Friday, November 23, 2012

What Are Your Thanksgiving Food Traditions?

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Every Thanksgiving my mother makes an Italian dish called cardoon.  It is also called the artichoke thistle, cardone, cardoni, carduni or cardi.  The cardoon is a plant similar to an artichoke plant.  Italians, and others from Mediterranean cultures, eat the stalks of the cardoon in soups, stews, and fried.  It reminds me of a stalk of celery, but tougher.

The stalks of the cardoon
This plant is not readily available but my mother finds it in Dierberg's every fall.  To prepare the cardoon, you first need to boil the stalks in water, flavored with sea salt and lemon.
 Boil the cardoon until they are fork tender - about 60 minutes.  As my mother says, "They are tough little buggers!"
When the cardoon are tender, drain them and let them cool.  Pat the cardoon dry.
Get two bowls ready for dipping.  In one bowl put buttermilk and pepper.  In another bowl, mix 1 cup of bread crumbs and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.
Heat a skillet, with olive oil.  Dip the cardoon in buttermilk and bread crumbs.  Fry the cardoon until golden brown.
My sister Karrie checks on the cardoon
Mom gives her approval (even though it doesn't look like it)!
You will need to fry the cardoon in batches.  After each batch, clean the saute pan so you don't burn the leftover bread crumbs. 
Cardoon is a tradition in our family..............what are your holiday food traditions?


  1. I'm across the river from St. Louis and just ran across your blog on a search for a beef spiedini recipe. Love your blog! As for my family, we stick to ham with some family favorite side dishes such as homemade cranberry-orange relish and my grandmother's pork sausage dressing. It brings back many childhood memories of her when we serve it. Christmas is when we get heavy into some of my family's German traditions. Looking forward to following your blog. Happy Holidays!

  2. Thanks for the comment Linda! I love hearing about your memories about your German heritage. Thanks for visiting. Feel free to share some of your favorite recipes!


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