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1 jar (any size) tiny sweet gherkins
tarragon vinegar
mustard seed
    Drain and measure the pickle juice; discard.  Pour an equal amount of the vinegar into a small saucepan, add 1/2 tsp mustard seed for each cup of vinegar, and bring to the boil. Pour over the pickles and let set at least a day before serving. (They mellow down in about a week.)

1 (10 oz) jar Kalamata olives
1 T olive oil
the zest of 1 lemon, cut small
thin slices of lemon, for garnish
    Dump the olives into a colander and rinse off the brine. Pour the olive oil onto a baking sheet and mix in the lemon zest. Add the olives and swish them around until they are well coated. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Put them in a nice bowl and garnish with thin-sliced lemon, so it will look like you fussed.

1 c. water   
1/2 c. sugar   
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 (12 oz.) bag cranberries
3 T horseradish
1 T Dijon mustard
    Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat.  Add cranberries, and return to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.  Cool to room temperature.
    Stir in horseradish and mustard; cover and chill.  Serve with beef or pork, or spoon over cream cheese and serve with crackers.  Yield: 2 1/2 cups.

8 c. chopped pears 
4 c. sugar   
1 lemon, sliced
1 c. crushed pineapple
A few dashes of salt
    Mix ingredients and refrigerate overnight.  Cook until pears are clear and syrup thick, stirring often.  Makes 6 cups.

1 (10-oz) pkg walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz blue cheese, softened
1 T heavy cream
1 lb seedless grapes, washed and dried
    Beat the cream cheese, blue cheese and cream together until smooth. Mold a little of the cheese mixture around each of your grapes, and roll each grape in the toasted nuts. Refrigerate on a waxed paper-lined tray until ready to serve. This is labor intensive, but quite nice.

c nonfat mayonnaise
2 T minced onion
1/3 c horseradish
tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt, as desired 
a few grinds of white pepper
1 tsp ( envelope) plain gelatin
c cold water
1 c heavy cream, whipped
watercress and orange slices, for garnish
    Combine the nonfat mayonnaise, onion, horseradish, and seasonings and mix well. Soften the gelatin in the cold water, then dissolve over low heat, stirring constantly. Quickly mix the gelatin into the mayonnaise mixture. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour into a small mold lined with saran wrap. Tap the bottom of the mold lightly on the countertop to settle the contents. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve on a bed of watercress, garnished with orange slices.

1 envelope plain gelatin 
1/2 c. cold water   
1 c. non-fat mayonnaise 
1/2 c. prepared mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 c. cream, whipped
    Sprinkle gelatin over water; stir over low heat to dissolve. Cool.  Mix mayonnaise, mustard and paprika, stir in gelatin, and chill until slightly thickened.  Fold in the cream.
    Line a 1 quart mold with saran wrap; spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour in the mixture; chill until set.  Turn out on a platter; the wrap will peel right off.  This dish (I am told) is an excellent accompaniment for ham.It's good with vegetarian entrees, I know. Its character varies according to the style of prepared mustard used.

2 c sugar
1 c buttermilk
1 T mild molasses
1 T honey
2 T butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 c coarsely broken pecans
    Line a large cookie sheet with waxed paper. In a heavy 3- or 4-quart saucepan, stir together the sugar, buttermilk, molasses, honey, butter, and baking soda.
    Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture boils. Continue cooking until candy thermometer reaches 238F [if you are at sea level -- see commentary on the NUTS page] or a small amount of of the mixture dropped into a bowl of very cold water forms a soft ball that flattens on removal from the water.
    Remove from heat; add vanilla and beat until the mixture is barely thick and creamy and begins to lose its gloss. Add the pecans and stir well until coated. Quickly drop by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. Cool completely. Makes 2 dozen. [Note: I have only made these at Laramie's 7,200 ft. elevation, where it takes quite a while to cook up. I suspect things move more rapidly in other parts of the country. Watch it closely.]

    "Dined at the
P[resident]'s.Rice soup, round of beef, turkey, mutton, ham, loin of veal, cutlets of mutton or veal, fried eggs, fried beef, a pie called macaroni . . . . Ice cream very good . . .; a dish somewhat like pudding - inside white as milk or curd . . . covered with cream sauce -- very fine. Many other jimcracks, a great variety of fruit, plenty of wines, and good."
-- Congressman Manasseh Cutler, describing a meal at Thomas Jefferson's White House, Feby. 6th, 1802

    Like Mr. Jefferson, I am a great believer in "many jimcracks." I like having lots stuff on the table at my parties; little bowls of dips, fancy goblets filled with sauces or jams, tins of homemade mints and seasoned nuts. Most of this kind of thing can be made well ahead of your wingding. The guests love it -- looks like you've gone to a lot of trouble on their behalf -- but there's really little extra work involved. And it puts to use all those neato things you only have one of -- like your grandmother's depression glass cereal bowl.

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