Christmas Eve at Hal's family's has had an interesting tradition evolution. I guess his grandma, as a holdover from the Depression, would always make canned fish cakes and canned beets for dinner. I've never seen canned fish cakes before, but I have it on good authority that they're absolutely heinous. Due to the scarcity of the canned cakes, his family started experimenting with other things: frozen fish sticks, salmon burgers, etc. The preferred meal is now the traditional Fanny Farmer fish chowder and some sort of beet salad. Last year, it was a jelly mold. Very nice, but a bit fussy, I guess. This year, they came up with what I consider a real winner: a salad of pickled beets and eggs. The recipe seems to be one of those oral tradition things, so here goes:
Pickled Beets and Eggs
1 doz eggs
2 cans beets
1/4 c sugar
1 c white vinegar
2 1 qt Mason jars
Hard boil eggs, then peel. Drain beets, saving liquid. Layer beets and eggs in Mason jars. Bring beet liquid, water (I did a 1:1 ratio of beet juice and water) and sugar to a boil. Add vinegar, then pour into jars. Cap jars and put in fridge for at least 24 hours, but for not longer than a week. (I'm aiming for two days.)
To make a very pretty salade composée, slice eggs and arrange over lettuce with beets. Drizzle with a bit of (homemade!) vinaigrette.
Though we had it for Christmas Eve, I'm making it for dinner sometime this weekend. It's springy and it reminds me of primroses, so it seems just a lovely way to start the New Year.