Thanksgiving Recipe: Cuizoo’s Famous Balsamic Vinaigrette

SaladNo one really wants to think about a green vegetable on their Thanksgiving table — unless it is green beans smothered in cream of mushroom soup with fried onions on top. But, come on, that doesn’t qualify as a vegetable.  You know I’m right on that.

The green vegetable is simply cast aside because the other food on the table is so compelling.  And my feeling is that I can have a vegetable any other day of the year.  But my husband doesn’t agree with that idea — he thinks that a table filled with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, bread, and gravy could use a little salad. And he is probably right.  Adding a nice big salad to the mix is a welcome addition, especially when the dressing is light and cuts through the richness of the rest of the table.

This is one of my most requested recipes — which always strikes me as very odd because it is the most simple vinaigrette you can make. And whenever I try to give someone the recipe, I never have any idea about amounts because I always mix it in the same bowl and add the ingredients until “they look right.”   This is the dressing that made my friend Kevin actually like salad after a lifetime of salad hating.

There are two keys to making it right… good quality olive oil and good quality balsamic vinegar.  And if you have to choose one, pick a decent olive oil and spend a little extra on the vinegar because a bad balsamic vinegar makes a bad vinaigrette.  And when you consider that you only use about an ounce for an entire salad, a large bottle lasts for quite some time and is much more cost effective than buying most bottled salad dressing.  It’s yet another win-win-win … more reasonable, tastes better, and better for you because you control the ingredients (As you will notice, I don’t add any Potassium Sorbate or Sulfiting Agents to mine…).

And it takes all of one minute to make.

Cuizoo’s “Famous” Balsamic Vinaigrette (enough for one large salad)

3/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Chop garlic clove finely and place in small bowl.  Add oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and whisk well with a fork or wire whisk — until it is emulsified.  If not using dressing immediately, re-whisk before pouring over greens.

As a Thanksgiving treat, we’ve established a partnership with, Cuizoo. Cuizoo is a local food and photography blog by Kristin Camplese. For the rest of the week (and maybe in the future) The Bloomsburg Daily will be featuring recipes to help round out your table. The goal of Cuizoo is to get parents back in the kitchen and to do so in a way that makes families develop an appreciation for real food. Creative marketing has led us to believe that families don’t have time to cook, that we need processed food to provide short cuts, that cooking from scratch is hard, and that kids don’t eat vegetables. They tell us we are so busy that we don’t even have time to squeeze a lemon (so wouldn’t you rather buy some Real Lemon lemon juice-esque product?) and we are so incapable in the kitchen that we cannot make a ham sandwich for our child’s lunch (so wouldn’t you rather buy a Lunchable?). Each recipe we feature here has been carefully selected to help make your Thanksgiving even more delicious than it usually is.

Photo credit, Chris Dlugosz.

48 Years On: Personal Memories of the Kennedy Assassination

JFK in State

Thanksgiving week usually brings happy memories of holidays past, but 48 years ago today our nation mourned in stunned silence when a President was murdered. Jane Gittler, a Berwick native and long-time Bloomsburg resident was an 18 year old nursing student in Washington, DC in November of 1963. She recalls her experiences in the days following the assassination as she stood in line with thousands of others to see President Kennedy lying in state at the US Capitol.

Washington, D.C., November 22, 1963. I walked out of my chemistry midterm shortly after noon on that Friday. The director of the nursing school which I attended was crying in her white lacey handkerchief. She said that the President was shot. I knew that he and his wife were in Texas because I heard it on the radio while dressing for the day. In later years I experienced the same feeling that I did on 9/11. The United States was in danger. I was 18. He was 46.

It was sunny in Washington as it was in Texas. Looking out of the big windows of the school’s lobby it seemed as if life stopped. It probably did. No buses, no airplanes, little traffic. I suppose everyone retreated home. We watched the black and white TV to keep informed of what was happening and each time the announcer said that some plane or another was going to land at Andrews AFB or Washington National (there was no Reagan National then) we ran outside and tried to find it in the night skies.

I really don’t remember much about the next day, Saturday, but on Sunday my roommate and I took the city bus down to the steps of the US Capitol to watch and try to believe that this was real. We got there at 11 in the morning and the crowd was huge. We picked up three or four college boys (not hard to do) because they had a transistor radio turned up loud and we wanted to hear.

We saw the coffin being carried up the grand steps by the military and then Jackie, the children, the President and Mrs. Johnson and all the members of the Kennedy family as well as other dignitaries of the day. Although they were far away, we recognized them because of all the publicity of the Camelot years.

A sudden jolt hit the crowd as many radios spoke to us of another tragedy. That the man who killed the President was killed while being transferred to another jail. It was too much to process.

We were then organized by the police to proceed into the rotunda of the Capitol. We were let away from the building down many, many city blocks, maybe twenty, before they turned us around in the right direction. I don’t remember eating, drinking, or using sanitary facilities, maybe there were none. As I said previously, we got there at 11 AM and were allowed to pass the bier about ten minutes after midnight. I thought I would get into trouble because we had to be back to the dorm by 12. I didn’t care. I knew this was history. Later that same evening, the papers said that Jackie came back about 2 AM, alone, to pray.

When we returned the house mother said we were going to “get it.” I don’t know what we were going to get because we never got it.

Monday was the funeral. We watched that on a colored TV in the hospital. There were no TVs in our dorm rooms. Wednesday even I took a Greyhound bus back to my home in Berwick, Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. I was 18 and He was 46. The world had changed.

Author: Jane Gittler is a Berwick native and was a long time Bloomsburg resident. She is currently CEO of Columbia Montour Home Health and Hospice, part of the Bloomsburg Health System.

Photo Credit: This unattributed photograph was sourced from Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain.