Secret Family Recipes

Monday, December 17, 2012

Our family has recipes that are held close to hearts and saved for just special occasions.  Christmas is one of those times. They are treated with such reverence, that it can be surprising to find out that secret family recipes can sometimes turn out to be not so secret, after all.

There are the beautifully chewy, almost butter-scotch meringues. Malt vinegar and a fickle oven appear to be the key in this one.  There is the dip that Gran used to make only on Christmas day. This was then rationed out on snax crakers for the following days.  It turns out that with help of onion soup, reduced cream and the recipe in fine print on the bottom of the can, you too can make dip like my Gran.

Then there is the pickled pineapple.  Mum found it one year in her "Triple Tested Cookbook"*.  It became her specialty.  She cooks it every year to serve with ham.  The vegetarian relatives can attest that it goes just as well with cheese.  It is one of those magical, "there's still time" recipes.  While the recipe recommends it sit for a week, it still tastes pretty good if made the night before.  Just the smell is enough to tell me it is almost Christmas and the secretly saved pineapple juice appeals to my sweet tooth.

The recipe is held in high regard, but I have heard rumours that one aunt passed a copy to a catering friend.  Further to that, the latest Dish magazine recipe boasts a glazed ham recipe tailored for serving with pickled pineapple.  If you feel the need to add something new to your table, here is the recipe for the original pickled pineapple.

1 can pineapple chunks
3/4 cup malt vinegar
1 1/4 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
6-8 cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Drain syrup from pineapple. Place vinegar, sugar salt and spices in saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add pineapple and boil a further 1 minute.  Cool and bottle.  Store in fridge for 1 week before serving with ham or chicken.

*  Well done to Lower Hutt Plunket Society for this 1959 Gem.  May all Plunket groups create such a legendary cook book.

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  1. i am a big fan of pretty much pickled everything. but pickled pineapple? really? gotta be worth a try!

    1. Yes, you must try it. It is the only way my pineapple hating husband will eat the stuff.

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