A Question and an Answer

Several customers have recently asked me if we plan to expand.  It’s great that our cafe is doing so well, and our reviews are overwhelmingly positive.  From an outsider’s perspective, I understand that it would seem to be our next step.  Mario and I have decided to not expand, that we’ll keep our operation local, because there’s only one of him and one of me.  We want to keep the service at a specific level and the food cooked only one way – my way and Mario’s way.  We wouldn’t be able to do that with multiple venues, no matter how well trained the staff; experienced cooks have their own style, and great cashiers and up front people have their own way of handling people.  Besides, we’re happy where we are with the employees we have – why expand?

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Family Traditions: Cranberry Relish

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I’ve been looking through the seasonal recipes we keep locked up in the family vault for this time of year…Ok, ok.  No vault.  You got me.  However, there are some gems passed down from generation to generation, and then there are those that are “discovered”, such as this surprisingly delicious dish.  “Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish” was found on NPR and has been served every year at our house since.  We just wanted to share a little bit of our family tradition with yours – Happy Thanksgiving!

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish

Photo Credit: Selena N.B.H./Flikr

Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish

2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed

1 small onion

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar (“red is a bit milder than white”)

Grind the raw berries and onion together. (“I use an old-fashioned meat grinder,” says Stamberg. “I’m sure there’s a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind — not a puree.”)

Add everything else and mix.

Put in a plastic container and freeze.

Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. (“It should still have some little icy slivers left.”)

The relish will be thick, creamy, and shocking pink. (“OK, Pepto Bismol pink. It has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. Its also good on next-day turkey sandwiches, and with roast beef.”)

Makes 1 1/2 pints.

contributed by Susan Stamberg