than me might like it too. I do think that worked.

D&D_2329These are random thoughts:

I eat carrot/raisin salad for breakfast – just a couple of days in the fridge and this really is excellent. It keeps so much better than cole slaw. Cole slaw need to be made the day you are eating it and then just toss it out. That is not to say you cannot use the cole slaw mix for days and days, you just have to dress it the day you are going to eat it. This works really well, especially when serving bbq pork or sloppy joes.

Oh, and yes, breakfast because apparently I have to eat meals now. Ugh.

I have no recipe for carrot & raisin salad* – same as with cole slaw.  Let me try to explain. I peel and grate a 1 pound bag of carrots on the large holes of a box grater. Put that in a bowl. Add golden raisins – sultanas, and decided if I need more raisins. Then get out the Duke’s mayonnaise. This is where you must be careful. Too much mayo will make just a hot mess. So add the Duke’s judiciously. A little at a time – a little kosher salt now would be a good thing. Then let the whole damn mess sit refrigerated overnight and decide if you need to add something more. In my case, a couple of days later the salad needed a little more (very little) mayonnaise. Made the difference in my breakfast this week. Indeed.

Carrot Raisin Salad is always for my brother’s birthday. That’s saying a lot. I’ve said this before, probably lots, but for our birthdays growing up you got your favorite meal for your birthday. My brother’s favorite was roast beef with rice and gravy and carrot & raisin salad. Maybe it was the roast beef I made the week before Thanksgiving that made this happen, but no matter what this was a really good treat for me and the others that recognized this** on the Thanksgiving buffet.

Who writes about carrot & raisin salad? No body but me.

*Why is it called a salad – it’s like a carrot slaw with sultanas. Oh, and pineapple-ly things will never, ever, be involved in carrot/raisin salad. Ugh – just so wrong. Yes, I have very strong opinions about food. I think we all do. Well, even if we all don’t, I still do.

**Yes, it was all of us old-ish people, but they enjoyed it. Me, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law’s mother, and I think my brother-in-law too. Yes, I was looking at plates. Based on what I saw, I think they liked it.

Either way, a great breakfast for a few days at the office.

Roast Beef with Gravy

My mom’s “recipe” (seem to start a lot of ideas that way when it comes to cooking) for roast beef and gravy was amazing. Maybe I have a memory that makes things seem better after time, but I do not think so. In our family, it was a thing on your birthday that you decided dinner for the night. I was weird, so my favorite meal was, the very exotic, taco ( I know, I know) and, wait for it … pecan pie. No cake for me. It was is totally a strange combination. I knew it then and I really know it now. But it is what I wanted and that’s what I got. And May 12th happens to be my birthday. Who knew? Um. me.

D&D_9463

Roast Beef w gravy and Carrot & Raisin Salad

My elder (only) brother, on the other hand, was more reasonable. And it’s funny now that I think about it. His was the only other birthday dinner I know by heart even now. Of the 4 of us – just mine and his. His was Roast Beef and gravy with rice and carrot and raisin salad. I’m sure he had a cake, and I expect it was yellow cake with fudge frosting. That cake was amazing and I guess I need to figure it out too.

Back to my mom’s recipe. It still makes me laugh, because it’s slightly absurd. You put the roast in the over at 450 degrees until, as she said, the smoke detector goes off. Then you lower the temp to 350 degrees and cook. But this recipe sounds really good to me and might be a bit more accurate or something. Nothing about smoke detector – which is slightly sad in a way.

Roast Beef with Gravy
– Trisha Yearwood
1.5 pound boneless chuck roast
salt and black pepper
1 large red onion, sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
4 Tbs all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Line a 9 x 13 pan with heavy duty foil large enough to fully wrap the roast. The shiny side of the foil should be up. Sprinkle roast on all sides with salt and pepper and place in the center of the foil Spread onion slices over the top and pour vinegar around it. Bring the ends of the foil together and fold several times to completely enclose the roast pour 1 inch of water in the pan around the roast. Bake until roast is fork tender, about 3-4 hours. Check the water level in the pan regularly and replenish as needed

When the roast is done, remove package from pan and let cool for a few minutes. Open package carefully transfer meat to a platter and keep warm. Pour roasting juice into measuring cup and let fat rise to the surface. Skim off fat, reserving 4 Tbs in a sauce pan and discard rest. If not 4 Tbs, add butter to make up the difference.

Measure the remaining defatted pan juices and reserve. If you have less than 2 cups, add water to make 2 cups. Add flour to fat in saucepan, and stir with wire whisk over medium low heat until the flour is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in reserved pan juices and stir until thicker.

Slice the roast or cut into chunks and serve with gravy.

March 2015   – and make some rice for the gravy and then some carrot and raisin salad – yep. Dale always had it right. Probably my third favorite dinner – right after tacos (w/pecan pie)  and chicken and rice. Totally. Sigh.