Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: Voters encouraged to ‘stir the pot’

recipes to enjoy on election day: Waldorf Salad and chili

Vernon’s mayor’s race is going something like this: There once was an experienced baker whose job it was to provide his town with the best bread possible.

Mr. White worked hard at his recipes and kept ingredients and essentials balanced so that his people would be happy with their bread. Things were going well in spite of hard times, but one day Mr. Black and Mr. Red came to challenge Mr. White’s job. Each thought he could do a better job for the people.

Mr. Black chanted to the people, “It’s time for change. Yes,  I’ll agree the bread is OK right now, but I heard the baker is using salt in our bread and we all know that salt is bad for us. Elect me, and the baker and I will check the recipes and make sure we’re not using too much salt.”

Mr. Red agreed, “ Yes,” he said, “The bread has been good, but we need change because the baker is using yeast to make your bread. I’m an expert in my field and know that too much yeast can be bad for our health. We need a thorough study to see if the baker is using too much yeast in our bread and until we do that, we’ll not know if there is a problem or how to go about fixing it. Choose me as your baker and I will spend the money needed for this review,” promised Mr. Red.

And the people fell silent and contemplated that something might be amiss.

Finally an old man stood up, sighed, and said to the challengers, “Boys, you’ve both agreed that the baker has done a pretty good job in these trying times,” he paused then continued, “and now we all know that what you really want isn’t change, but his job.” With that, he slowly shuffled from the room.

This Saturday, vote as you please, but please vote.

Election Day

Waldorf Salad

2 stalks of celery, sliced thinly

1 cup of red or green seedless grapes, sliced in half

2 red and/or green apples, cored and chopped

1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice, fresh or from a bottle

2 tbsp. mayonnaise, or as much as you prefer, or use plain low-fat yogurt for a lighter version

1 tsp. sugar, or favourite sweetener, optional

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

A leaf or two of lettuce per serving

Thinly slice 2 stalks of celery. If the grapes are large, slice them in half. I got grapes on sale, but with seeds, so I had to slice and remove them. Core, then chop two apples.

Add chopped fruit and celery in a large serving bowl. Drizzle in lemon or lime juice, to keep the apples from turning brown. Spoon in mayonnaise (or yogurt) and mix well. Taste and see if you would like to add any sweetener.

Finally mix in walnuts (or any nuts of your preference). If the nuts are salted, then give them a quick rinse and pat dry, before adding to salad.

Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter, plate or individual bowls, and spoon on the Waldorf Salad. It can be served cold or at room temperature.

Election Day Chili

1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, chopped

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

1 carrot, sliced

1 onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 cup white wine

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/3 cup bottled steak sauce

5 slices bacon

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 (1.25 ounce) package chili seasoning mix

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained

1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot over medium-low heat, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, carrot, onion, celery, wine, pepper flakes, bell peppers and steak sauce.

While tomato mixture is simmering, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels. Cook beef in bacon drippings until brown; drain.

Stir chili seasoning into ground beef. Stir seasoned beef, cumin and bacon into tomato mixture. Continue to simmer until vegetables are tender and flavours are well-blended.

Stir in beans, cilantro and parsley. Heat through and serve. Serves 8.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist.