We’ve all heard that our sense of smell is linked to our memory. Something to do with olfactory bulbs and limbic systems, I think. Growing up with a father who owned a landscape design company (how NJ Italian American of me, right!), every time I smell freshly cut grass I think of him. Scents are funny that way- they can make you happy, sad, nostalgic and they can remind you of great times and bad times. Today, I focus on the great.
Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider is a staple at every Thanksgiving feast at my grandparents’ house. Before I turned 21, my grandma would pop the bubbly cider and pour my sister and I champagne flutes. We’d cheers and giggle and feel like we were doing something adult-ish. Now, I’m not saying my grandfather never slipped me a drop of sambuca with dessert, but Martinelli’s sparkling cider definitely took the place of celebratory alcohol on this holiday.
When I came up with this recipe for “cider glazed beet noodles,” there was no doubt in my mind that I’d make it sparkling with Martinelli’s. I get really excited when the grocery stores start stocking the shelves with sparkling apple cider. I’m like a little girl all over again!
While opening the Martinelli’s to start the glaze, I stopped, brought the bottle up to my nose, closed my eyes and breathed in deeply. Honestly, it was a pleasant little moment alone in my apartment. It made me a little sad too, because this year, Thanksgiving will be happening at my parents’ house, without my grandparents (they are spending it with my aunt in Arizona). Who will remember to buy the sparkling cider? Oh wait, that’s right… I’m 26.
Crispy shallots are a great addition to the sweetly glazed beet noodles – they add a saltiness and crispiness to the dish and keep the sweetness of the sparkling cider glaze at bay. The flavors and aromas of the beet really come out when roasted. To make it easier for serving, cut the roasted noodles with a scissor so that each “noodle” is no longer than 6″.
True fact: it took me three tries to make this glaze properly. I had never made any type of glaze before. Make sure that you start stirring it when it begins to bubble as it finishes reducing and don’t let it cook too much or else it will harden and you’ll get candy instead of a glaze. It’s better to have more liquid than thickness, because it will thicken as it cools.
Let’s face it, cubed beets are so 2012. Borrrrrring!
What scents remind you of the holidays?