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A finer demise for a grit never existed. But not on the relish tray. That would be tacky, not to mention messy.

I have been served grits fries. Little coin-shaped pieces of grits from cooked and cooled grits spread on a sheet pan about 1/4 inch thick, cut out and deep fried and served with a sauce reminiscent of seafood cocktail sauce.

Not bad.. I can see promise here of an interesting theme.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have been served grits fries.  Little coin-shaped pieces of grits from cooked and cooled grits spread on a sheet pan about 1/4 inch thick, cut out and deep fried and served with a sauce reminiscent of seafood cocktail sauce. 

Not bad..  I can see promise here of an interesting theme.

Isn't this what people do with polenta? cutting out pieces to deep fry? does the cocktail sauce detract from the natural grits flavor?

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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A finer demise for a grit never existed. But not on the relish tray. That would be tacky, not to mention messy.

I have been served grits fries. Little coin-shaped pieces of grits from cooked and cooled grits spread on a sheet pan about 1/4 inch thick, cut out and deep fried and served with a sauce reminiscent of seafood cocktail sauce.

Not bad.. I can see promise here of an interesting theme.

You have just described the breakfast of champions. Particularly good with some fried doves and bacon on a cold morning before a duck hunt. I might do that on Saturday morning, as a matter of fact. It's cruddy and rainy outside and promises to remain that way for a few days. Good thing for the hunters and bad for the ducks. :wink:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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yankee here -

in the standard grandma issue cut glass dishes (2 - one partitioned in 2, one a single unit)

celery (nude. my mom was a dieter)

carrot sticks

black olives - to sneak on my fingers when she wasn't watching :rolleyes:

green olives with pimentos - keep the artisanal olives for another occasion

baby sweet gherkins

whole sour spears

hearts of palm - quartered.

must find gherkins.

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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Oh the relish tray - a very northern midwestern supper club tradition. :angry: Olives and stuffed celery for sure, and in our neck o' the woods, add pickled herring whether wine- or cream-based. Definitely have to have the cut glass thing with compartments so the herring juice doesn't contaminate the olives.

I've tried to get away from the relish tray and just serve appetizers at my dinners, but my mom insists on putting it out.

Sounds like some of you are getting alittle more upscale about your relish trays though....

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From the wilds of Canada, the relish tray. I must confess the relish tray I've inherited from my mother is also Waterford crystal. I use it three times a year. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

Garlic dill pickles, quartered,

Rosette radishes

bread and butter pickles

olives, usually green not black

celery stuffed with chicken salad

occassionally carrot sticks.

occassionally baby gherkins

marinated pearl onions

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Brooks- I've got the same Rival 'grease gun' and Ladybird Johnson's cheese straw recipe.

Does anyone remember when the fancy relish tools were sold, or given away? Between my sister and our cousins, we stayed out of everyones' hair turning radishes into spirals 1/2 a foot long, cherry tomatoes and 'cherry bomb' pickled peppers into roses, and who knows what else.

I am going to try that receipt, Jaymes. Sounds pretty good.

Also had the watermelon pickles, pickled peaches,corn relish and chow chow, which is good with dressing if it's the hot stuff.

We always had the Lipton soup onion mix dip for the vegs. I don't know if that was tradition as much as my auntie couldn't make much else. She was always dish crew, and gram didn't completely trust her with that. :smile:

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Yes, the cut glass relish tray was the serving dish. I don't have one myself and lay it out on something(s) else now for T-Day.

Definitely pickled watermelon rind, Jaymes! I usually make my own, but no melons in this year's garden so I may need to actually buy some. Do still have some of my hot pickled okra and that will go out with some of the sweet pickled banana peppers this year also. I like to vary it and since it's at my house I get the option. :biggrin:

stuffed celery (pimento cheese and/or bleu, depending on what I want :wink: Some family gatherings as a child had that pineapple/cream cheese in the celery. Can't stand it now.)

carrot sticks (now I put out the "baby" carrots)

black olives

Green olives with pimentos (I put out jalapeno-stuffed olives too now)

hot pickled okra (my addition to the family tradition)

pickled red beet eggs (my mom is PA Dutch :wink:)

cornichon pickles (also an addition)

and yes, the baby teeny-tiny gherkins of my childhood

grape tomatoes (replacing cherry tomatoes) if I can find decent ones

crackers or breadsticks

Yes, dip. Spinach, artichoke/garlic, or bleu for me, replacing the french onion of my childhood.

One year I was responsible for the relish display for a different family gathering (not always a requested item for us) and I went with several fancy-schmancy different pickles and olives, and hot pickled okra :wink:. That was the best. But we were having a big salad for that event so I didn't even consider doing the veg portion. I think you're right, GG, it often does take the place of salad greenery not served at T-Day celebrations. Everyone loved that. We are a family of foodies! Menu considerations seem to come first for all family gatherings. :laugh:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Brooks- I've got the same Rival 'grease gun' and Ladybird Johnson's cheese straw recipe.

Of course you do. It's, like, a law or something close to it. :wink::laugh:

We actually had a fight when my great aunt died over who would get the thing (still in the box that it came in, she was like that-I also got a cool Betty Furness set of kitchen thermometers that were still in the box, now on a shelf in my kitchen). You can still buy a similar tool, but no cheese straw star. :angry:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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black olives - to sneak on my fingers when she wasn't watching 

I loaded up all 10 digits with ripe, California black olives!

Relish trays must be an important feature on the Southern table. When I married over 20 years ago, I received no less than THREE relish trays as wedding gifts. The second most popular gift item: the Turkey Stuffing Spoon!

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Well, lessee, my Mother was from NYC, my Dad was from the OK panhandle, and we always had a relish tray (cut glass not crystal; my Mom just gave it to me over the summer), similar to those described but more austere, just celery sticks, radishes, black olives, sweet gherkins.

Mayhaw Man's pimiento cheese is sososo good. I was already planning celery filled with this for Thanksgiving. I always serve Paul Prudhommes candied yams. And I love Julia Reeds cheese straws -- I think nobody does Thanksgiving like Southerners. Guess one could say that about nearly any meal, however.

Cheese straw star -- please describe. My cookie gun, which is a Mirro not a Rival but which is just exactly like my SoCal-via-NYC Mom's, has a plate with a flat, toothed slot that I use for cheese straws. Have I been remiss? Please advise.

Also, MM, please please please can we hear about the food at your Aunt's funeral? May she rest in peace.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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the relish tray of course..though some of the things were different..we had the black olives and the green olives...dill pickles...sweet pickles...carrots...stuffed celery (stuffed with walnuts and cream cheese)

radishes...ive taken to adding tomatoes cut into quarters

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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On various relish trays, arranged down the center of the main table were various assortments of the following. My aunts said that there may have been a couple of other home made items that no one makes any longer but this was just about it. Usually 50 or more people for Thanksgiving dinner, even more for Christmas.

baby gerkins sweet

baby gerkins dill

bread and butter pickles (similar to my recipe)

green olives with pimentos

ripe black olives

marinated mushrooms

celery with several types of filler

radishes cut into roses

green onions

baby onions pickled

pickled peppers

watermelon rind pickles

spiced crabapples

mixed vegetable pickles

benne seed sticks, savory

carrot sticks

hard boiled quail eggs in curry sauce

pickled walnuts

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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How could I have forgotten the burnt-sugar pecans so beloved by my grandfather.

I can remember sitting for hours, with an upside-down flat iron between my knees, and a small ballpeen hammer in my hand, cracking pecans for various recipes and for eating out of hand.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Having gone shopping and checked my canning pantry and fridge yesterday (limited to local HEB this time -- damn but I hate not being able to drive! :angry: so did not find some items I wanted, like the fav pickled watermelon rind but it will do :wink:), this year's relish tray will have:

tiniest sweet baby gherkins I could find

green olives stuffed w/ almonds

green olives stuffed w/jalapenoes

black olives

dill spears (cut in half to be munch sized)

(I've added garlic and a bit of fennel seed/frond and touch of green curry paste to rest in for a few days to some, rest will go out as is.)

baby carrots

celery sticks to be stuffed with a cream cheese/gorgonzola/garlic/basil spread

from my pantry:

hot pickled okra

sweet banana peppers pickled with lemon basil

homemade bread toasties (from baguette) /and/or crackers (depends on my ability to get extra bread done earlier this week :rolleyes:)

Dip: marinated artichoke hearts -- mix of reg and hot w/our pickled/roasted red Anas and garlic in fresh mayo/sour cream base

beer choices with relishes if wanted, otherwise they can claim anything I've got :wink:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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This New York Jew never heard of a relish tray. My parents sure never had one. On Pesach, my uncle's household and then my cousin's provides filberts which we can crack with nutcrackers while waiting around for things to be finished (for those not in the kitchen or dining room helping out, which I tend to do), but that's about it. Everything else was part of the meal - gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, etc.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Everything else was part of the meal - gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, etc.

A little relish might go a long way to perk up that gefilte fish. :raz::laugh:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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We add chrein (horseradish/beet sauce).

But you know what's interesting about this thread? I now know what those antique glasswares with compartments that I saw so often at fleemarkets and antique stores my father dragged me to when I was a little kid are.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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after a too long absence, i'm reviving the relish tray for my feast.

celery with pimiento cheese (made with chipotle cheddar cheese!)

green spanish olives filled with tuna

nicoise olives

cornichons

picked okra

my brother justin's homemade dill pickles

cranberry/pickled beet chutney (out of the new gourmet cookbook)

along side and for apps--various cheeses and billy bread (it's a richmond thing)

"Ham isn't heroin..." Morgan Spurlock from "Supersize Me"

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The relish tray is always present at our holidays. To my mother-in-law, it was a sort of rite of passage for the new daughter-in-laws. Before you were requested (permitted) to bring any other kind of dish to a get together, the new bride had to pass muster with a relish tray. Depending on who brings it, it can be in cut glass or a divided plastic sombrero. Who knows?

The only thing we would have in addition to the items already posted, would be pickled jalapenos - if you don't put them out, somebody is going to ask for them.

If you can't act fit to eat like folks, you can just set here and eat in the kitchen - Calpurnia

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My sainted grandmother, who always "did" the holidays put out a relish tray, as well. She was from New York and lived on Long Island when I was young. There were always radishes, celery sticks, carrot sticks, pimento stuffed olives (which I had the vile habit of sucking out the pimento, eating it, and put the olives back!

:shock:) (Hey, I said I was young! ) and pickles.

My mom discover Dilly Beans when I was about 8, and they soon became the "nosh" of choice.

Unfortunately, the pretty glass dishes that were used for the display of the goodies have long fallen by the wayside.

Any one have a Dilly Bean connection?

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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  • 1 month later...

Well, this thread is old, but I have to put in my two cents:

My mother always had me prepare the relish tray. I think it was because I was the eldest child, but I loved doing it b/c I got to snack on all the stuff while putting it together. :rolleyes:

She is from Indiana, transplanted to the Southern part of Virginia (Roanoke), and her tray is silver. She always had me line it with lettuce leaves. Then the fixins were generally as follows:

Black olives (goes without saying)

Radishes

Carrot sticks

Marinated artichoke hearts

Hearts of palm

Scallions

Dilly beans

sometimes baby corn

sometimes pickled okra

sometimes green olives stuffed with god knows what

The scallions were always used as a divider, and they were included b/c my dad just loves 'em

Now that I am grown up, I really don't have the time to do the relish tray, as I am busy cooking other stuff, like corn pudding, parmesan potatoes, and butternut squash soup. God forbid I should do the turkey, but at age 31 I'm allowed to do the more important sides. Relish tray is a good dish for young girl children to put together.

BUT... Thanksgiving has relocated over the past couple of years from Roanoke to Sarasota, FL, and I must say that this past T-giving was one of the best yet. We did not have a relish tray. We had stone crab claws instead, and Ohmigoodnessgracious, were they good! :biggrin:

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  • 9 months later...

(bumping this thread up for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday) :biggrin:

Anyone use the relish tray as an essential part of their Thanksgiving celebration? :rolleyes:

I am printing out andisenji's relish tray right here as part of my shopping list this month ..

This year, so far, I have bought long white canned asparagus in a Chinese market, hearts of palm in brine, some different types of olives ..

So, how about you?

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Gifted Gourmet - I replied last year so I won't rehash. The things I'll probably add this year include these lovely finger sized old variety carrots in colors like purple, red and yellow that my Whole Foods is carrying along with the multi colored radishes they have.....this year's relish tray will be about color. (the ones I grew up with were pretty much green and white0.

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