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Scattered, Smothered, Covered and Curdled

Curd. It's not for everyone, or as those gathered 'round the Adams family table learned on Thanksgiving Day, for anyone at all.

Curd is not elegant, as Scott's dear grandmother astutely opined. From the time we sat down until the turkey platter was wiped clean, all we really discussed was this inelegant jarred condiment vaguely colored as its namesake. The dinnertime conversation was monopolized by the Williams Sonoma "food" item, which (I think) Scott's uncle Bruce procured on down the deep discount line at T.J. Maxx. (Sidebar: Most people at the table said they refuse to buy food items at "the Maxx." I kinda waver on that point - coffee and cocktail mixes I tend to grab at TJM and I haven't poisoned anyone to their death yet.)

We had the makings of a meal like no other - well, unless you count the millions of other Americans sitting down for turkey and stuffing. But we had something really special that no one else could vouch for tasting before - the Cranberry Curd.

Eyeing the jar of curd like a foreign candy you're curious to taste, I had hopes of it being like a fruity, silky butter spread, perfect for a biscuit. Instead, its texture was waxy like a cranberry candle and partly like an Ocean Spray flavored spread of lard. Not a pleasing experience. After several of us dared to taste of the curd, and no one had a single nice thing to say about it, the entire dinner conversation degenerated into jokes about curds, and whey, and more curds.

Meanwhile, we gobbled up (sorry, couldn't resist) corn pudding, a gravy so savory I could have sipped it from a coffee mug, wonderful stuffing, and even my mainstay, the jellied cranberry hacked straight out of the can. But none of that received any verbal attention at all - curd was on our minds, if not on our lips.

The all-knowing source that is Wikipedia says this about curd (lemon flavored): "A traditional British dessert topping and sandwich spread. The basic ingredients are beaten egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest which are gently cooked together until thick and then allowed to cool, forming a soft, smooth, intensely flavoured spread. Some recipes also include egg whites and/or butter." The entry goes on to mention other fruit flavors like lime and orange. Icky icky. Here's a cranberry curd recipe I've poached from the Houston Chronicle, if you dare.

I've always romanticized a great deal of British tea foods...the pots of tea, dainty sandwiches, crumbly scones, yummy jams and the like. But now I know to stay the hell away from curd if I ever encounter it again. It's just not elegant.


  1. Sorry. You are wrong. While I in no way shape or form can argue the merits of (eegad!) Cranberry Curd, I can absolutely without a doubt vouch for the deliciousness of Lemon Curd. Lime Curd is good too. But I like it between two rich butter cookies. Or as pie filling. I make it from scratch though and that makes a big difference. The store bought crap is lots of corn starch usually which gives it a strange consistency. Cranberry? Seriously? Wow.


  2. Yeah, wow is right. It was just so...wrong.
    I'll have to taste this homemade lemon curd you speak of!

  3. My father brought you cranberry curd?? How... gentlemanly... of him.

    I'm so sorry.



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