Hey there ~ V here. Happy Thanksgiving! So this week we’re blogging about Thanksgiving Traditions and recipes. Well, I have a recipe that has become a tradition. Fluffy Ruffles.
Ages ago, back in high school, one of my very best friends made this delightful dish in a cooking class. It’s become a must-have on my Thanksgiving Day table.
Fluffy Ruffles is a sweet relish type of thing. Some might call it a compote, although it isn’t cooked. You do have to start it the day before you serve it though, so I’ll be making fluffy ruffles later today.
Here’s what you need:
- Fresh cranberries (they don’t actually look as nice as the picture)
- A pint of whipping cream
- 1 ½ cups of mini marshmallows
- 3 tablespoons of sugar (granulated, not powdered)
- A tablespoon and ½ of lemon juice
- A cup of chopped walnuts
On Wednesday evening (the day before Thanksgiving), dump the cranberries in a bowl of cold water. Most of them will float, but you still need to pick up each berry, one at a time, and squeeze it between your thumb and forefinger. It should be hard, or give just a little. Soft berries and especially squishy ones need to be thrown away. I always find a bunch of bad berries in my bag, every year. Bad berries will ruin the flavor of your fluffy ruffles and that’s why you need to take the time to inspect each berry individually. I can’t stress the importance of this step.
Once you have removed the bad berries (and it will be only a few, maybe 15 or so), chop the good ones to a relish-y consistency. I use an electronic chopper, or even my magic bullet, but some years I’ve used a knife for this step. You want them to be coarse, not a puree.
Now, put your chopped cranberries in a container. Add the sugar and the lemon juice. This needs to sit overnight for the sugar to sweeten the berries. I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten a cranberry, but they are wicked tart! If you don’t do this the day before, the berries won’t sweeten enough and you’ll have a relish that is sweet in some places and tart in the berry spots.
On Thursday, when the turkey is in the oven, but before you get crazy-busy peeling potatoes and putting out the appetizers, you’ll want to mix up the rest of the dish. And a few hours in the fridge will soften up your marshmallows nicely.
Chop the walnuts pretty finely – about as coarse as the cranberries. Put the nuts and the cranberry-lemon-sugar mixture into a fairly large mixing bowl. Whip your cream and then add it to the cranberries. Stir in the marshmallows. Taste it and see if it needs additional sugar. Once it’s sweet enough for your taste, cover it and put it in the fridge until you are ready to put dinner on the table.
You may be wondering what it is about this silly little dish that makes it a tradition for me. Well, I’ve been eating Fluffy Ruffles on Thanksgiving since 1986. That’s…let me do the math…Good Lord! That’s 25 years! Okay…I don’t know how that happened, but I think that’s a discussion better left for another blog post. Anyway, more important than the length of time that I’ve been doing this, additional family members have brought this dish to other people’s houses for the holiday – sharing the Fluffy Ruffle Joy with newbies. And I don’t make it any other time of year, so it’s special.
For me, it’s just not Thanksgiving without a turkey and Fluffy Ruffles.
Today’s secret: It’s never too late to start a new tradition. Before you know it, you’ll have been doing it for 25 years.
Today’s question: What is your silliest tradition?