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The Sailaway Gourmet

No sooner is boating season over and here we are looking forward to the holidays. It’s a time of love, joy and giving. And eating. My favorite meal is on Thanksgiving Day, but enjoy all the holiday parties with their array of the hosts’ favorite dishes that include recipes the family has passed down and new ones that are tried and loved. I’m one for the traditional family meal that my mother always made but along the way have added and/or tweaked some of the side dishes. For example, the family is split on who prefers canned cranberry sauce or homemade, who likes or hates green bean casserole (I’m on the dislike side) and should we have that seriously artery-clogging, cholesterol raising corn dish again (That I am a big YES for)? My brothers’ wife, a woman I am proud to call my sister-in-law is a great cook and is always trying out new recipes. I don’t think she’s ever made anything we didn’t like...and oh, her cookies, to die for! This year I am making my grandmothers’ Molasses cookies. I haven’t had them in years and think they would make a nice gift for some of my friends. So old and new, the season is a smorgasbord of food to enjoy, in moderation of course. So here are some of my favorites.

Mimi's Molasses Cookies 1 cup sugar 1 cup veg. oil 1ncup molasses 2 tsp. baking soda 1 cup buttermilk 1/2 tsp. salt 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground cloves 4 cups flour 1/2 a box raisins Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix sugar and oil. Put 1 tsp. baking soda into molasses and add to sugar mixture. Put remaining soda into buttermilk. Sift together salt, flour, cinnamon and cloves. Alternately add buttermilk and dry ingredients to sugar mixture. Add the raisins. Drop by teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. Cool and store. My grandmother always kept them in a tin separated with wax paper so they didn’t stick to each other. Paula Deen’s Corn Casserole (the artery clogging dish but oh so good!) 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn 1 (8-ounce) package of Jiffy corn muffin mix 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream and melted butter. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with Cheddar. Return to oven for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and serve warm. Serves 6-8. My Favorite Cranberry Sauce 1 lb. of fresh cranberries 2 cups sugar 1/2 cup of water 1/8 tsp. of salt 1/8 tsp. each of ground cloves and ground ginger 1/2 tsp. each of allspice and cinnamon Rinse the cranberries, drain and place in a saucepan with the sugar, water and salt. Cover and bring to a boiling point. Cook 8-10 minutes or until skins burst. Remove from the heat, stir in the spices and cool. Store in a glass jar or dish in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes 3-1/2 cups. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season!!

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