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The Art of Accompaniment

November 14, 2014
by Cornelia Emlen

Whether taking a walk with a friend or having someone pick up an instrument to join you in song, I’d argue that accompaniment is more often than not a welcome thing in our lives.  Usually we think of accompaniment primarily in terms of music and friends but I’m often reminded that it is often the accompanying side dish that makes a meal sing.

Salsas, pickles, chutneys, sauces, herb butters and salts can be great food companions. Truly fresh vegetables, fish or meat, like the kind you get from Farmers To You, can – and probably should – be prepared very simply so as to not mask their great flavor.  But allow them to share a corner of their plate with a spicy curry, a sweet chutney, a savory sauce or a vinegary pickle and the same dish can exhibit a wide variety of personalities.  I like to keep various homemade sides in the refrigerator so that we can quickly and easily transform a simple dinner or leftovers into something that will wake up and surprise my taste buds.

With this in mind, consider including a raw cranberry sauce made with fresh Vermont cranberries, apples and ginger for your Thanksgiving meal.  It is super easy – something you can whip together in a few minutes even amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday cooking or, if you prefer, prepare a week in advance and keep refrigerated until you hear your friends and relatives at the door.  Add some sweet potato biscuits and you may just be ready for some company.