December 1, 2022
December 2022 Newsletter: Spoons of Goodness
December 2022 Newsletter: Spoons of Goodness

Club Classic

The Classic Catering People is primarily known as an off-premise caterer, but some of our favorite events take place right at home. Here’s a peek inside Classic at some of our occasions which bring our team closer together and includes guaranteed laughter.
We are nothing without our team members, and on November 30th, we honored 2 groups of people who help shape Classic. We are lucky to celebrate our third round of team members who have been with us for 20 years: Nicole Hicks, Donald Smith, Kim Jackson, Will Mitchell, Wanda Mitchell, Ron Flowers and Fredy Sagastume. Their contributions will resonate for 20 more years and beyond, and we are delighted to honor them. We also applauded Katelyn West and Vicky Barkley, our most recent Golden Spoon winners. Our Golden Spoon winners are recognized for their consistent positive impact on others, their commitment, and their empathy. We celebrated in the best way we know – with the team’s favorite foods and family.
Secondly, for over 15 years, Santa has made a stop at our commissary to celebrate the holidays with the children and grandchildren of our team members. It’s a welcome opportunity to engage with the extended Classic family (and in some cases, like Edgar’s son, Elias, be introduced to future team members). Santa arrives bearing gifts personalized to each child and even has time to read a holiday-themed story.
We are very thankful that Classic is on the nice list!

Pure Goodness

Apple cider syrup is one of several historic foods that is slowly regaining traction as new generations are recognizing the value of previous food options that were being used before the advent of processed and mass-produced foods. I first encountered the condiment in the King Arthur Catalog which makes perfect sense since it once was a New England kitchen staple.  Hard cider was the go-to thirst quencher in colonial America. Boiling the cider until it was a thick dark liquid was a frugal, yet delicious method to preserve precious apple harvests due to its stable shelf life; combined with being an inexpensive and easy way to add sweetness to everyday cooking.  During the American Revolution, the sweet syrup was the patriotic option,  to avoid the imported sugar from the British West Indies. Politics intertwined with apple cider syrup’s fate once again, when overzealous citizens burned down apple tree varieties during Prohibition which diminished the cider’s production so much so, that by the 1940s, there was barely any apple cider syrup being commercially produced in America. Currently, boiled apple cider is on The Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, which means that it is designated as an endangered food, and at risk of disappearing.
Let’s hope not. It is delicious. There are several options available online or if time permits it can be made at home by reducing fresh apple cider to about one seventh of its original volume. Traditionally, adding it to baked goods, especially apple pie, baked beans, mincemeat, and apple fritters was common. The syrup, with its caramel apple notes, is a natural topping on pancakes, ice cream, and oatmeal as well. And it’s a perfect addition to a winter hot toddy or to give a touch of sweetness to a vinaigrette.

Holiday Book Picks 

Noma 2.0 Vegetable Forest Ocean by René Redzepi, Mette Søberg, Junichi Takahashi
  Noma 2.0 Vegetable Forest Ocean is a pictorial peak into the culinary creations served at the new Noma, 2.0, the next generation of the world-renowned restaurant, Noma.  Few readers will ever reproduce the detailed dishes that fill the 350 pages of this tome, that will more likely be located on the coffee table than relegated to a stained existence in the kitchen; but the curious and the creative will want to peruse the pages, and the food-obsessed who have Noma on their bucket list will appreciate it as a holiday gift.  The recipes for the essential and more approachable components are included in the back of the book, but for a deeper dive into full recipes, the reader needs to access a QR code.  Also included in the back of the book is a small cartoon section called “How to Retain Your Sparkle”, which among other things, suggests that the sophisticated beauty of the previous pages and black and white simple graphics at the end are only two ways to open your eyes.  An illustrative reflection on how we can be serious and productive but also have fun at the same time. 

Smitten Kitchen Helpers, New Classics for your Forever Files by Deb Perelman
 Want to have weeknight fun in the kitchen? Eat well? Get invited to a lot of pot lucks?  KeepSmitten Kitchen Helpers, New Classics for your Forever Files in your kitchen and let author Deb Perelman’s enthusiastic, practical magic take over. Perelman is a self-taught cook and an internet sensation. She does plenty of pre-work for her readers by eliminating steps (but not flavor) to create an assortment of appealing recipes. For example, in her chicken parmesan recipe, she uses boneless thighs to avoid pounding and then eliminates the flour step in a typically three part process of breading the meat. Turkey meatloaf for skeptics, tomato corn cobbler, luxe s’mores bars, and apple butterscotch crisp are invitations to take it up a notch with minimal investment of time and effort. 

Is This A Cookbook? Adventures in the Kitchen by Heston Blumenthal

 Is This A Cookbook? Adventures in the Kitchen by Heston Blumenthal is an apt title for a chef whose approach to cooking and life is to question everything.  Blumenthal was a pioneer of multi-sensory cooking and investigated  how smell and taste link to memory and our emotions.  As he has matured, his thinking has expanded to include its effect on our broader well-being and outlook. Puns, experiments, line drawings, photos, cartoons, reflections and even recipes fill the unexpected pages. All of this is an admirable effort to encourage the reader to open up possibilities and perspectives to enrich their lives. Wild and wonderful. Read and reread. 

Savory Baking Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between by Erin Jeanne McDowellSavory Baking Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between is a delightful kitchen companion during the holiday season.  Baking cookbook author, Erin Jeanne McDowell, encourages her readers and Instagram followers to roll up their sleeves and play with their dough, whether crafting pies into works of art in an earlier book, or reshaping favorite sweet pastries into their savory cousins in her latest cookbook. Creamed spinach Danish, parmesan sables and Tamale Pie-Pie. Yum, here we come. 

The Miracle of Salt, Recipes and Techniques to Preserve, Ferment and Transform Your Food by Naomi DuguidI am a huge fan of Naomi Duguid, the author of The Miracle of Salt, Recipes and Techniques to Preserve, Ferment and Transform Your Food.  If not for my interest in her work, I am confident that I would not have read another book about salt. The fact that salt is one of our most important ingredients, and that we take it for granted might be what spurred her interest in celebrating its amazing ability to bring out the flavor in food, as well as preserve it in a myriad of ways. As Duguid travels the world, I recollect cherished food memories and I look forward to exploring new ones.  The Miracle of Salt includes doable global recipes, stories, research, instructions and like all of her books, beautiful photography.
Cranberry Mustard
by Chef Therese Harding

Make for a party, or jar and share with friends!

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups of dried cranberries 
2 tablespoons of mustard seeds
1 tsp of dry mustard  
1/4 cup of Dijon mustard

In a small saucepan, heat white vinegar, water, dried cranberries. Remove from heat, cover and rest 15 minutes.
Then stir in mustard seeds, dry mustard and Dijon until combined.
Put in food processor, process until smooth enough to spread.
Then add enough water (up to 1/4 cup) to achieve right consistency.
Put into airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Classic Comics
by Katelyn West